Friday 5 December 2014

Compass Points 109

Well, I’m very sorry of course, that it’s not published by one of the Compass publishers; but anything that brings people into bookshops must be good! How many copies of Girl Online have you sold? Zoe Sugg’s debut novel sold 78,109 copies last week – more than JK Rowling, Dan Brown or EL James achieved with their first books. The sales record is the highest since Nielsen BookScan began compiling data in 1998! JK Rowling brought out her first Harry Potter book a year before that and in an initial print run of only 1,000 copies (and don’t we all wish we owned one of those!) Fifty Shades of Grey sold 14,814 copies in its first week, although it went on to become the best-selling debut of all time. Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons sold only 98 copies in its first week of UK release, and Twilight just 53 copies. Reacting to news of her record-breaking fiction debut, Sugg said: ‘It’s such an amazing feeling. I’m so grateful to everyone who has bought a copy of Girl Online. I love that so many of my viewers are enjoying the book! " The sequel is out this summer.

Another important news story today is that the High Court has deemed the government’s ban on sending books to prisoners unlawful. Mr Justice Collins today declared the ban unlawful saying he could see “no good reason” for the rule, “in the light of the importance of books for prisoners.” New measures were brought in November last year in England and Wales, preventing prisoners receiving parcels unless under “exceptional circumstances”, but the High Court gave its ruling today after the case was brought by Barbara Goron-Jones, a life sentence prisoner at Send Jail in Surrey. J K Rowling tweeted that she was "delighted" to hear the ruling, while Ian McEwan, meanwhile, added: “The imagination triumphs over small-mindedness. This is great news for prisoners, great news for the book.”  You can read the full story in today's Bookseller here

Now moving from the present into the future, Beta-Life: Short Stories from an A-Life Future (pb, 978 1905583652, £12.99) was featured on Radio 4's Open Book on Sunday 30th November. Martyn Amos (the Co-editor) and Sarah Schofield (a contributor) were interviewed by Mariella Frostrup and the programme featured an excerpt from Sarah's story The Bactogarden. The programme will be repeated on Thursday 4th December at 3.30pm on Radio 4, and is available to listen to online here. This anthology of specially-commissioned stories imagines life in 2070 an exploring the future of robotics, and the possibilities promised by the next generation of computers. It features works from award-winning authors such as Stuart Evers, Julian Gough, Toby Litt, David Vann and Adam Marek as well as fifteen pioneers in evolution-designed robotics as well as pioneers in the Life Game, computer games technology, and artificial intelligence. This is one for all fans of science fiction and speculative fiction; and taps into the current worldwide focus on futurism, AI, and advanced technology. Beta Life is published by Comma Press and you can order it here

Sound like something out of Terminator – one of my fave bits of SF ever, remind yourself of the brilliance here!

An interesting book coming in the New Year is Back to the Future of Socialism by Labour MP for Neath, Peter Hain  (hb, 978 1447321668, £20.00). In this personal, accessibly written polemic, Peter Hain reassesses Crosland’s classic 1956 text The Future of Socialism and sets it in the present day, thereby redefining Labour’s future. He asks what’s gone wrong with capitalism, and how should governments respond? Did Big Government or Big Banking cause the global financial crisis, and is the answer investment, austerity, market forces or more regulation? With the UK approaching a UK in 1015 there are bound to be many political books jostling for space on your shelves, but please make room for this one.  It is written by a well known, respected but controversial Labour MP and is bound to attract a lot of media attention. It will be serialised in the Observer and the Guardian, and there will be a launch at the House of Commons, plus an author tour and bookshops signings around the UK. It is published by Policy Press in January.  Order it and find out more here

So much publicity around at the moment for Valerie Trierweiler’s explosive memoir Thank You for the Moment (978 1849548236, hb, £18.99). This book is featured absolutely EVERYWHERE– even Grazia magazine had it in their Top 5 Hot Things to Do this Week column,  so please make sure you keep it on display! This fascinating memoir of an extraordinary woman whose private life became very public as she was unwittingly cast into the eye of a political storm is published by Biteback, has had great reviews with Grazia for example calling is “brilliant” and the Independent commenting “I have long thought Britain should follow the US and give an official role and speaking part to the leaders’ wives (or husbands), and this book reinforces this argument.” You can find out more and order it here.

