Friday 27 September 2013

Compass Points 56

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

Cher. Owner of an extraordinary voice and some seriously dodgy frocks.  Whether you are a fan or not, there’s no denying that she’s a true American icon. Now published in October by Plexus comes a compelling new biography based on exclusive interviews. Cher: Strong Enough by Josiah Howard is a book which will appeal to a huge percentage of the book-buying market – including women, baby boomers, her devoted gay fan base, music lovers and pop-culture devotees. Five decades and 100 million album sales after first appearing on the music scene as one half of pop duo Sonny and Cher, the Grammy, Emmy, and Oscar-winning phenomenon that is Cher is an indisputable living legend. But part of the story of how she achieved her unique status has been left untold, until now. Here, for the first time, is the behind-the-scenes history of Cher, the 1975 variety show that transformed her from star to superstar. At the same time she was trading quips on TV with Jerry Lewis and Steve Martin, and performing with the likes of Michael Jackson and Elton John; her personal life was front—and back—page news. In the shadow of her success, Cher defied network censors, battled depression, appeared before a Grand Jury to testify in a murder trial, ended her relationship with music mogul David Geffen, married, separated from and reconciled with rock icon Gregg Allman, dealt with multi-million-dollar lawsuit by Sonny Bono and her father; and engaged in a protracted custody battle for her daughter Chastity. Cher: Strong Enough documents the ins and outs and ups and downs of a variety show that broke boundaries, dared to be different, and showcased a one-name American icon. This book is published to coincide with Cher’s new album Closer to the Truth which is released 14 October 2013. This large format paperback, (£14.99) with lots of colour photos is genuinely interesting stuff – and its author Josiah Howard is much respected by Cher herself – she continues to use Howard’s summation of her career and accomplishments on her personal Facebook page.

Hard to choose our favourite Cher moment don’t you think – but I’ve always loved this moment from Mermaids myself! 

You may remember me previously mentioning the harrowing wartime novel Monsieur Le Commandant by Romain Slocombe published by Gallic Press this month. It is now getting some superb review coverage. This novel was described as “one of the most significant novels of this year” when it was published in France and this week the Spectator said “the story of France’s anti-Semitism is one much told by historians: it has seldom been written about so powerfully by a novelist.” You can read the whole Spectator review here. The Independent called it a “harrowing epistolary novel, elegantly translated by Jesse Browner” and The Lady said it was “A brilliantly told, unflinching account”. There is a very interesting article about this book on the Gallic website – including a filmed interview with Roman Slocombe – and you can read it here.

As I write today’s edition of Compass Points, the headline story on the BBC radio news informs me that “a landmark report says scientists are 95% certain that humans are the "dominant cause" of global warming since the 1950s.” The report by the UN's climate panel details the physical evidence behind climate change and says that “On the ground, in the air, in the oceans, global warming is "unequivocal”. However, not everyone agrees – and James Delingpole certainly feels that the much of what we are told is in fact Eco Fascism: The Left’s Plan to Frighten Your Kids, Drive Up Energy Costs, and Hike Your Taxes! The Little Book of Green Eco Fascism is a pocket guide to everything that is wrong, funny or downright insane about the green movement. James would like to boast that it is printed on non-recycled paper made from the pulp of a thousand rare hardwood trees, using nothing but the purest baby squid ink – and is designed as the perfect revenge gift for all your sanctimonious tofu-eating, Prius-driving eco friends. James Delingpole is the bestselling author of Watermelons: How Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing your Children’s Future which sold extremely well in paperback, so he’s obviously not the only person who has their doubts about the whole eco movement. He is an arch controversialist, terrific self-publicist and writes regularly for the Telegraph – all good for book sales!  He describes himself as a libertarian conservative who is right about everything. This debate is probably going to carry on for at least the length our lifetimes – so the market for Delingpole’s books is not about to vanish any time soon – unlike the polar ice caps, oops, sorry James. It’s coming in paperback from Biteback in October and you can order the Little Green Book of Eco Fascism here

How often have you tried to type a text and found that flipping predictive text has decided to make you say something you really really didn’t want to? Well, now imagine if the whole of history was plagued by such autocorrect fails! Glitzch! How Predictive Text Plays Havoc with British History by Hugh Kellett is Britain rewritten for the digital age in predictive text. Glitzch! shows us how real auto corrections can deconstruct and distort the world around us to give a whole new interpretation of our history and culture. So let’s honour our majestic Queer Vicar, the Right Honourable Primary Monster, the National Death Device, and those Loyal Bonkers of Scotland; this is an extensive love letter (or rather text message) to this land we call home. It’s very funny – and I hardly need say that it’s the perfect gift book for Christmas. It’s a £8.99 paperback from Bene Factum published in October and you can order Glitzch here

And talking of rewriting history for the modern era, it must surely be time for another of those fabulous Epic Rap Battles! How about Adolph Hitler vs Darth Vader!

