Friday 11 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Compass Points 26 
Your weekly round up of publishing news, publicity information and trivia!

Happy New Year! Here at Compass we have had a good Christmas, with excellent sales for our publisher clients. We hope that the festive season has been good to all UK booksellers! Overall it seems to have been quite a positive year for books. The Telegraph certainly thinks so, and writes today that that the fightback against digital books by real books has now officially begun - you can read the whole article here.

It’s also been a fantastic season for blockbuster film adaptations of books. The Hobbit sold an additional 73,000 copies on the back of the film – despite many reviewers caustically wondering how Peter Jackson could possibly turn such a very short novel into three very (over?) long films! But hey – if it keeps the tills ringing in both cinemas and bookshops – why complain? 

Life of Pi has also been a big book winner thanks to the sumptuous Ang Lee film – sale of the book have jumped 62%. Personally I thought the film was one of the best translations of a book to the screen that I have ever seen. And at one magical moment, the whole screen is filled with an image of Pi, the boat and the tiger –  that faithfully recreates the original hardback jacket of the book – I don’t think I’ve ever seen that done in a film before; please do tell me if you can think of another example!  Yann Martel said originally that he “loved the cover picture by Andy Bridge for the first edition as soon as I saw it” and I found it exhilarating to see a great book jacket used in this imaginative way. Martel also said that “There is a wonderful tradition of complementing literature with dramatic images …they can fuel the imagination of the reader. “ and in my opinion this film certainly does that – do go and see it if you haven’t already! And we’ve still got Les Miserables to come – get your Victor Hugo window displays ready now!

Now, onto new titles. Never mind all of those cookery books and biographies – what we need in the New Year is a really gripping novel. And The Gospel According to Cane is just that. This remarkable book from critically acclaimed author Courttia Newland has been described as “A thrilling read, full of psychological tension and drama.”  It begins with Beverley Cottrell, who appears to have a dream life: a prestigious job, a beautiful husband and new baby boy. But then, one winter afternoon, when her son is barely a few weeks old, Malakay is kidnapped from a parked car. Despite a media campaign, a full police investigation and the offer of a reward, he is never found. Two decades later, Beverley starts to believe that she has finally pieced her life together – until a young man starts to appear wherever she goes. One dark evening the stalker gets past her security door and calls through her letterbox. He tells her not to be scared. He tells her that he is Malakay, her son. Time Out describes Newland as “a truly gifted storyteller. The book is out in paperback in February, and is certain to provoke a lot of discussion. Media coverage is expected to include Mumsnet, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Own, Mail on Sunday’s You Magazine, Daily Express and The Richard and Judy Book Club. You can find out lots more about the book on the author’s own website:

Giants: The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz is a remarkable, never-before-told account of the Ovitz family, seven of whose ten members were dwarves. The terrible irony of
the Ovitz’s fate was that being burdened with dwarfism actually helped them to endure the Holocaust. Through research and interviews with the youngest Ovitz daughter, Perla, the troupe’s last surviving member, and other relatives, the authors weave the tale of a beloved and successful family of performers who were famous entertainers in Central Europe until the Nazis deported them to Auschwitz in May 1944.  Descending into the hell of the concentration camp the Ovitz family was separated from other Jewish victims. When Josef Mengele was notified of their arrival, they were assigned better quarters and provided more nutritious food than other inmates. Authors Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev chronicle Mengele’s experiments upon this family and the creepy fondness he developed for them.  Finally liberated by Russian troops, the family eventually found their way to a new home in Israel where they became wealthy and successful performers. Giants is a powerful testament to the human spirit, and a triumphant tale that no reader will forget. This is an extraordinary story – and as you’d expect, it’s going to get a lot of publicity. It’s published in hardback in February.

Who stood in front of their wardrobe this morning wondering what on earth to wear today (and isn’t it cold!) Well, you weren’t alone. According to Michelle Madhok, shopping expert, style guru and CEO of Shefinds Media, the average woman spends two years of her life doing this. But never fear, there is a solution! Wear This Now shows readers how to dress their best for less and look stylish every single day of the year. Michelle Madhok can tell you when to invest, how to cut wardrobe clutter, what are the must-haves for every season, complete with shopping checklists. It’s written in a fun, girlfriend-to-girlfriend tone, and is the definitive answer to the perennial question: what should I wear? Michelle’s website is massive with over a million visitors a month – so this brand has a lot of fans – which should translate into sales for her book! Have a look at the website if you’re having your own wardrobe crisis, and order the book here.

Following the great Christmas over eating bonanza, would you describe yourself as supersize or superskinny? No, don’t answer that, I think I can guess. The super popular Channel 4 programme of the same name has just begun its sixth series – and has a new presenter – Emma Woolf – author of An Apple a Day. Emma is a very engaging and likeable author – and the exposure on this series is sure to raise her profile. You can watch the first episode of the new series here and make sure you keep An Apple a Day in stock and on display – it had rave reviews when it came out, BBC Radio Four said for example “Frank and compelling... made me understand anorexia in a way I never have before.”

And talking of healthy and junk food – who’s seen that YouTube video where the guy drives up to MacDonald’s pretending to be invisible? It’s pretty funny…

This newsletter is sent weekly to over 550 booksellers. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please click here to go to the Compass New Titles Website.

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

1 comment:

  1. Yeh, loved Life of Pi - amazing photgraphy and CGI. Not sure what Les Mis will be like tho...