An excellent book to have ready for all those January de-toxers flooding into your shopping looking for assistance, is 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith (pb, 978 1781805466 10.99). This diet has become a phenomenon in the United States and looks set to be THE diet book for 2015. 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse is actually a bit of a publishing phenomenon. Originally self-published, it sold 80,000 copies before being acquired by Simon &Schuster, whose editions shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Now released with in an expanded edition with all new colour photography and 30% new material, this edition is the definitive version. The 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse promises to jump-start your weight loss, increase your energy level, clear your mind and improve your overall health. This book provides a shopping list, recipes and detailed instructions for the 10-day cleanse, along with suggestions for getting the best results. If you successfully complete the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, the book says you will lose 10-15 pounds in 10 days and naturally crave healthy foods so you never have to diet again. Let’s face it – that’s got to be worth a try! The book will be excerpted in Bella magazine on 6th January (circ. 195,000) and will feature in a future issue of Spirit & Destiny (circ. 39,000) and Healthy magazine (circ. 120,000). It will also be excerpted by Red Online in December (450,000 unique monthly browsers) and the author will be interviewed by Talk Radio Europe on 5th January (2 million unique monthly listeners). The book will also feature in up to 200 regional newspapers in January 2015 as part of a ‘New Year, New You’ feature syndication. 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse is published by Hay House and you can order it here

You can see JJ discussing her book on TV in a five minute interview on YouTube here

One person we’re sure to be seeing plenty of in 2015 is Nigel Farage. Like him or loath him, there’s no doubt he has become an important and influential figure in British politics. His apparent fearlessness and off-message willingness to speak his mind, while horrifying many, has offered a tonic to those who are sick to death of the usual round of sound bite politicians. Nigel Farage in His Own Words edited by Andrew Liddell is a dazzling array of politically incorrect, tell-it-like-it-is bon mots and public utterances, collected in one highly entertaining volume. Who did he say this about, for example: “I don’t want to be rude but, really, you have the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk and the question I want to ask is: ‘Who are you?’ I’d never heard of you. Nobody in Europe has ever heard of you.” Farage and UKIP are primed to do well in next year’s general election; and hopefully the leader’s growing popularity will be reflected among book buyers. His autobiography, Flying Free (978 1849540940), has already sold 7,000 units. Nigel Farage in His Own Words (pb, 978 1849548175 £7.99) is published by Biteback in February and you can find out more and order it here

The African Equation by Yasmina Khadra is, a gripping story of moral conflict, set in  East Africa, from an author who is, (as the TLS said) “a skilled storyteller working at the height of his powers.” This bestselling author – sales of 3 million in 42 countries – tells a tale of cultural awakening and lasting friendship which begins when Kurt Krausmann, a recently bereaved Frankfurt doctor, is persuaded to join his friend Hans on a humanitarian mission to the Comoros islands. On the way, misfortune strikes: the boat is hijacked in the Gulf of Aden and the men are taken hostage. This is a gripping read, and the author’s previous title, The Swallows of Kabul, has sold well. The African Equation by Yasmina Khadra (pb, 978 1908313706, £8.99) is published by Gallic in February and you can order it and find out more here

Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box by Robert Ford and Philip Cowley (978 1849547550) published by Biteback has been selected by Helen Lewis in the Guardian as one of her Political Books of the Year – she describes the above title as a stocking filler for the 'politics nerd in your life'. This collection of essays on all kinds of fascinating trivia, from the reasons why wannabe councillors should change their name to Aaron Aardvark to explaining why men seem more knowledgeable about politics than women (answer: they're bluffing) is indeed the ideal Christmas present.
Read the whole article here

Got your Christmas lights up yet? Here are some of the best from all around the UK!

That’s all for now folks, more next week!

This blog is taken from a newsletter which is sent weekly to 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.

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