Friday 30 August 2013

Compass Points 52

Your weekly round up of publishing news, publicity information and trivia!
STOP PRESS! We’ve just heard that the brand new BBC series dramatisation of The Wipers Times by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman will be broadcasting on 11 September – that’s in 11 days time! The Wipers Times stars include Ben Chaplin, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Emilia Fox and Michael Palin and “just like the original Wipers Times, this new history drama will be filled with jokes, spoofs and amazing examples of courage behind the laughs.” says Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC2. The Wiper’s Times: The Complete Series of the Famous Wartime Trench Newspaper with a foreword by Ian Hislop is a large (400 page) paperback reproduction of the trench newspaper which provided a satirical and subversive look at the First World War. Its publication date is 10 September and it’s a £16.99 paperback published by Little Books. (978 1 906251 17 8) This BBC series is going to get loads of coverage, and if this book is out and on display in your shops, then it will sell – do not let Amazon get all the sales the day after its broadcast when everyone who has enjoyed the BBC2 drama goes out to look for the real thing! This book is a complete facsimile of the entire series of this famous wartime trench newspaper, which was hugely influential in the development of satirical magazines produced ever since. It started in February 1916; when Captain F. J. Roberts of the 12th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters produced the first edition. Often produced in hazardous conditions, at one point only 700 yards from the front line, it acted as the voice of the average British soldier, relaying his experiences, grief and anger during the entire conflict. At times irreverent, at times hysterical, its humour and satire provide an excellent insight into life in the trenches in the First World War. Taking its name from the army slang for Ypres, where it was first produced, The Wipers Times was similar to Punch, but contained a more specific type of comedy relating exclusively to the soldiers on the Western Front. The satire and humour of the paper helped reinvent the situation in the trenches – diffusing the conditions of war by ridiculing and exaggerating them. The paper’s style was influenced by the difficulties of production. Articles had to be written in the limited free time the soldiers had; in dugouts, reserve lines or on rest. Apart from poetry and humorous articles, The Wipers Times also featured several comical advertisements and music hall parodies including a mock theatre or cinema programme from the Ypres Cloth Hall, long since destroyed by shellfire. The paper ran until December 1918.

Next up this afternoon: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan; published by Westbourne Press. This book is published in the UK in September, and is already attracting a great deal of attention. It is currently a massive US bestseller selling over 100,000 copies in its first month of publication, and it is on the top five on the New York Times bestseller list at present.  Sifting through centuries of myth-making, Reza Aslan has shed new light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic figures by examining Jesus within the context of the times in which he lived: the age of zealotry, an era awash in apocalyptic fervour, when scores of Jewish prophets and would-be messiahs wandered the Holy Land bearing messages from God. They also espoused a fervent nationalism that made resistance to Roman occupation a sacred duty. Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against historical sources, Aslan describes a complex figure: a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity secret; and whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his lifetime. Aslan explores why the early Church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary, and grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself. Zealot provides a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told and the result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel. You can read a big feature all about it in the Sunday Telegraph here. This book would be enjoyed by both believers and sceptics – it is going to be very much talked about, and reviewed – right though to Christmas when it would make an ideal gift. It’s a handsome £17.99 hardback – a real “bookshop” book – so let’s make it a bestseller over here too!

Now who said “As far as I’m concerned I’m just a normal bloke who happens to be very fast in a wheelchair and who will do anything, absolutely anything to pull on that Great Britain vest and represent his country.” It was of course David Weir, and Weirwolf: My Story is set to be one of the sports autobiographies of the autumn. Published in October by Biteback, it is the extraordinary story of the British Paralympics wheelchair athlete who won a total of six gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games and was six times winner of the London Marathon.
David Weir was born without the use of his legs, and not only learned from an early age to cope with his disability, but defied his limitations to become a national sporting hero. Here he sheds light on his experiences and how attitudes towards disability in Britain have changed. This is an inspiring story of triumph over adversity by the man whom the Daily Mail called “One of Britain’s greatest ever athletes” and Usain Bolt descrobed as“Simply inspiring.” At the London 2012 Summer Paralympics, Weir won four gold medals for Great Britain, and currently holds the national record for track distances up to 5,000 m and road distances of 10 km, a half-marathon and full marathon. In 2009 Weir was awarded an MBE for his outstanding contribution to British sport, and he was later awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours 2013. Publication will be supported by a major three-part serialisation in the Mail on Sunday; interviews in The Sun, The Times, and FHM; appearances on BBC Breakfast, This Morning, The Paul O’Grady Show, Sky Sports News, Radio 5Live, TalkSport and BBC GNS Radio. This is an illustrated £18.99 hardback published in October, and it’s going to be HUGE!