Now, if there’s one thing that virtually guarantees sales, it’s hearing a famous person telling the world why they love a book on BBC Radio 4’s A Good Read. This fabulous radio programme, presented by Harriett Gilbert is on Tuesdays at 4.30 pm – then repeated on Fridays at 11pm – but of course many more listen to it on the iplayer and as a podcast. A rave review on this show really does lead to extra sales – especially when it’s for a title previously unfamiliar to many listeners – so I’m really pleased to tell you The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas is going to be featured on the show on 22 October. You can go to the BBCs A Good Read page here to find out a bit more if you are not already familiar with the series; but I really would urge you to get some stock in of The Ice Palace now, as there are going to be lots of people who will want to read it after the episode is broadcast! The Ice Palace is commonly seen as the legendary Norwegian writer’s masterpiece and Tarjei Vesaas is regarded as one of the finest writers ever to have come out of Scandinavia – he is notable for having been nominated for the Nobel Prize three times and has been considered one of the greatest prose stylists never to have won. The story concerns Siss and Unn who are new friends – so new that they have spent only one whole evening in each other’s company. But so profound is that evening that when Unn inexplicably disappears Siss’s world is shattered. Siss’s struggle with her fidelity to the memory of her friend and Unn’s fatal exploration of the strange, terrifyingly beautiful frozen waterfall that is the Ice Palace are described in prose of a lyrical economy that ranks among the most memorable achievements of modern literature. “How simple this novel is. How  subtle. How strong. How unlike any other. It is unique. It is unforgettable. It is extraordinary” said Doris Lessing, while the Times said “It is hard to do justice to The Ice Palace . . . the narrative is urgent, the descriptions relentlessly beautiful, the meaning as powerful as the ice piling up on the lake.” It is published in paperback by Peter Owen and you can order it here.

Don’t forget to keep Rula from Robson Press near the front of the store – as Britain’s best-known redhead is embarking on a whirlwind tour of publicity over the coming week! She’s going to be on BBC Breakfast on Saturday, Steve Wright in the Afternoon on Radio 2, The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, Daily Telegraph My Perfect Weekend, Scotland on Sunday, the Daily Mail Radio 4’s Midweek and This Morning! Phew! You can order Rula: My autobiography here

Asian Britain: A Photographic History by Susheila Nasta with Florian Stadtler with a preface by Razia Iqbal; is a beautiful and important hardback, coming from Westbourne Press in October. It is published in partnership with the British Library and Getty Images and is a unique and arresting photographic history of South Asians in Britain (namely in Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Glasgow and London’s East End), from 1858 to the present day. It includes rich and rarely seen images from archives in Britain, India and the US. South Asians have lived in Britain for centuries, from the first Silk Routes to the adoption of Chicken Tikka Masala as a national dish; and the ongoing mutual exchange of cultures continues to flourish today. Asian Britain vividly charts Britain’s process of coming to terms with the historic realities of its culturally diverse past and present. This extraordinary photographic history draws upon culture, film, music, the military, business, the suffragist movement and the different phases of historic settlement of Asian migrants from the subcontinent, the Caribbean and East Africa. Personalities from the arts, business, politics and sport appear alongside the pioneers – the first female law student at Oxford, the first Indian RAF pilots, the first Asian MP – and of equal significance are the experiences and history of the ordinary immigrants. This is a companion volume to Paul Gilroy’s Black Britain: A Photographic History which sold extremely well.

Compass Points is always very pleased indeed when publishers go that extra mile to get a bit of publicity for a new book – but personally I feel that perhaps Iain Dale, the publisher of Biteback may have gone just a little bit too far this week. We all know that Power Trip by Damian McBride is selling like hot cakes – partly thanks to the inspired decision to publicise it at the Labour Party conference in Brighton – but I’m not sure it was entirely necessary for Iain to go down to Brighton and start engaging in fisticuffs on the sea front with a protester and his over enthusiastic dog. Still, it did enable the BBC to include a little joke linking the name of the publisher to the barking dog – well I thought it was funny anyway! You can watch the whole clip here. I don’t think Compass Points can exactly recommend this approach to marketing - as Iain says “In some ways I have committed the cardinal sin of becoming the story myself, rather than my author … it was full of absurd bravado and in the heat of the moment I behaved in a frankly idiotic way” but there’s no doubt it livened up our week – thanks Iain and Biteback!

