Friday 12 May 2017

Compass Points 213

Five decades on from its release at the height of the Summer of Love in 1967, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band remains a keystone not just of the Beatles’ career but also of popular music as a whole. Widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time, it is a record soaked in, and thrillingly evocative of, the sights, sounds, and mood of the sixties at their most joyously psychedelic. Published by Omnibus Press next week, Sgt Pepper at Fifty: The Looks, the Sound, the Legacy of the Beatles Great Masterpiece by Bill DeMain, Mike McInnerney and Gillian Gaar (hb, £14.95, 978 1785584442) is a distillation of all of these ideas and more: an art-pop masterwork housed in a gatefold pop art masterpiece by collage artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth. Organized into four clearly defined thematic chapters, Sgt Pepper at Fifty brings a new perspective to the album by looking in depth at the unique cultural circumstances that led to its creation. This brilliant 176-page book examines the rich assemblage of influences that informed its sound; explores the landmark cover art; (which is still the subject of much debate and intrigue today) and assesses the record’s enduring legacy as the pinnacle of British pop. There’s loads of great publicity coming up – a full page spread in Mojo magazine; a feature in Classic Rock; a piece in The 405 which you can see here, a review in Saga magazine and an article in the Record Collector newsletter which you can read  here. On the Team Rock website there some fascinating facts you might not know about the Sgt Pepper cover – have a look at those here!
And you can watch the trailer for the release of the super-duper anniversary edition CD with loads of new versions of the classics here.

This story in the Guardian is music to my ears – read here how the allure of the e-book reader is rapidly losing its shine – less of a kindle and more of a damp squib perhaps?

Last week I mentioned how much I like it when publishers organise promotional videos for their titles on YouTube; and here's a really good one for popular actor and now crime author Robert Daws, talking about his new Sullivan & Broderick murder investigation The Rock (£7.99, pb, 978 1911331193) which has just been published by Urbane. Starting in Gibraltar in 1966; in a fading colonial house the dead body of a beautiful woman lays dripping in blood. Jumping to the present day, Detective Sergeant Tamara Sullivan arrives on a three-month secondment from the London Metropolitan Police Service. Her reasons for being here are not happy ones, and she braces herself for a tedious twelve weeks in the sun. After all, murders are rare on the small, prosperous and sun-kissed Rock of Gibraltar and catching murderers is what Sullivan does best.
It is a talent Sullivan shares with her boss, Chief Inspector Gus Broderick of the Royal Gibraltar Police Force. He's an old-fashioned cop who regards his colleague with mild disdain. But when a young police constable is found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment, Sullivan and Broderick begin to unravel a dark and dangerous secret that will test their skills and working relationship to the limit… The second title in the Sullivan & Broderick series entitled The Poisoned Rock (£8.99, pb, 978 1911331216) is also published this month.

Many thanks to The Bell Book Shop in Henley Upon Thames who have just hosted a launch for Your Baby Skin to Skin by inspirational midwife Rachel Fitz-Desorgher which has just been published by Crimson. Taken from conversations with thousands of parents over thirty years, Your Baby Skin to Skin speaks about the real baby before your eyes and not some mythical creature you have yet to meet! It gives parents a fresh, empowering approach to parenting where they are encouraged to think about their baby remembering the delightful truth that it is a highly-evolved human, pre-set instinctively to survive – so they can step back and let their baby show them to parent by understanding its inbuilt reflexes and instinctive cues. A newborn baby comes ready-primed to feed, sleep and learn perfectly well and cannot get these things wrong, so with Rachel Fitz-Desorgher’s warm and calm advice; parents can turn down the anxiety and learn from their own little expert! There have been some super pieces on the book in Mother and Baby (who said “Expect many 'lightbulb' moments as you turn the pages”), Easy Parenting magazine, the Reading Chronicle, the Henley Herald, and Family Grapevine Oxford – you can read that article here.
Liz Lochhead, one of our most beloved poets and playwrights, will be interviewed on Desert Island Discs this Sunday 14th May, repeated on Friday 19th May. Her Polygon bestsellers are A Choosing: Selected Poems (£9.99, pb, 978 1846972072) a lovely collection, which has sold 3,500 copies so far; and Fugitive Colours (£9.99, pb, 978 1846973451) which is her most recent work. Liz has a large and devoted audience and delights audiences where she goes.
She has said that “when somebody asks me what I do I usually say writer. The most precious thing to me is to be a poet. If I were a playwright, I'd like to be a poet in the theatre.” Desert Island Discs has an audience of 3 million listeners each week and Liz’s interview is sure to be a joy – do make sure you tune in and stock up on her books! She was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Poetry in 2015 and her books have sold over 30,000 copies in the UK.