And if you’d like to relive that magic moment when David Weir won the 15,000 metres final in the 2012 Paralympics, you can watch it below!

Staying with the sporting theme, we’ve just heard that Bradman’s War by Malcolm Knox has been nominated for The Cricket Society and MCC Book of the Year Award 2014 and accepted for the long list.  The overall winner will not be announced in the Long Room at Lord's until 14 April 2014, but this is a very prestigious long list to be on. Of course with the thrilling Ashes action we have seen this summer, the recent publication of this hardback from Robson Press couldn’t be timelier – and it should sell right up until Christmas, when it will be ideal present choice for all cricket fans! The book tells the extraordinary story of the 1948 ‘Invincibles’ - the only Australians to complete a tour of England undefeated. When the Australian and English Test cricketers who fought and survived together in World War II came home they planned to resume the Ashes in a new spirit of friendship. However, Australia’s legendary captain had something else in mind. Hailed as one of the greatest cricket teams of all time, their crushing victories under Donald Bradman’s captaincy wrote them into the record books. But often forgotten are the mixed feelings about the manner in which these feats were achieved. In his absorbing account of the legendary tour, Malcolm Knox exposes the rift between players who had experienced the horrors of active duty, epitomised by the fiery but sporting RAAF pilot Keith Miller, and those who had not, such as the invalided Bradman. Knox reveals the discomfort among the fans, commentators and players – from both teams – at Bradman’s single-minded tactics, on and off the field. Bradman’s ruthlessness, even against the war-ravaged veterans of the county clubs, scotched hopes that after the terrible realities of the war, the game might resume in a more friendly spirit than the angry competitiveness of Bodyline. Bradman’s War considers what value we place on entertainment and good-natured rivalry in competitive sport.

And if you’d like to see a bit of the great Don Bradman in action, then you could watch this 15 min film on YouTube.

 Now talking of superheroes leads me to the world of comics and graphic novels – something our friends across the pond do tend to lead the way in I think. If superheroes and super graphics are something that your shop tends to sell lots of, then why not have a browse through the autumn Ingram Graphic Novels and Comics range catalogue here. Remember, you need an account with Ingram to be able to order these US titles, but it is easy to open one, just click here – it’s very straightforward. Or you can go to and click on the button that says GET STARTED, or you can talk to your Compass Account Manager. Ingram will run some credit checks and within 3-4 days your account should be up and running – and you can get your hands on all of those thrilling comic and graphic novels!

There is lots and lots of publicity for our current titles at the moment! Firstly, the Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970’s by Tom Doyle (published by Birlinn) is getting lots of acclaim – there’s a three page spread and a four star review in Mojo Magazine, also a 4 star review in the current Q Magazine and will be a big feature in the Sunday Times on the 1 September – that’s this Sunday! To cap it all, Paul McCartney has also done a Bowie, and released a single yesterday, with no forward publicity! Have a listen to it and see what you think below on YouTube – personally I don’t rate it very highly – but there are plenty that do, and it is all great publicity for the book!

Saving Garry McKinnon: A Mother’s Story by Janis Sharp (Biteback) is also getting a lot of coverage. The Daily Mail serial of this extraordinary true story of a mother’s fight to overcome the biggest powers in the world and the most high-profile extradition case in British history will run sometime in the next fortnight. Janis Sharp will appear on BBC Breakfast on Thursday 12th September and will also do lots of BBC regional radio interviews that same day – so listen out for her; she’s very likely to be on your local radio station. There will be a big interview with her in the Times and also in Good Housekeeping magazine, and at the end of the month there will be another interview on BBC Radio 5 Live.

And lastly, Old Git Wit: Quips and Quotes for the Young at Heart by Richard Benson is going to be featured in the Daily Express on Monday. I think that possibly tells us all we need to know about the readership of the Daily Express; but may I remind you that the previous edition, of this title has sold 130,000 copies and this is an essential book for any speech writer or joke lover in need of a quip. It’s published by Summersdale in September and you can order Old Git Wit here!

Talking of Old Gits, why not have a little watch of Harry Enfield and chums just to get your weekend of to a jolly start!

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

This blog is read weekly by over 600 booksellers, 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.

Friday 23 August 2013

Compass Points 51

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

Compass Points is now back from holiday – and hopes that anyone else who has managed to have a bit of a break this summer has thoroughly enjoyed themselves! Firstly, let’s have a bit of a round up of all the publicity that’s been happening the last few weeks. In fact, I’ll tell you what, let’s do it the other way round. You tell me what the big news stories are at the moment – and I’ll tell you how you can sell more books off the back of them.