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

This blog is read 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 20 September 2013

Compass Points 55

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

Wow – I woke up this morning to find Power Trip by Damian McBride published by Biteback all over the radio, TV and newspapers like a rash! The serialisation of this book starts in the Daily Mail TODAY and the media are going totally bonkers for it! The headlines all talk of “poison at the heart of Labour… this book reveals how Brown's spin doctor ran smear campaigns from 10 Downing Street, destroyed two ministers' careers and 'hacked' into secret Cabinet files… a very brazen assassin… few knew Brown had an equally amoral spin doctor… his sensational memoirs reveal the dark heart of politics… drug use; spousal abuse; secret alcoholism; extra-marital affairs… this book will hugely embarrass Ed Miliband and Ed Balls…“  and there’s plenty more to come! You can read the whole thing here on the Daily Mail Online . This is absolutely sensational stuff – and perfectly timed of course for the start of the Labour Party Conference. I don’t think there is going to be anyone in Britain who is unaware of this book today – and gazillions will want to read more – so make sure you have it on display!

Now, let’s move on from one story of deceit and secrecy to another – in the US this time. The Godfather’s Daughter by Rita Gigante and Natasha Stoynoff is a remarkable story of deception, violence and ultimately acceptance and growth set among the New York mafia. On the surface, Rita Gigante's family looked like all the other Italian Catholics in her suburban New Jersey neighbourhood. But behind closed doors, they had a secret - her father was the notorious crime boss Vincent 'the Chin' Gigante, head of all five New York crime families. In The Godfather's Daughter, Rita Gigante takes us on her emotional and spiritual journey growing up on the tumultuous fringes of the underworld. Her struggles with deception and honesty, violence and love, and sickness and healing finally lead Rita up to a world of light – and a life where she can finally accept and bravely live her own truth. This book and its author had a major feature headlined My Father:  New York’s Most Feared Mafia Boss with lots of photos in last weeks Stella Magazine (Sunday Telegraph) on 15th September – this has around half a million readers – so should have created plenty of interest for this title, from Hay House.
Read the article from the Sunday Telegraph here This book has just been published (trade paperback £10.00) by Summersdale and you can order The Godfather's Daughter here

OK, OK   you’re quite right, we really can’t mention  The Godfather without having a little watch of the original – so here’s one of my favourite (although rather violent) moments below.

But maybe you prefer your movie stars to be rather more subtle – and possibly British? Well in that case, this next title will be right up your street! Gielgoodies! The Wit and Wisdom of John Gielgud by Jonathan Croall is published in paperback this month by Oberon Books. This book had rave reviews when it came out in hardback, and the paperback is the ideal gift – perfect for anyone who likes a laugh. This delicious feast of “Gielgoodies”, compiled by Gielgud’s biographer reveals a less wellknown side to this celebrated actor: his lightning wit, his love of scandal and gossip, his wicked delight in putting down his fellowartists and his relish of bawdy humour. Full of startling new material, drawn from many unpublished letters and Jonathan Croall’s extensive interviews, the book also celebrates the man who dropped a thousand bricks. John Gielgud’s excruciating gaffes were legendary, and here are both the famous and the unknown, collected in all their glory. Whether committed backstage, in the wings or in rehearsals, on film sets or in television studios, they bring this merry and muchloved man vividly to life. “Gielgud was indiscreet even by the exacting standards of the acting profession… I could hear Sir John’s voice as I read” said the Sunday Times, while Richard Briers called it “a marvellous book, full of wonderful things. So funny – and so outrageous.”  It was shortlisted by the Sunday Times as one of its Best Humour Books of 2012, and features a foreword by Simon Callow. As Dame Eileen Atkins said, it is “such fun to dip into…. it will make wonderful theatrical stocking filler for Christmas.”

And here’s a rather irreverent reminder from Spitting Image of exactly why John Gielgud was such a national treasure!

From one of Britain’s best – to some of Britain’s worst. Britain’s Worst Walks: Travels Around the UK’s Gloriously Grim Backwaters by Ben Hinds will appeal to fans of Molvania and the Crap Towns series and is a tongue-in-cheek celebration of Britain, appealing to cynics and patriots alike. From Southend to Skegness via slums, sewage works and sandless beaches, this unique walking guide takes a look at some of the most overlooked routes in the UK. They may not be popular, they may not be pretty, but they’re all part of the great British landscape – whether we like it or not. These sorts of wry humorous “this made Britain what it is today” titles are definitely having a bit of a moment at present – knocking things down that we’re actually very proud of is a uniquely British characteristic, and this book is clearly written by someone who honestly loves all of Britain, even the scruy bits.  It features maps and full-colour photographs of the walking routes.

