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.

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