Congratulations to Edinburgh's fantastic radical and independent bookshop Word Power Books which this week was “reborn” as the Lighthouse Bookshop with a fabulous drink and Tunnock-filled (ooh who doesn’t love a Tunnock) launch party!

This is a most interesting article in the Guardian –  voices from within the publishing industry – which is overwhelmingly staffed by women –  speak out about senior management that appears increasingly dominated by men. Hmm, food for thought methinks.

The Wild Guide to Scotland: Hidden Places, Great Adventures and the Good Life (£16.99, pb, 978 1910636121) by Kimberley Grant, Richard Gaston and David Cooper is Waterstone’s Scotland’s Book of the Month for June, which is certain to give this inspiring title yet more exposure and sales!

Interesting to see in the Bookseller, that Orion is predicting the next lifestyle trend after "hygge" will be kindness, saying “In times like these, we all need some kindness in our lives" after acquiring two books on the topic – you can read the full article here. Well sorry Orion, but we’re way ahead of you here: Practical Kindness: Discover the Power of Compassion for Health and Happiness by Raje Airey (hb, £8.99, 978 0754833130) has just been published by Lorenz! There is plenty of scientific evidence that kindness improves your life – better mental health, improved life satisfaction and stronger relationships have all been linked to it. This active expression of care, compassion, empathy and sympathy, gives you space to breathe and to connect with ourselves as well as others. Practical Kindness explains and inspires your own pathway to kind living. This insightful book is divided into three sections, each forming part of a 'tree of kindness' that can grow from small beginnings and shelter us from the storms of life. Throughout the book there are plenty of practical ideas and compassion-based mindfulness exercises, for bringing more kindness into your everyday life. This is a lovely and unique book – it contains with over 150 gorgeous photos and has a beautiful cover – it’s bang on trend and would make a lovely gift.
Talking of kindness; a bookshop that was involved in a spat with Piers Morgan as reported here in Compass Points; has been "overwhelmed" with support after announcing it had six days "to pay the bills". Last Sunday, the Big Green Bookshop asked its Twitter followers for help to raise £10,000 to pay suppliers and orders have been "pouring in" since the tweet, co-owner Simon Key said. You can read all about it on the BBC here.
A massive feature in the Mirror this week on Transitioning Together (pb, £12.99, 978 1785921032) by Wenn and Beatrice Lawson, which was published earlier this year by Jessica Kingsley. This is the extraordinary story of Wenn and Beatrice Lawson, born twelve years apart in different countries with different cultures, who were both assigned female at birth. After nineteen years of marriage and four children, Wenn entered a same-sex relationship with Beatrice. Little did Beatrice know that twenty-two years later, Wenn would transition from female to male. This unique and honest memoir tells the story of Wenn's transition and Beatrice's journey alongside him. You can read the article here. This is a very honest book which should be read by anyone who is in this position and by others, to gain some understanding and insight in the transitioning process. This Morning are shortly going to be doing a TV interview with Wenn and Beatrice so there is plenty more publicity to come!
As part of the ongoing celebration for their 25th anniversary, Birlinn have a great competition open to any independent bookseller who’d like to create an eye-catching table or window display representing 25 years of the Best of Birlinn. You can find all the details, an order form, plus info on how to get hold of the special posters and other POS material here, and the bookshop who creates the most original display will win a signed limited edition of Alexander McCall Smith’s No.1 Ladies Detective Agency! Wow – that’s a great prize! To order the books and POS material, please contact Vikki Reilly, and the photos need to be submitted to Vikki by 1st August 2017.
Last week we told you about two And Other Stories titles which have been shortlisted for the prestigious Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize which you can find out more about  here. To add to that, we send many congratulations to Gallic whose graphic novel edition of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way (hb, £19.99, 978 1908313904) translated by Arthur Goldhammer has also been shortlisted for the award! The winner will be announced at the prizegiving and dinner at St Anne’s College, Oxford on Saturday 3 June. Bonne chance!
It was the Nibbies this week and you can read all about the winners in the Bookseller here. Compass were there – and here is the full low-down on the evening from our roving reporter Sophie - seen here with Foyles education buyer, Daniella! 