Don’t forget that the Radio Times Guide to Films 2014 is out now. This guide is very definitely the leading movie money maker for the book trade, selling over 11,000 copies last year. There will be a significant PR campaign for this giant £25 paperback, fronted by Radio Times film editor Andrew Collins and Barry Norman featuring TV, radio, national and regional press with weekly promotional features and coverage in Radio Times (readership of 2.3 million) right up to Christmas. The Radio Times Guide to Films features in-depth listings for over 23,000 film reviews and has 500 new entries from the latest cinema releases so it’s bang up to date. You get a review of each movie entry from the in-house team of film experts, plus the Radio Times’ five star rating and cast, character, writer and director credits, plus family viewing advice and BBFC classification, as well as DVD and Blu-ray availability for all titles. There’s an awards section covering Oscar and Bafta nominees and winners in key categories. Plus, winners for the Golden Globe awards, Cannes and Berlin film festivals. Clint Eastwood may be on the cover of the Radio Times Guide to Films 2014, but let’s think; who would get the Compass Points Oscar for best male film actor of all time? Well I've always been very partial to James Stewart myself – no no Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, (back to the Godfather again) or even Charlie Chaplin I hear you cry. But hang on a minute – isn't there someone we’re all forgetting? 

Hope you enjoyed some of the most memorable (short) lines spoken by one of Hollywood’s finest!

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 13 September 2013

Compass Points 54

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

We start with a bit of a publicity round up – and this week it seems to be all about four titles from Biteback. Three of them are to be serialized in the Daily Mail and as this is a newspaper with a massive circulation this is absolutely brilliant publicity for the books! Pets by Royal Appointment (previously called Reigning Cats and Dogs – change of title!)  was serialized in the Mail on 12th September; and also yesterday they serialized Saving Gary McKinnon: A Mother’s Story by Janis Sharp. Janis was on BBC Breakfast talking about the book – and you can watch that interview here. 
Power Trip by Damian McBride will be serialized in a national newspaper from the 21st to 26th September which will coincide with the Labour Party Conference. This is the biggest serial Biteback have ever had. Newsnight are making a short film about the book to be shown on the night of Monday 23rd September and there is loads of press lined up for Damian beginning 24th September. This is a huge book!

And lastly from Biteback, Shirley Williams: The Biography by Mark Peel will be serialised in the Daily Mail on 17th September. This is a major £20 hardback biography of one of Britain’s most well-known and best-loved politicians, admired for her warmth, sincerity, compassion and integrity. It is sure to be a big seller this autumn, as she has many many fans, and this is the perfect Christmas present for them! The book exposes the roots of an extraordinary vulnerability at the heart of this remarkable politician. It was one of the paradoxes of a person who revered her parents but felt uncomfortable living in their shadow; a firm supporter of the sanctity of marriage who craved unfettered independence from her partner; a middle class liberal who appealed to the tabloids; a rebel on the surface, a conformist at heart; an egalitarian who preferred the statelier ambience of the House of Lords to the tribal partisanship of the Commons; a brilliant communicator in public, a less assured one in private; above all, a Labour loyalist who jumped ship. With full access to Baroness Williams’ papers, and those of her parents, this biography reveals new information about the pressure of living up to her parents’ high expectations of her; her equivocation between political ambition and family responsibilities, and her willingness to put individual principle before collective responsibility. This is a compelling portrait of one of the most complex and popular of modern politicians.

On Monday 23rd September at 10pm Channel 4 will broadcast a documentary film Sex: My British Job – a chilling exposé of the British sex trade. Investigative journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai specialises in undercover work on the lives of immigrant workers and in Sex: My British Job she once more works with director Nick Broomfield, whom she first collaborated with in 2007 for Ghosts, about the fate of undocumented Chinese workers in the UK and the deaths of 23 Chinese cockle pickers who drowned in Morecambe Bay in February 2004.In this new film, Hsiao works undercover as a housekeeper in a brothel and unveils the terrible reality of the sex trade in Britain today. Hsiao embarks on a prolonged period of secret filming to expose not just why illegal workers turn to sex work, but how they are drawn into it by a complex combination of pressure from the brothel owners, the lure of high-earnings and the guilt they are made to feel about not providing for their families back home. Many also have to pay-off large debts; loans that enabled them to travel to the UK in the first place. In an incredibly personal account, Hsiao works in brothels across the capital. Taken on a as a housekeeper – there to answer the phone and manage the brothel – she is soon asked to do sex work. Despite protesting she is too old, too inexperienced and it’s not what she there to do, Hsiao experiences first-hand the trap that illegal immigrant workers face every day. Verbally abused and psychologically pressurised, this eye-opening exposé shows how easily Chinese and immigrant women can be drawn into sex work and highlights the shocking reality of what is happening behind closed doors up-and-down the country. This film is certain to attract a lot of media attention and Hsiao’s experiences while filming Sex: My British Job is also the subject of her book, Invisible: Britain's Migrant Sex Workers, published by the Westbourne Press which you can order here.