Number one: the royal baby. Ahhhhh bless. I cannot tell you how many articles I have read where Prince William’s fatherly techniques have been linked to his military career – all attributed of course to his recent reading of Commando Dad by Neil Sinclair (978-1849532617) published by Summersdale
The latest piece of publicity on this was a double page spread this week in the Sun newspaper – but there have been loads of articles about it over the summer – Commando Dad is now the number one Amazon parenting bestseller – do not let them get all the sales – display this title, and it will sell!

And if you like royal baby stuff then have a look at this entertaining ten minute film on YouTube showing how the US broke the news of little George’s arrival!

And while we’re on the subject of royalty – what about all the publicity that William and Kate’s black cocker spaniel Lupo is getting! Featuring in latest photos of the new heir to the throne – he’s clearly almost as important to Prince William as his new baby son!  But as we can see in Reigning Cats and Dogs: Royalty and Their Animals by Brian Hoey; this affection for the royal pets is clearly nothing new. 
The Royals say they can do without many things, but not their animals. For countless monarchs and their consorts, cats, dogs, horses, even the occasional parrot, have acted as constant, faithful companions, unquestioning allies and surrogate children for generations. The only time The Queen and Princess Anne have been known to shed tears in public was when one of their favourite horses died. And Her Majesty’s corgis, the most disliked creatures at Court, even have their own ‘Royal’ cemeteries in all the Royal residences and each has its own ‘mini palace’ immediately outside their mistress’s sitting room in Buckingham Palace. Members of the Royal Family, from The Queen to her youngest grandchild, are taught to ride almost as soon as they can walk and, even at the age of eighty-six, Her Majesty still rides every weekend at Windsor. This engrossing book traces the fascination of the Royals with their animals with intimate details of each of the present and early members of the family’s favourite pets, with anecdotes relating to each of them and their idiosyncrasies. Reigning Cats and Dogs makes essential reading and will be the ideal Christmas gift book for both Royal watchers and pet lovers alike. Brian Hoey has been a writer and broadcaster for over forty years, covering countless Royal events, including the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 and Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. He has written over twenty-five books, including Not in Front of the Corgis. All the recent photos of William and Kate with Lupo are an absolute gift for the publicity for this title – it’s a fully illustrated hardback published in September by The Robson Press and you can find out more and order it here.

Number two big summer news story?  – those drug smuggling girls I think.  And here the book that’s getting all the additional publicity is Passport to Hell: How I Survived Sadistic Prison Guards and Hardened Criminals in Spain’s Toughest Prisons by Terry Daniels. Published by Summersdale (978-1849533447) this book had a big two page interview last week with Terry about her experience of being accused of drug smuggling in The Express which you can read here. A good plug for Passport to Hell accompanies this piece – and there will be more from Terry Daniels to come – this story is not going anywhere – bit like those girls really.

Something else much in the news at present is (I’m afraid) the start of the new footie season. If this is something that gets your motor running, then you can watch a full 45 minute preview of the new 2013/2014 season from Sky Sports on YouTube here. Now, I wonder who are the only team to have won the Premier League, the FA Cup and Champions League in a single season? Well, of course that would be Manchester United – and this year the fans can celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of their team’s triumph. The Promised Land: Man United’s Historic Treble by Daniel Harris is the first book that details Manchester United’s that winning season in 1998-99. Whether that makes it the finest of all time is open to debate, but what is not is the status of the season: it is, simply and incontrovertibly, the finest ever enjoyed by an English team. And yet it’s not the success that’s truly extraordinary, but the glory. The season featured astounding football, exceptional competition, staggering determination, ceaseless dramatic tension and astonishing plot twists, performed by a cast of fascinating, iconic characters. It encompassed the entire gamut of joy and narrative that makes football, sport and life so compelling. The Promised Land relives those breathless moments on a month-by-month basis, delving into the training ground, the dressing room, into the minds of the players, management and coaches, and out onto the pitch with what was a special team, and the last of its type. Daniel Harris is an author, journalist and broadcaster. He was shortlisted for best new writer at the British Sports Book Awards.
Find out more and order The Promised Land which is published in September by Arena Sport here