“All dolled up with somewhere to go? Yes, that was us on Monday night as we attended the British Book Awards, aka the Nibbies, hosted this year by broadcaster and all-round glamorous goddess Lauren Laverne. A vast improvement on the average Monday evening of post weekend blues and EastEnders that's for sure! Compass were invited to attend with Jessica Kingsley Publishing, a Compass Academic client and shortlisted nominee for Academic/ Educational Publisher of the Year. Being a slightly less glamorous cousin of trade publishing this category had to wait until the second, post-dinner act to find out who had won, meaning the crowd was well lubed up to cheer the whoever publisher took home the prize. Unfortunately, the nib of gold was not destined to be JKP's this year, goings to Collins Education instead. However as last year's winners for the same category perhaps the judges just didn't want to let too much excitement go to their heads with a back to back win? Either ways it didn't dampen our spirits as a great night was had by all, drinks were imbibed, Lauren Laverne's dating advice was lauded, high-heel injuries compared and the bar bill was gulped over, all in very fine company, and we even made it into Foyles to do a 10.30am sub the next morning! Us Compass crowd, we're dedicated to the cause, and only partially fuelled by caffeine and mid-morning pastries.”
I am thoroughly enjoying this article in the Telegraph which finds that people who read books tend to be nicer than those who don't. It quotes a recent study which found that people who read works of fiction tend to be kinder and more empathetic. Hear hear!
We started with a music book and we’ll end with one too – I have just seen a finished copy of Queen in 3-D. Wowsers – what a treat. The first thing I would say is that this handsome hardback genuinely looks extremely high quality and easily worth its £50 price tag. The next thing to say is that I was gobsmacked with the number of fantastic photos there are in the book. The 3D ones are lots of fun – but I hadn’t appreciated until I saw a copy just how much other photography there is too – loads of full page spreads and other very intimate close up snaps too which really make you feel you are getting a huge amount of inside knowledge about the band, together with Brian May’s very revealing text. You absolutely don’t need the 3D viewer to flick through and enjoy it – it works perfectly well as a luxury coffee table book too – making the 3D element (for me at least) a brilliant “extra” to the package rather than its main selling point. I truly think anyone who has even a passing interest in Queen, the 70’s and 80’s, or photography would think this book was the best gift ever! Here is what our Sales Manager Dave wrote to the publishers on first seeing the book.
“Today I received my sample copy of Queen in 3-D to show round to my accounts, thank you very much. It arrived in the post about an hour ago and I haven’t done any work since!!! I do like the Freddie Yellow Jacket Owl Viewer, nice touch. I would just like to take the opportunity to congratulate you both, and Brian on such a wonderful book. Queen meant so much to me growing up, Freddie, John, Roger and Brian were absolute heroes of mine. So, speaking from a fan point of view, this book is an absolute treasure which I guarantee will be adored worldwide.”
Queen in 3-D (978 0957424685, £50, 323 x 245mm) is published on 25 May, as a slipcase containing the 256-page full colour deluxe hardback and the patent 3D OWL viewer. If you go to the special website you will see Brian May showing off the book – although tantalisingly he doesn’t open it up… yet!
Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week …
Biteback Publishing‏ @BitebackPub The man behind the manifesto. Make the most of great books on #Corbyn #LabourLeak #LabourManifesto
Topping & Company‏ @ToppingsEly Book trivia: John Steinbeck's puppy ate the original manuscript of 'Of Mice & Men'. Dogs are favourites here, but that'd be a ban even here!
The Bookseller‏ @thebookseller CommaPress and the University of Central Lancashire launch a prize to find the best voices in short fiction.
Polygon Books‏ @PolygonBooks Liz Lochhead talks to Kirsty Young this Sunday on @BBCRadio4 #DesertIslandDiscs. Tune in to find out about her music favourites!
Plexus Publishing‏ @plexusbooks ‘Try not to hate people. It is too exhausting’ #ManlyMannersfortheImpeccableGent #PlexusBooks #tipsforgents
Carcanet Press‏ @Carcanet Jamaican Poet Laureate Mervyn Morris discusses rural life & Jamaican poetry @R3TheVerb
RedDoor Publishing‏ @RedDoorBooks “Child Taken is a stunning debut novel which is not afraid of tackling a difficult subject. It is exceptionally plotted out” Thanks @havebooksblog!
Anness Publishing‏ @Anness_Books #NationalDoughnutWeek - see Mowie Kay's gorgeous book Easy to Make Doughnuts! Jam, lemon, coffee, salted caramel...
Polygon Books‏ @PolygonBooks Congratulations to our wonderful Alexander McCallSmith who has been honoured by the National Arts Club in New York!
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 talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.

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