In a world dominated by shallow celebrity, many remarkable people often remain unknown and unrecognised. Author Donough O’Brien has hit on a splendid idea: listing and describing scores and scores of extraordinary people who played an important but hidden task in the story of our times, but whom we probably never heard of in the first place. Who? The Most Remarkable People You’ve Never Heard Of brings the unrecognised to recognition with over 200 names that should trip off the tongue, but don’t. Readers may wonder who was President Kennedy’s first dangerous lover? Who made rock music possible? Who was Simon Cowell’s mentor? Who stopped Catholic priests marrying? Who invented the ‘hole in the wall’ ATM? Who inspired the Red Cross? Who built the first bra? Which doctors finished off Elvis and Michael Jackson? Who first broke the sound barrier? Whose blood cells are ’immortal’? Well this book will tell them – and much more besides! With a foreword by Frederick Forsyth, this is a £12.99 paperback published by Bene Factum in October.  There is lots of good publicity lined up for it; Radio 5 Live is interviewing Donough O’Brien at the end of September; he’ll be a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends in October; there will be features in Country Life, The Lady and Saga Magazine plus lots of regional press and radio too – Donough is travelling all over the UK and is pretty sure to be coming soon to a radio station or newspaper near you! Who? is the book for the often unsung hero, the men and women neglected by history and rediscovered in this quirky collection. And, after all, who of us doesn’t love an underdog?

Compass Points loves a bit of poetry, and we’re very pleased to represent Carcanet Press, one of the outstanding independent literary publishers of our time. Now in its fifth decade, Carcanet publishes the most comprehensive and diverse list available of modern and classic poetry in English and in translation, as well as a range of inventive fiction, letters and literary criticism. The Bookseller featured a double page spread article on the state of the poetry market on 23rd August which included substantial quotes from its Carcanet MD Michael Schmidt and was great publicity for Carcanet:  “Manchester-based poetry publisher Carcanet Press has published more first collections over the last two years than we’ve ever done before.... it’s great that we now have a large range of new poets coming to the board.” Lots of  Carcanet titles and authors have been getting some press attention recently – you may well have noticed a lot of publicity for Sophie Hannah who was featured on the Today programme and BBC Breakfast TV discussing the announcement that she is the ‘new Agatha Christie’. She has been asked by the family to write the next Poirot novel – and while her name is in the public eye it’s a good opportunity to remind the public of what a popular and best-selling poet she is. The Poetry Review declared of her first book “Shall I put it in capitals? SOPHIE HANNAH IS A GENIUS.” You can find all of her titles on the Carcanet website. Sinead Morrissey’s Parallax (9781847772046) received a glowing review in the Guardian who said “Parallax is something of a treasure trove” and her poem Migraine was also poem of the week in The Scotsman magazine. Richard Price has been awarded the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Award for Small World (9781847771582). This is a major prize and, as winner of the Poetry category, he’s a contender for winning the overall prize of £30,000, which will be announced on Saturday 2nd October. Jorie Graham’s The Taken Down God (9781847771940) was reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement and Frederic Raphael’s latest memoir There and Then (9781847771407) was reviewed in the Spectator who said “This is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Diaries promise indiscretions and the joy of gossip”. Sujata Bhatt’s poem ‘Lodz’ was Carol Rumens’ Poem of the Week at the Guardian online and BBC3 broadcasted a Tsvetaeva's ‘Poem of the End’ as an interval talk for Prom 71 on Wednesday September 4th read by Imogen Stubbs. The poem is included in Elaine Feinstein’s translation of Tsvetaeva Bride of Ice (9781847770608). A review of Hitting the Streets by Raymond Queneau 9781847771575 was featured online at Stride magazine: “One I shall treasure and return to” and finally Benjamin Britten’s poetry was discussed in the Guardian recently which is a great chance to promote Benjamin Britten’s Poets (9781857542400) which is new from Carcanet in hardback in November.
Have a look at some more forthcoming poetry titles here and you can catch up on all the latest from Carcanet on their website

