Friday 15 February 2013

Compass Points 31

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

The desire to improve ourselves,  lose weight, shape up and just have better lives never seem to go away – and every month Hay House publishes inspiring new titles on these topics. They always get a lot of publicity, as they are the type of subjects that women’s magazines, radio stations and tabloid newspapers love! For example, Janet Thompson, author of Think More Eat Less was on Steve Wright (BBC Radio 2) this week talking about her book. And Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink is featured in the March issue of Weight Watchers magazine. And how about this new title published In April – Hot, Healthy, Happy: The 21-Day Diet to Eat, Drink and Think Your Way to Self-Love and Skinny Jeans by Christy Fergusson PhD which will be featured in the March issues of Woman, Top Santé and Women’s Health magazines. Would you like to feel great in a bikini, get glowing skin, and spring out of bed full of energy every day? Oooh yes please. Well this title promises that you can wake up each day with enough energy to follow your dreams; have flawless skin and nails to die for; connect to and trust your own inner wisdom and feel happy and confident despite facing drama on the twittersphere? Sound pretty good to me! Order Hot Healthy and Happy here (April) 

And how about something that will help you to understand your emotional weight and shed your pounds of pain?  What are we really hungry for when we turn to food? Hungry by bestselling author Dr Robin L. Smith isn't about the hunger for food, but the craving to reclaim and embrace our true identity. It's not about making a plan or signing up for a program to change our lives or relationships. It is about signing up to be a witness to our own lives and journeys. Hungry helps us get back in touch with our wants and needs and encourages us to approach them, with compassion, tenderness, and hope. Dr Robin shows us that what we're really hungry for is self-acceptance, love, appreciation and the confidence and freedom to embrace the lives we want in order to make our dreams a reality. Being real, being yourself full time, is what creates a rich, meaningful, and fulfilling life. Wow! Who knew? Get me a copy right now – it’s out in April and you can order it here.

Remember you can always tune into to listen to many of the Hay House authors talking about their books – and find out about forthcoming mind body spirit events and publicity.

Right, that’s quite enough self improvement. Give me a cup of tea … a beverage brewed from the fermented dried leaves of the shrub Camellia sinensis and imbibed  by all the great civilisations in the galaxy’s history; a source of refreshment, stimulation and, above all  else, of moral fibre – without which the British Space Empire must surely crumble to leave Earth at the  mercy of its enemies. Sixty per cent of the Empire’s tea is grown on one world – Urn, principal planet of the Didcot system. If Earth is to keep fighting, the tea must flow! But when a crazed cult leader overthrows the government of Urn, Isambard Smith and his crew find themselves saddled with new allies: a legion of tea-obsessed nomads, an overly civilised alien horde and a commando unit so elite that it only has five members. Only together can they defeat the self-proclaimed God Emperor of Didcot and confront the true power behind the coup:  the sinister legions of the Ghast Empire and Smith’s old enemy, Commander 462. 
Blimey, what on earth am I going on about – who’s still with me or did I lose you at Urn? Well, those of you who are good at spotting a cult classic about to go properly mainstream will recognise the plot of one of the three instalments in The Chronicles of Isambard Smith by Toby Frost.  Smith and his erudite alien sidkick, Suruk the Slayer are enjoying cult celebrity status among a growing and dedicated army of readers. As you might have deduced, these books have a strong appeal to those whose taste in humour runs through Python, Hitch Hiker’s Guide, Blackadder, and Red Dwarf.  The three titles in the series so far:  Space Captain Smith, God Emperor of Didcot and Wrath of the Lemming Men – are being rereleased in April, with updated covers, and lots of publicity. This is in advance of the publication of the long awaited fourth book in the series A Game of Battleships, which is coming in August.  This series has all the hallmarks of something that could become seriously BIG – so order the copies and help to start building up the buzz now – then you can claim to have been in on it from the start!
You can find out more on the website and order all three titles (published by Myrmidon) below.

And you can watch a rather overly keen fan on YouTube talking about the books below!

