We have an office move this week, with intermittent access to our website, emails and publishers’ publicity news; so Compass Points will return to tell you more about our new titles next week. In the meantime please be aware that our office address from now on is:
Great West House
020 8326 5696
In the meantime, Compass Points brings you a selection of this week’s general publishing stories, just to give you something to read on a Friday!
We all know there’s more to a book than the cover – but hey, a really good cover certainly helps sell it. How many of these classic fiction titles can you identify just from looking at the covers?
Books covers not really your thing – you’re more of a music man right (ever considered you might be in the wrong job?) Well OK then, how many 1970's album covers can you recogniser? What do you mean they’re too old – that’s proper music that is – but if you must, follow the link and then you can test yourself on the 80’s and 90’s too!
Talking of classics, many of us know kids sitting their GCSE English exam this week – and all over the country thousands are studying To Kill A Mockingbird. Its author, Harper Lee (who never wrote another book) is apparently reinstating a lawsuit against an
museum she is
accusing of exploiting her name. To Kill a
Mockingbird was published in 1960, and has sold more than 30m copies
in English around the world today. Lee marked her 88th birthday in April by
announcing that her story of a lawyer defending a black man accused of raping a
white woman would be released digitally for the first time. The author said at
the time: "I'm still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries. I
am amazed and humbled that Mockingbird has survived this long. This is
Mockingbird for a new generation." You can read the whole the whole article here Alabama
“The kitchen table was loaded with enough food to bury the family: hunks of salt pork, tomatoes, beans, even scuppernongs.” Who remembers this sentence from To Kill a Mockingbird? It comes when the black community of the town bring gifts of food to thank Atticus Finch for his sincere defence of Tom Robinson, a black man who is wrongly accused of raping a young white woman. I have absolutely no idea what a scuppernong is, but I certainly like the sound of the rest of it! What other memorable feast can we recall in the books we’ve read I wonder? Here are ten great literary meals – not all of them entirely delicious!
Now I’m sure you’re all familiar with the customer who comes into your shop just to have a good old browse – and leaves the books in such a scruffy and dog eared condition that you then can’t sell them – but how well do you treat the books you actually own? Some of us consider that the more battered a book, the more we’ve loved it – but not all agree. Read this bibliophile's opinion here and then make up your own mind!
Are you finding you are selling more short story collections than you used to? Well apparently you’re not alone – this genre is on the up. Read more about the irresistible rise of the short story here.
Book prizes – an important way of recognising talent – or a total irrelevance that bear no resemblance to what people are actually enjoying? Who’s read Edward St Aubyn satire on literary prizes: Lost For Words? Well, it has just won the 15th Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction which will be awarded at the Hay Festival on Saturday. In reaction to winning the prize, St Aubyn commented: "The only thing I was sure of when I was writing this satire on literary prizes was that it wouldn't win any prizes. I was wrong. I had overlooked the one prize with a sense of humour." You can read all about it here.
The British Library has opened up a vast online collection of literary treasures and scholarly articles via its new website: Discovering Literature; in a bid to pique young students' interest in classic books. The new project covers the Romantic and Victorian periods, from William Blake to the science fiction of H G Wells. However, the British Library aims to extend this online collection up to present day authors and as far back in time as the Old English epic Beowulf. Among the artefacts digitalised for the first time are Jane Austen's notebooks, the childhood works of the Brontë sisters, manuscripts by Keats, Wordsworth and many others plus intriguing early drafts of William Blake's classic poem Tyger Tyger. The Discovering Literature website so far covers the Romantics and Victorians, ending with the fin de siècle aestheticism of Aubrey Beardsley's Yellow Book.
And you can go straight to the new British Library Discovering Literature website here.
That’s all for now folks, more next week!
This blog is read weekly by over 700 booksellers as well as publishers and publicists. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please click here to go to the Compass New Titles Website or talk to your Compass Sales representative.