Sometime a really brilliant film can totally transform the sales of a book – and I’ve a feeling that might just be the case with Twelve Years a Slave, the harrowing true story of Solomon Northup who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, enduring unimaginable degradation and abuse until his rescue twelve years later. A powerful and riveting condemnation of American slavery this autobiography was written in 1853, and has now been made into a major Hollywood film directed by Steve McQueen. The film has just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival which tends to be a bellwether of Oscar glory – and believe you me; Oscars are definitely being predicted for this film. You can read a full review of the film in The Telegraph here – they describe it as the most shatteringly powerful treatment of slavery you’ll ever see depicted. And most encouragingly they actually credit the book Twelve Years a Slave from which this film is adapted – it’s an £8.99 B-format paperback published by Hesperus and is available now. This film is going to be absolutely colossal – it stars Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor and you can watch a trailer above on YouTube to see what all the fuss is about! It opens in the US in October – and comes to the UK in January. Twelve Years a Slave pulls no punches, honestly and brutally addressing an important but distressing period of nineteenth century history and is a unique first-hand account detailing the realities of slave life. Tricked by two men offering him a job as a musician in New York State in 1841, Solomon Northup was drugged and kidnapped. His life in jeopardy, he was forced to assume a new name and fake past. Taken to Louisiana on a disease-ridden plague ship, he was initially sold to a cotton planter. In the twelve years that follow he is sold to many different owners who treat him with varying levels of savagery; forced labour, scant food and numerous beatings are his regular fare.  Against all odds, Northup eventually succeeds in contacting a sympathetic party and manages to get word to his family. The ensuing rescue and legal cases are no less shocking and intriguing than the rest of the tale.

In the year 2000, Roz Savage seemed to have it all. But she felt there was a mismatch between the person she was pretending to be on the outside, and the person she wanted to be on the inside. Leaving behind her life as a London professional, she set out to row across the world's oceans. Her goal was to raise awareness of the heavy toll that human beings are taking on the Earth - and how it will rebound on us if we don't change course. Stop Drifting, Start Rowing: One Woman's Search for Happiness and Meaning Alone on the Pacific tells the story of Roz's record-setting solo row across the Pacific Ocean. In the course of her three-stage voyage, Roz braved 20-foot waves, was capsized 3 times in 24 hours, faced death by dehydration, encountered whales, dolphins, sharks and turtles, and witnessed the breathtaking beauty of nature. The ocean forced her to develop courage, tenacity, perseverance, and the strength to transcend self-imposed limits. Not only is her story an amazing adventure tale, but it is a timely message of hope and optimism for the future, emphasizing the power of individual action to make a difference. Roz Savage is a United Nations Climate Hero, and an Athlete Ambassador for She has been listed amongst the Top 20 Great British Adventurers by the Daily Telegraph and in 2010 she was named Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic. Roz Savage is writing a feature piece for You magazine in the Mail on Sunday (circ. 4 million). It will run on 13th October with a reader offer on the book. The author will also feature in a future issue of Woman’s Own magazine (circ. 222,571) and have a feature in Zest magazine (circ. 65,000). WI Life magazine will profile Roz (circ. 211,830) and she will be featured in a future issue of Cheshire Life magazine (circ. 15,024). is featuring an interview and video of Roz in October. The author is also being interviewed for Rowing & Regatta magazine (Circ. 30,000) in their September issue. Stop Drifting, Start Rowing is published by Hay House in October.