The annual Jewish Book Week Festival begins at the end of this month – this is an event which always attracts a lot of media attention. (You can find out more about Jewish Book week 2013 here) As part of the build up to this, The Times Literary Supplement will be reviewing The Summer My Father Died by Yudit Kiss this weekend and the author is over in the country for her event at Jewish Book Week on the 28th February.  Yudit Kiss grew up a communist in Budapest, soaking up her father’s ideology unquestioningly. As a child she is puzzled when others refer to her as Jewish; she only knows that her family doesn’t believe in God.  How can they? As her father lies dying, Yudit tries to understand the enigma surrounding his life. Where does his unshakeable communist conviction come from?  Why doesn’t he have relatives? As she digs deeper into his tragic history, Yudit is forced to confront the contradictions and lies woven into the life of her family – and her country – through the dramatic twists of twentieth century Hungary. Lyrical and poetic The Summer My Father Died is a powerful memoir. It is similar to Remind Me Who I Am, Again by Linda Grant and is a wonderful book that deserves more attention.  Lisa Appignanesi said of it “In this remarkable memoir, Yudit Kiss uncovers the paternal history that shaped her own, even while she was unaware of it … the journey is riveting.” while István Szabó (director of Mephisto and Being Julia) said “It shook me profoundly … not only the richness of the relationship between father and daughter, but the internal development of the narrator also had a deep impact on me.” Find out more and order it here

Wow – the weather suddenly seems to have taken a turn for the better – well at least it has down in London for us sissy southerners – it’s positively balmy today! Time to get out and about – but how many times when we are visiting gardens do we then look at our own garden with mixed feelings of disappointment and despair, and exclaim “Why can’t my garden look like that?”  The simple answer is “it can”. John Shortland has lots of easy ways to make a beautiful garden of your own, demonstrating just how easy it is to make adjustments to what is already there to make your garden stunning, whatever its size.  Written in an informal, easy-to-read style, Why Can’t My Garden Look Like That? enables every reader to have a garden they can be proud of.  The author looks at every aspect of transforming what you’ve got, including: sorting out what you are trying to achieve, the best use of time a busy person can make in their garden, improving the layout of your garden, maintaining visual interest throughout the year and using plant combinations, colour and foliage for maximum impact. It’s full colour throughout, it’s paperback, it’s clear and jargon free and it’s out in April.

Yes, OK, fair enough, not everyone is interested in gardening – not everyone even has a garden. “Please give us something that we can all sell” I hear you cry – something that appeals to everyone, young and old, rich or poor, from Oban to Oldham. Well how about Prince Harry? After all he is The People’s Prince, or at least so this new title by Chris Hutchins claims! This is the story of Prince Henry, third in line to the British throne. From a childhood born to a troubled marriage and scarred by the tragedy of the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, to his brilliant public performances at the Diamond Jubilee,  the London Olympics and his brother the Prince of Wales’s  wedding; this book charts the remarkable journey of a  seemingly ordinary young man with an extraordinary destiny.  Once pilloried as a playboy prince who drank £200 cocktails with louche friends in London nightclubs, brawled with photographers and wore a Nazi uniform to a fancy-dress party; then lauded following his first term of duty on the front line in southern Helmand in Afghanistan, from which he returned a hero.  Written with the help of a wide range of people – from senior aides to humble members of staff, from aristocrats to bodyguards and protection officers, from friends of Harry’s to  the not-so-friendly, from girls he has  loved and lost to soldiers who have served alongside him on  the front line in Afghanistan – Harry: The People’s Prince is  the story of a young man who has created a life  for himself in contrast to the one set out for him by what he  describes as ‘an accident of birth’. I hardly need to tell you that this book will get absolutely tons of publicity – the royal family are rarely off the front pages these days – so order your copies here!

But if you’d prefer a rather less complimentary “view” of Harry, click below to remind yourself of how he looked partying naked in Las Vegas! 

This blog is read weekly by 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!

Friday 8 February 2013

Compass Points 30

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

Firstly many congratulations to W. Sydney Robinson who has just won Political Biography of the Year for Muckraker: the Scandalous Life and Times of W. T. Stead: Britain’s First Investigative Journalist, published by Robson Press. The inaugural Paddy Power and Total Politics Political Book Awards took place on Wednesday evening at the BFI IMAX in London, and several hundred figures from the world of politics came to sip champagne, chat and gossip about the extraordinary goings on in the world of politics at present!  In the audience were numerous MPs, Lords and other luminaries including Jemima Khan, Tony Benn, Dan Snow and Ian McEwan – a glittering occasion indeed! There has been plenty of publicity about this award – both in the national press and on the many political blogs – so make sure you have the book on display – preferably with a big sign above it saying “Political Biography of the Year”! Order Muckraker here. Incidentally, cartoonist Matthew Pritchett won the award for Political Humour and Satire for The Best of Matt 2012 – here’s one of my favourite Matt cartoons from this week.

