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!

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1 comment:

  1. Yeh, not sure about that McCartny song either - hope the rest of the album might be better?