Now – how many of us can remember a really cracking book we enjoyed as a child – but which for some inexplicable reason now no longer seems to be in print? I know I can think of several – some of my favourites are by E Nesbit; author of The Railway Children and Five Children and It; who also wrote many other terrific kids reads. Well I’m pleased to say that a new imprint of Hesperus Press is to launch a children's imprint, Hesperus Minor, which will publish a select list of these forgotten children's classics – and one of their launch titles is in fact by E Nesbitt – hurrah! The plan is for "nostalgic books of which adults will have fond memories and want to share with their children and loved ones", and the three inaugural titles, each carrying a foreword by a contemporary author, offer a sense of what to expect: The Coral Island by R M Ballantyne, with a foreword by John Boyne; The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E Nesbit, with a foreword by Julia Donaldson; and The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald, with a foreword by Joseph Delaney
To launch this new imprint, the marketing folk at Hesperus Minor have devised a competition to find the next out of print children's classic for publication in 2014. So if you or your customers are itching to see something you love back in print again – now’s the moment to do something about it! Entrants are asked to write no more than 500 words explaining why they love their chosen book and why it deserves to be republished. The deadline for submission is 27 September and the winning entrant will be announced on 25 October, when the first titles are published, and will see their 500-word submission printed in the republished classic in February 2014.This competition, is  being supported by a nationwide marketing and publicity campaign with guest judges to choose the winner. The panel comprises Annie Dalton (author of the Angel Academy and Tilly Beany books); Amanda Craig (author and Times children's books critic); Jennifer Bell (Foyles children's books buyer); and Melissa Cox (Waterstones children's bookseller). 
You can find out more about it on the Hesperus Press blog page here. And in the meantime, make sure you have ordered the three first Hesperus Minor titles – they have beautiful covers, and are real gems. My 10 year old son has just devoured The Coral Island – a swashbuckling adventure story awash with pirates, castaways, sharks and cannibals and despite it being written well over 100 years ago, thoroughly enjoyed it ! The paperbacks are £7.99 and published in October.

If however you prefer your children’s stories to be a little bit more up to date, then you’ll probably enjoy this clever parody of some Disney Classics  on YouTube below!

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 6 September 2013

Compass Points 53

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

Good afternoon!  Just to get you in the mood for our first book today, have a look at this epic battle scene from The Last of the Mohicans above Gripping and bloodthirsty stuff – very like our first book Red Cloud: The Untold Story of an American Legend by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin which is published by Robson Press in November. It tells the true tale of the only Native American Warrior Chief to ever defeat the US army in open warfare (Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Geronimo – none of them managed it!) It’s an epic, rip-roaring and, frankly, ferociously bloody tale from the last days of the Plains Indians of the Old West, and the birth of the American nation. This is the story of Red Cloud, the great Sioux chief who witnessed the opening of the West, and the only Plains Indian to defeat the United States Army in a war. At the peak of their chief’s powers, the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the United States. But unlike Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, or Geronimo, the fog of history has left Red Cloud strangely obscured. Now, thanks to painstaking research by two award-winning authors, his incredible story can finally be told. Born in 1821 Red Cloud grew up an orphan who overcame myriad social disadvantages to advance in Sioux culture. Through fearless raids against neighbouring tribes, like the Crow and Pawnee, he acquired a reputation as the best leader of his fellow warriors, catapulting him into the Sioux elite - and preparing him for the epic struggle his nation would face with an expanding United States, leading to a conflict whose massacres presaged the Little Bighorn and ensured Red Cloud’s place in the pantheon of Native American legends. A story as big as the West, Red Cloud is a gripping story from the Old West and the birth of America. Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain described it as “An absorbing and evocative examination of the endgame in the three-hundred-year war between Native Americans and settlers of European descent.” And S.C. Gwynne, author of Empire of the Summer Moon said “The word ‘epic’ is overused these days. Not here. This is big, blazing history, writ large on the High Plains.” As you may be aware,Western books have been quietly doing the business lately: Empire of the Summer Moon sold 12,800 copies, The Last Stand by Nathanial Philbrick sold 8,000 copies) and The Last Gunfight by Jeff Guinn sold 9,000 in hardback and paperback. This book is in the bestselling tradition of Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee which has had an astonishing 92,000 UK sales to date and features a cast of legends of the Old West, including Sherman, Custer, Crazy Horse, Jim Bridger, John Bozeman etc. This is the ultimate “Dad” book for Christmas! If anyone would like to read the first chapter we can forward it to you online – just email with Red Cloud in the subject box!

Interest is building for The Best Book in the World by Peter Stjernström, published by Hesperus in a couple of weeks’ time. This is a wonderfully quirky and hilarious novel in a similar vein to The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. It’s a perfect read as the nights draw in and great Christmas gift for anyone with a wicked sense of humour. The author will be in the UK early October to promote the book. It begins with author Titus Jensen who is waiting for his big break. But he’s middle-aged, has rather a fondness for alcohol and no one seems to take him seriously enough. He makes ends meet by giving public readings from obscure books at festivals across Sweden which is okay, but he can’t help thinking there has to be more to life for an author of his quality. Eddie X on the other hand is cool, hip, a hit with the ladies and loves being the centre of attention. A radical poet and regular on the festival circuit, he too can’t help thinking there has to be more to life for a talented, good-looking man like himself… One night, the unlikely pair get horribly drunk together and hatch a plan. There’s only one thing for a budding writer to do to get worldwide recognition: write the best book in the world – a book so amazing that it will end up on all the bestseller lists in every category imaginable: thriller, self-help, cookery, business, dieting… a book that combines everything in one! But there is only room for one such amazing book and as the alcohol-induced haze clears Titus and Eddie X both realise they are not willing to share the limelight. Who will win the race to write The Best Book in the World, and to what unimaginable lengths will they go to get there first…? Hilariously quirky but surprisingly touching, The Best Book in the World will take you on a meandering race to the finish line, throwing plenty of satirical punches along the way!