And if you’re just in the mood for a bit of politics to liven up your Friday; then have a look below  to remind yourself of rather a good collection of amusing moments in the House of Commons.  

And now; as they say; for something completely different. I Am Nobody’s Nigger is revolutionary, reflective and romantic. This is the powerful debut collection by one of the UK’s finest emerging poets. Exploring race, identity and sexuality, Dean Atta shares his perspective on family, friendship, relationships and London life, from riots to one-night stands. To watch a powerful performance of the title poem on YouTube, click here. As you can see it has received well over 45,000 hits – there is a big audience out there for this poet. Atta is a rising young star on the performance circuit and will command media attention. He has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, Brighton Fringe, Latitude, Strawberry Fair and Secret Garden Festivals and appeared on Radio 4, Channel 4, BBC 1Xtra and 6 Music. He won the 2012 London Poetry Award and was named as one of the most influential people in 2012 by the Independent on Sunday.  Benjamin Zephaniah said “Dean Atta’s poetry is as honest as truth itself. You will be uplifted.” I would highly recommend it – this debut paperback is published in March, and you can order it here.
You can watch a powerful performance of the title poem on YouTube below.

The craze for Vintage Fashion shows absolutely no sign of abating, and in April comes this stylish introduction to the genre, showcasing the key designs and styles of the main vintage eras of the 20th century. It will be an inspiration to vintage enthusiasts and general readers alike. Written by Ottilie Godfrey; a freelance journalist who writes for the BBC, the Evening Standard and Time Out magazine; this full colour paperback at a great price (£9.99)  includes iconic designs, trends  and styles from each decade, broken down so readers can easily look up the era that takes their fancy. It contains informed commentary on the social changes that have influenced fashion through the 20th century and has many terrific photographs of film stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly modelling classic designs, as well as garment illustrations and authentic model photo-shoots from all eras. Order copies of Vintage Fashion here. And if vintage fashion is your thing, then do have a look at thisevocative Pathe newreel from the 1950's showing off Parisian fashions from that era.

Two more titles in the bestselling Bluffer’s Guide series are coming in April. The Bluffer’s Guide to Cricket by James Trollope tells you how you can be an instant expert on cricket and bluff your way with all fans of the sport. If you’re unsure about the unwritten rules governing match etiquette or just baffled by it all, from ‘the Ashes’ to ‘umpires’, and from ‘beamers’ to ‘seamers’, here is everything you need to know to increase your social status or avoid getting caught out. The Bluffer’s Guide to Golf by Adam Ruck shows you how you can be instant expert on golf and bluff your way with those who have areal grip on the sport. No handicap is required, just a sense of humour. Whether you are unsure about the must-have clothing or clubs or simply downright mystified by the game; from ‘baffy’ to ‘bogey’, and from ‘courses’ to ‘cleeks’, here's all you need to know to put yourself on an even par with friends and colleagues.  These all-new editions from the 5-million copy selling Bluffer’s Guide series have terrific covers, and there is also an entertaining website – which will all help to build awareness of the brand. 

Ernest Hemingway once said that you should “always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut”. Over a boozy Sunday lunch, flatmates James Adair and Ben Stenning made a promise to row across an ocean (like you do). At first they considered the Pacific, then the Atlantic, but once James Cracknell and Ben Fogle completed the high-profile Atlantic rowing race, their thoughts turned to the Indian Ocean, longer and tougher than the Atlantic and fewer people have rowed across its waters than have walked on the moon. After years of planning and fund raising, they were ready to launch in spring 2011. Neither of them had any rowing nor sailing experience. To add to this, James had contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome at the age of 14, which had locked his body into total paralysis for three months (while his mind had remained completely active) and which had left him with paralysed feet. This was a challenge that they really never should have even considered! Rowing After the White Whale: A Crossing of the Indian Ocean by Hand is wise, witty and utterly engaging – a Boy’s Own Adventure with humour. It’s such an extraordinary story that it is certain to attract a lot of review and feature coverage – who hasn't (usually under the influence) thought of abandoning their mundane lives in order to do something crazy and impossible instead?

