Compass Points 15
Your weekly round up of publishing news, publicity information and trivia!
The nights are drawing in, and a bookseller’s thoughts must surely be turning to thoughts of their Halloween window display. Well here’s the perfect title coming in October from Carnegie Books. The Witch and her Soul by Christine Middleton is a gritty, sensual, moving and absorbing historical novel, published on the 400th anniversary of the infamous Lancashire Witch Trials of 1612. Find out more about it here.
And talking of all things witchy and wizardy – who’s looking forward to the new adult novel from JK Rowling, A Casual Vacancy, published on 27 September? Or maybe you’re one of those immune to the charms of this particular author? Whether or not you’re a fan, you’ll probably enjoy this – if you don’t get respect, put your wands in the air!
Publicity is building for the UK publication in October of The Gingerbread House by Carin Gerhardsen (Sweden’s number one fiction author). Bestselling author Peter James said recently “Gerhardsen writes so vividly, like she is painting with words, gripping your heart and soul in an ever-tightening tourniquet.” And there will be many more glowing reviews to come you can be sure of that! We had a terrific response when we offered to send you out the first chapter – this is now available online, so click here to go to the publisher's website to read it.
A couple of weeks ago we were talking about The Good Food Guide – which has had some amazing publicity! The PR team responsible for this have worked out that there have been 57 pieces of national news coverage for it, with a combined circulation of over 51 million people; and also 219 pieces of coverage in the regional press which had a combined circulation of over 7 million people! Wow! Let’s hope all of this publicity is leading to lots and lots of sales of the book for you! Now hot on its heels in October comes The Good Hotel Guide, which is generally agreed to be Britain’s leading hotel guidebook. As The Guardian said; it is “Number one of the guides that takes no freebies.” And the Daily Telegraph called it “One of the most reliable and independent guides”. Whatever must it be like to be in these hotels when someone arrives to check them out I wonder? Let’s just have a little look to remind ourselves of exactly how not to behave when The Hotel Inspectors come to call. Manuel – you are a waste of space.
Goodness me, have exams got harder than they used to be? Or are they easier they used to be? And will the EBACC replacement for the GCSE make them easier or harder – I don’t know it’s all so confusing. And should kids be allowed to just keep retaking an exam until they pass it, or is that cheating? Look out for F in Retakes: Even More Test Paper Blunders published in October which could not be more topical. The previous title in this hilarious series from Summersdale: F in Exams has now sold over quarter of a million copies so don’t miss out on what is a bit of a sales phenomenon! Here are some examples from the Science test papers of some of Britain’s brightest and best…
What is an artificial pesticide?
Someone who’s only pretending to be annoying really.
Earth is closer to the sun than Mars, and bigger. What are two other differences between the two planets?
1. Colour 2. Aliens
Name four diseases related to diet.
Fatness, really fatness, when you’re so fat you can’t move, death.
And on that note… how is the post-holiday slim-down going? Not good? Well maybe you need The De-Stress Diet by Anna McGee and Charlotte Watts. This book uses the powerful and proven connection between stress and excess weight to your advantage; showing you how you can eat, relax and gently exercise your way to a better body for life. It is a unique book which can help you to lose up to 10 pounds in six weeks. Look out this Sunday 23 September for a major three page feature in The Mail on Sunday’s You Magazine. The Mail on Sunday has a massive readership, so this feature will bring the book to the attention of millions of women – make sure it’s easy for them to find the book in your shop next week!
In 2007 Sophie Lancaster, a 20-year-old ‘Goth’, was attacked and killed in a Lancashire park by a gang of feral youths. The incident shocked the nation and was given world-wide media coverage. Poet Simon Armitage wrote the long prose-poem Black Roses about the incident specifically for broadcast on BBC Radio 4, last March. "It was immediate," he says of the reaction. "People were phoning in to the BBC switchboard on the day, writing in, emailing, getting messages to me afterwards about how much they'd been affected by the whole thing. ”If there's ever a signifier of whether something on radio has caught people's attention, it's where people get in touch and say 'I was driving the car but I had to pull over', or 'I'd got to where I was going but I had to stay in the car until the programme came to the end'. "I can't tell you how many hundreds of people got in touch with me and told me that had happened."
Now the piece has been adapted for the stage which you can read all about on a BBC news page here and is also published as a book with the profits divided equally between author, publisher and the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. There will be a lot of interest in this as we are coming up to the fifth anniversary of Sophie's murder, and Simon Armitage is well-connected in both the broadcast and print media.
And lastly well done again to The Garden of Evening Mists and Tan Twan Eng – which is showing a staggering sales growth of 512% this week according to The Bookseller; all thanks to that Booker Prize nomination! It's available in trade paperback (£12.99) here.
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That’s all for now folks, more next week!