By anyone’s standards, Rula Lenska has led an extraordinary life. Born to Polish aristocrats, refugees from the Nazis and then the Soviets, her father was heavily involved with the Polish government in exile. Renowned as a vivacious flame-haired beauty, she found fame in the 1970s as ‘Q’ in the TV series Rock Follies before accidently conquering America with an Alberto VO5 hair products commercial, famously prompting Johnny Carson to ask on his show, ‘Who the hell is Rula Lenska?’ Her career has been a rollercoaster ride through classic British television series such as Minder, To the Manor Born, The Detectives, Doctor Who, Casualty, Space:1999 and, of course, Coronation Street, as well as on stage with The Vagina Monologues and Calendar Girls. However, her success has often been tempered with heartache. Despite the fanfare surrounding her celebrity marriage to Dennis Waterman, the relationship would eventually turn sour with recriminations and accusations of alcoholism and spousal abuse. Then there was her surreal appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, which she calls sixteen days of madness, during which she suffered the likes of Pete Burns and Michael Barrymore, before emerging to find pictures of George Galloway with his head in her crotch being broadcast all over the world. Now older and wiser and elevated to the status of national treasure, Rula Lenska has got a fascinating story to tell. Rula: My Autobiography by Rula Lenska is the autobiography of Britain’s best-known redhead and a fascinating journey through a life well lived. She discloses what really went on in her eleven-year marriage to Dennis Waterman and reveals the truth behind Celebrity Big Brother. Rula is a great self publicist and will be promoting her book very widely in a major press campaign – starting now – it’s published in the next couple of weeks by Robson Press.

And, it has to be shown again I feel  – here’s that infamous clip – plus various comments, including some from Rula herself!

 Hay House have been getting some great publicity for their title E Squared by Pam Grout which is also published this month. It was reviewed by The Sun (circ. 2.2 million) on 16th August. E Squared was originally submitted to Hay House in the US where it sat on the slush pile before finally being picked up by editor Alex Freemon and was first published in the US in January 2013. After becoming a mega word-of-mouth hit E Squared now been in the New York Times bestseller list for four consecutive weeks, seven months after publication. It will be published here in the UK as a paperback priced at £10.99 and will be backed by a large marketing campaign. This is a really extraordinary self-help book which asks readers to follow ten experiments which seek to prove that our thoughts create reality. Yes, you read that right. It says prove. The experiments, each of which can be conducted with absolutely no money and very little time expenditure, demonstrate that spiritual principles are as dependable as gravity, as consistent as Newton's 2nd law of motion. This sounds like a fairly unreliable and frankly unbelievable claim; but this book has achieved astounding word of mouth success, based on readers’ incredible results from the experiments within the book. Reading group guides, video blogs and many articles in major media are expected in support of E Squared and many are referring to it as the new The Secret. If at this point you are thinking “what the hell are you talking about??” then why not look at this clip below to see one US fan demonstrating an experiment from the book. And you can order E Squared and find out more about it here.

Now, who would have thought that the humble children’s picture book could be controversial? Well, in this week’s American books spot, here’s a list from Ingram of banned and challenged picture books. Pretty interesting I think. Remember you can order any of these US titles by opening an account with Ingram – or using your existing account if you already have one. It’s very easy to open one, just click here – it’s extremely 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.

Cast your mind back to last November. Were you suddenly aware of many more hairy faced gentlemen visiting your bookshop? Or maybe your own staff suddenly started sporting bristly appendages? During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches around the world. With their “Mo’s” men raise vital funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. As an independent global charity, Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health. You can find out all about Movember in the UK here. An essential title for any bookshop to have on display during this month will be The Little Book of Moustaches by Rufus Cavendish. This impeccably turned-out little guide to the world’s most famous upper-lip embellishments will teach you how to groom, craft, style and quote your way to Moustache Greatness. It’s a £4.99 hardback with colour illustrations published by Summersdale and is a really fun and stylish guide! So dust off your Dali and shake out your Selleck, the ’tache is back!

And if you’re looking for some inspiration in the facial hair department – have a look at this Magic Beard video on YouTube!

 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.