And for the latest in the e-books versus real books debate, lets go back to the website, where you can find a very interesting and entertaining article here .

This blog is read weekly by 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!

Friday 1 February 2013

Compass Points 29

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

January is over – hurrah! Now that all the other resolutions have gone to pot, it’s time to get off your backside and WRITE THAT NOVEL! Just imagine if rather than slaving away selling other people’s books you could have a lie-in and think of your ex-colleagues selling yours instead! How to be a Writer by Stewart Ferris has just been published, and tells you exactly how you can do it. It’s getting lots of publicity – Prudence magazine said this week “Your New Year’s resolution – start that novel! And here’s a book to help you along the way with plenty of practical tips”. Lots of your customers will be in the mood to ditch the diet, ditch the drying out – and try something a bit more practical! This book gets you writing, easily and painlessly guiding you through the dreaded ‘writer’s block’, and it divulges industry secrets that will help you to raise the quality of your work to a professional level. A writer is someone who writes. It sounds obvious, but many people who call themselves writers don’t produce enough words in a year to fill a postcard. Other writers churn out thousands of words but never sell their work.  Writing is a business like any other. Successful writers know the rules and conventions that make their work stand out from the rest of the ‘slush pile’ – rules Stewart Ferris now reveals. This is a new paperback edition of a previous bestseller which sold over 10,000 copies. It has now been expanded to include sixty four extra pages; is written by a highly successful publisher; has lots of tips and hints from the inside of a real publishing business and is both practical and accessible.

One really worthwhile resolution we can all make is to throw less food away. According to a recent report, over half the world’s food is thrown away – a truly shocking statistic – you can read more in this article in the Independent or  this in the Guardian. Part of the problem is that we just don’t know what to do with all of those left over bits and bobs in our fridge – this article in the the Mirror yesterday follows a mum as she determines to go for a week actually using up food sensibly rather than binning it. So what luck that we have this ideal book from How To Books coming in March: The Leftovers Handbook by Suzy Bowler. This book is an A-Z of over 450 possible leftover ingredients and provides smart, interesting, quirky, and delicious ways of using them up.  It’s for all those who love food but hate waste. And the waste this book tackles is not just of food and money but of really good eating opportunities!  With this book you’ll discover delicious ways of making the most of every scrap of food available, without being forced into the cycle of buying more ingredients just to use up leftovers. There are hundreds of suggestions for imaginative, ingredient-inspired cooking so you will never again leave food to fester because you can’t think what to do with it. The Leftovers Handbook shows you how you can enjoy the freedom of impromptu cooking with the ultimate list of essential store cupboard, fridge and freezer basics and how you can be inspired by 100s of fun and useful tips; e.g. how to turn a lonely bacon rasher into Bacon Salt to sprinkle on poached eggs, roast tomatoes, cheese on toast, or any number of things! Did you know that the most wasted food is bread and yet there are so many delicious dishes that can be made with it, even when stale; from French toast and bread pudding to panzanella and skordiala?  This book gives 22 basic ideas for using up bread – with numerous variations, often using other leftovers!  And what do you do with the 1.6 million untouched bananas that are wasted annually?  You peel them, freeze them and dip them in chocolate! Yummy!

Some major publicity is just about to break in Women’s Own (which has a massive circulation) who will be featuring Passport to Hell in their next issue (out on 12 Feb). This shocking true crime story (just published) of being imprisoned abroad is reminiscent of Forget You Had a Daughter.  In 1997, English holidaymaker Terry Daniels found herself unwittingly in the middle of a drug bust involving thousands of pounds’ worth of cocaine being smuggled from Brazil to Spain by her companion. After eventually being cleared of any charges she returned home shaken, assuming the nightmare was over – but her troubles had just begun… Five years after her ordeal, Terry awoke one morning to the antiterrorist police breaking down her door. She was arrested and soon after found herself being extradited to Spain to be tried abroad. Terry was sentenced to ten years in a maximum-security Spanish prison. This hard-hitting account of Terry’s fight for justice is a page-turning memoir of an ordinary woman who survived and eventually triumphed over remarkable misfortune.