The weekend The Oldie magazine celebrated its 300th issue (OK I admit, that isn’t a very big summer news story – but bear with me) There was a big piece on its founder and editor Richard Ingrams  in this week’s Sunday Telegraph which you can read here. The Oldie magazine has a circulation of 45,000 and is rising – so whether or not this is something you personally enjoy or not – there are thousands out there who do! And all of them will be interested in buying The Oldie Book of Cartoons and also Pick of the Oldie: The 2014 Edition. The Oldie Book of Cartoons chosen by Richard Ingrams is published to celebrate the magazine’s 21st year, and follows the huge sell-out success of the previous Oldie Book of Cartoons. This irreverent magazine, has taken the place of Punch as the nation’s magazine for cartoons and features work from the UK’s best cartoonists - they’re all here: Larry, Bill Tidy, Tony Husband, Robert Thompson, Nick Downes and Bernie
This is the perfect Christmas present for parents and grandparents as is Pick of The Oldie: The 2014 Edition which will feature articles and cartoons from the last 21 years – none of which have been published in book format since 1999. This is the best of The Oldie’s writers, columnists, cartoonists and artists from the archive in one book and is a bargain at £9.99 for a hundred full-colour pages. Writers include Auberon Waugh, Miles Kington, Beryl Bainbridge, James Le Fanu, John Mortimer, Raymond Briggs and Sue Townsend. The Best of The Oldie was a huge sell-out success, and the five previously published annuals are a tried and tested Christmas present for parents and grandparents. “The mix of high humour and good writing is the recipe for a successful magazine and The Oldie has got it right. It’s like sitting around a warm fire with friends.” said Joan Bakewell in the Daily Telegraph. Both are published in September by Oldie Publications.

Another summer news story – young people. Are they getting brainier? Or are they getting stupider? Are the exam results good/bad/boring – do young people lack self confidence? Or do they possibly have too much? And what’s with the ludicrous way they talk? Totes ridic! Presh! Amazeballs! Adorbs! Obvs! Whether ‘words’ like these make you roll your eyes in recognition or wonder what the hell everyone is talking about (or both) The Totes Ridictionary by Balthazar Cohen will help you survive life in a world where text-message abbreviations and Twitter slang are dancing on the grave of the Oxford English Dictionary. Everywhere you look – in emails, tweets, Facebook posts, text messages, blogs and even real-life conversations – Totes Ridicheads are turning words into twee ‘abbrevs’, communicating in internet acronyms, and embracing hashtags as a way of life. And, like it or not, sooner or later you’ll need to become fluent in totes ridicularity. Packed with ‘hilar’ illustrations and a satirical glossary that’ll help you sort the ‘jel’ from the ‘awks’, correctly identify what’s ‘perf’ and what’s ‘tradge’, and know how to react if someone describes you as ‘gorge’ or ‘cray-cray’, The Totes Ridictionary takes a totally ridiculous look at what happens when language and technology collide. (If you want a reminder of how embarrassing it can be to get the latest slang wrong – then have a watch of Catherine Tate here!) This is a great gift for anyone who spends a lot of time on sites like Twitter and Facebook – and their parents! A wry dissection of online popular culture, The Totes Ridictionary will appeal to anyone with experience of social networking and fans of risqué humour. It’s published in paperback by Plexus and it’s out now! Order the Totes Ridictionary here

Incidentally - did you see this month that the Oxford English Dictionary now accepts that “literally” no longer means literally – but can also mean not literally – read the full story here on the BBC

Another big summer newspaper filler is lots of previews and articles about the coming season’s TV – which right now means Downton and the Great British Bake Off, but soon no doubt will mean Strictly and Sherlock. But have you ever wondered where all of these series were filmed? Well now you and the other fans can find out! The British Television Location Guide by Steve Clark and Shoba Vazirani reveals the actual settings of Britain’s favourite television shows and tells readers how they can visit them. It is meticulously researched, right up to date and includes details of the real-life filming locations for all the top series including: Downton Abbey, Broadchurch, Call The Midwife, Midsomer Murders, Doc Martin, Endeavour, Doctor Who, Miss Marple, The Great British Bake-off, Foyle’s War, Game of Thrones and dozens more. This is the only book of its kind available and will appeal to both TV viewers watching at home and tourists who want to actually go out and visit the locations. This book is the sort of thing that newspapers love – and in fact we’ve just heard today that a big extract from it is going to run in The Sun sometime next week! It’s £9.99, it’s full of full colour photos, it’s out now and it’s published by Splendid Books. You can find out more and order it here.

And finally this week – Boris Johnson has revealed today that he’d like to write novels! “I may take up my pen,” he said. “I would love to write a genuinely brilliant rip-roaring airport book, embossed with sinister looking orchids on the cover… what an incredible thing to produce a thriller that everybody gave knockout reviews … It would be fair to say there is virtually no genre that I have not tried. Romantic fiction, that could be next.'' Agghhh! Does the world really need another bombastic Tory writing books we ask ourselves? Read the full article in today's Telegraph here.

This blog is read weekly by over 600 booksellers, 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.

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