We all remember how successful the book A History of the World in 100 Objects was. Now in March from Summersdale comes British Stuff: A Life in Britain through 101 Everyday Objects. This is a full-colour photographic compendium which invites you to discover Britain in a new way; not through its tourist sites and traditions, but through the everyday objects that are part of the fabric of contemporary life in the UK. Containing a wealth of iconic British design staples as well as the treasures of everyday life – from the Mini and the Anglepoise lamp to M&S underwear and the Argos catalogue – this guide is a must-have for anyone who wants to understand British culture from the inside out, with all its idiosyncrasies and quirks. It is a great looking book – and the authors Geoff Hall and Kamila Kasperowicz have an absolutely brilliant blog at which I think you will enjoy looking at – there’s lots of fab British iconic stuff on there – and you can have hours of fun deciding which are your favourites! The Beano magazine? A dalek? HP sauce? A Sex Pistols T-shirt? I think this book will be a big seller– it would make a great gift – and will appeal to visitors to Britain as well as British readers with an interest in art, design and everyday objects.

Who’s heard of Samantha Brick? She is an award winning producer who has worked with everyone from David Beckham to the Duchess of York, and has sold and produced numerous documentaries and reality shows for ITV, BBC & Channel 4. However, she really hit the headlines in April 2012 when she had an article published in the Daily Mail titled “There are downsides to looking this pretty: why women hate me for being beautiful”.  Remember that? I certainly do, it was all over the radio on newspapers for about two weeks! The piece went viral on the social media websites and Brick trended globally on Twitter. It attracted 1.5 million hits on the newspaper’s website and over 5,000 readers left comments, both positive and negative. It’s safe to say this woman is an amazing self publicist – and she’s now written a book – now that’s the sort of author we like! Head Over Heels in France: Falling in Love in the Lot is a frank and compelling true story of her journey through rejection and depression to love and happiness that will appeal to readers of Eat, Pray, Love – so that’s zillions of women then! 
When Samantha Brick’s life started to unravel – her company in liquidation, homeless, penniless and friendless, and on max-strength anti-depressants – it seemed that everything was going wrong. But a chance week away in France led to the most unexpected of all turn-arounds: a whirlwind romance with gun-toting, stubborn Pascal. It wasn't until she moved in to his cottage in the beautiful Lot region in south-west France that she realised how shamefully ill-equipped she was for the country life. Like Cinderella in reverse, Samantha had to learn to cook, clean, chop wood and keep house, as well as discovering how to be a step-mum to Pascal’s know-it-all ten-year-old son; finding love and happiness along the way. Samantha writes for lots of newspapers and magazines including the Sun, the Express and Grazia and we've just heard that the Daily Mail are going to run a three part serialisation of the book between 16-27 March. Don’t let Amazon scoop up all the sales for this extremely commercial paperback – millions of people will be wanting it, so order plenty here!

OK, I’m in a mood to book a holiday – where should I go? Where’s the hot and happening place of the moment? Well a very strong contender must be Istanbul. It’s  is currently one of the most popular (and cheapest) city-break and holiday destinations for UK and European visitors – and how fortunate; we have City-Pick Istanbul, coming in April from Oxygen Books. The Bookseller has just made this title an Editor’s Pick for April, and it is also a Selected Title in the Spring Buyers Guide. The City Pick series was recently described by the Telegraph as “an impressive little series” and Waterstones Books Quarterly said “this unique series is essential – slip it into your bag alongside a Rough Guide.” City Pick Istanbul brings you all the sights, sounds and flavours of city life with perfect gems of city writing taking the reader to the heart of the city and joining our already published titles on  Paris, London, Berlin, Dublin,  Amsterdam, New York and Venice and St Petersburg.  It has an intro by bestselling Istanbul crime writer Barbara Nadel and sixty other dazzling writers (some translated for the first time) including Ohran Pamuk, Paul Theroux, Paul Bowles, Elif Shafak, Yashar Kemal and David Byrne. Turkey is going to be Market Focus at the London Book Fair in April and there will be a lot of PR and marketing around this. This book is filled with really buzzy, unusual writing – make sure you have it on your shelves.

And who can forget some of the great scenes set in Istanbul in the recent James Bond film Skyfall – out soon in DVD – something else that will bring this vibrant city right back into the limelight! Here’s a little film of Sam Mendes talking about how he shot the opening sequence of Skyfall in Istanbul.

This blog is read weekly by over 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!