Friday 7 November 2014

Compass Points 105

Who doesn’t love the fabulous Mr Men Books? But are they really relevant for today’s generation? Have a look here for a timely and very funny rewriting of the covers on Buzzfeed!

Did you take part in the Books are My Bag campaign this year? And did you see an upsurge in your sales as a result? According to a report in today’s Bookseller, which you can read here; book sales through shops participating were up by 3.9% in the week of the campaign, with footfall up by 15%. The second annual BAMB campaign kicked off on Super Thursday (9th October)—the day that 315 hardback titles were published, including major Christmas contenders and many of you indies across the UK and Ireland took part in this year along with chains Waterstones, W H Smith, Blackwell’s and Foyles. A survey of Booksellers Association members reported that 61% of bookshop customers were aware of the campaign this year and those shops running specific events said their sales increased by an average of 19.5%. Peter Donaldson, owner of Red Lion Books in Colchester, said BAMB was a “great opportunity” to involve the community in a celebration of books. He said: “We wrapped up proofs that publishers had given us and invited customers to take a ‘lucky dip’ for free. We had a great response to that, people came back afterwards to say they would never usually have chosen that title but really enjoyed it.”  Dame Gail Rebuck, Penguin Random House chair and BAMB’s co-chair, said: “Last year Books Are My Bag was a campaign; this year it’s a phenomenon . . . the bookshop remains a cultural destination where the majority of book discovery takes place. In the UK culture matters, and that means bookshops matter because one relies on the other.” Absolutely Gail, we couldn’t agree more!
1 December is World Aids Awareness Day, an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. This event usually gets plenty of media coverage – so don’t forget to stock Aids: Don’t Die of Prejudice (978 849547048, £14.99, trade paperback) which was published this summer by Biteback. Its author Norman Fowler was heavily involved in setting up World Aids Day, and of course he was also the Government Health Minister responsible for coordinating Britain’s response to HIV/Aids back in the 1980’s. Aids: Don’t Die of Prejudice describes how Aids continues to affect millions of people across the world, despite the fact that we now have all the necessary means to prevent it. Travelling to nine different cities, from Russia and the Ukraine to the United States, Fowler shows that the problem is not limited to Africa, and that the threat often lies closer to home than we might think. Norman Fowler joined the House of Lords in 2001. He is the longest-serving British Health Secretary since the Second World War, and has devoted much of his life to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Well, things certainly seem to be hotting up for Ed Miliband; goodness knows what’s going to happen with David Cameron’s fight with the EU – and do we really want Nigel Farage as our next Prime Minister??! In the run-up to the most unpredictable election in a generation; Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box: Fifty Things You Need To Know about British Elections seeks to explain some of  the more surprising facts about Britain’s politicians and voters. This book is accessible, lively and provocative. Topics include: why people lie about voting;  how being good looking can get you elected; how emotions drive our voting, why people support non-existent legislation and how dogs can reveal whether voters are racially prejudiced! The book is made up of fifty chapters, each written by a leading expert in the field, for the general reader. Each chapter focuses on a particular statistic or trend that, whilst eye-catching in itself, also serves to illustrate a broader issue about elections and voters. Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box: Fifty Things You Need To Know about British Elections edited by Philip Cowley and Robert Ford (pb, 978 1849547550, £15.99) has just been published by Biteback. It is aimed at the large market of politically interested and curious general readers; is genuinely fascinating and amusing – and has a terrific cover!

Sounds good to me but has British politics really changed that much over the years? Have a look here at the moment when the Prince of Wales meets the prime minister in Blackadder to confirm that maybe schoolboy humour has been part of our British political scene for quite some time!

Beauty queen Miss Earth Australia Liana Werner-Gray got a wake-up call at the age of 21, when she was diagnosed with a life-threatening health complaint. Realizing that health issues were holding her back, she decided to change her lifestyle. Through juicing and using the whole-food recipes shared in this book, Liana healed herself in only three months. This success inspired Liana to create The Earth Diet and she has since used her recipes to help thousands of people with diabetes, acne, addictions, obesity and more. When you get the essential vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients your body needs, you can't help but feel better. In this book, you'll find more than 100 nutrient-dense recipes that provide proper nutrition. The Earth Diet is inclusive, with recipes for every person, ranging from raw vegans to meat eaters. It also features specific guidelines for weight loss, boosting the immune system, increasing your energy, juice cleansing and more. If you're looking for great-tasting recipes to help you live your healthiest life ever, then this book is for you. The Earth Diet: Your Complete Guide to Living Using Earth's Natural Ingredients  by Liana Werner-Gray (978 1401944971, pb £14.99) is the ultimate guide book to assist people in transforming their health through a natural lifestyle and it’s  published by Hay House this month. There has been some terrific publicity in Fabulous magazine, who have run a two part serial on the book.

Have you heard of 5 Seconds of Summer? I expect the answer to this will depend on a) how old you are b) which section of your bookshop you work in c) how much time you spend on YouTube and d) whether you are a One Direction fan. Formed in Sydney in 2011, 5 Seconds of Summer were originally YouTube celebrities, posting videos of themselves covering songs from various artists in 2011. From there, the group then rose to international fame when One Direction invited them on their Take Me Home tour. In February 2014, they released She Looks So Perfect as their debut worldwide release which became an international super-hit in more than 50 countries across the globe. Like the guitar gods they worship, Luke, Michael, Calum and Ashton play all their own instruments and having rocketed into teen hearts with their first infectious pop-punk anthem, this cheeky Aussie foursome seem like they maybe around for a quite a while. Filled with more than 50 full-colour photos, 5 Seconds of Summer by Elle Cowen traces the boys' incredible journey so far from schooldays back in Sydney, Australia, to the release of their all-conquering debut album (which has sold in excess of 1.5 million copies already) and beyond. With a fun profile devoted to each bandmate, it tells you all you need to know about 5SOS s unstoppable rise to the top. With details of the first cover songs they ever posted on YouTube and all the gossip from their epic 2013/14 tour with One Direction (the Brit boys have been their friends and mentors from the beginning; naturally 5SOS opened for them on sold-out dates throughout the US and the UK), this is essential reading for all true 5SOSers. 5 Seconds of Summer is published at the end of November by Plexus (pb, 978 0859655323 £14.99). Take it from me, you need this title in your bookshop, it will be the perfect present for gazillions of teens. You can order it and find out more here.

And if you are totally unfamiliar with the oeuvre of 5 Seconds of Summer – then Compass Points as always is here to help: here’s their hit single She Looks So Perfect and here’s the latest one: Good Girls.

 Hmm, I wonder how many other bands have decided that having a number in their name is a wacky funster thing to do? In fact it seems to me that the number 5 is already somewhat over used! OK in order; first comes 1D who we’ve already mentioned, then I guess next would be U2, Boyz 2 Men, Maroon 5, 5 Star, Take 5, Jackson 5, 5ive, S Club 7, 10CC, East 17, Heaven 17, UB40, Level 42, 50 Cent, The B52’s, Sham 69, Haircut 100, then we seem to reach a bit of a hiatus until we get to  10,000 Maniacs! Any more out there?

And finally, speaking as someone whose kids don’t seem to care much about 1D or 5 Seconds of Summer; but who do have the soundtrack to Frozen on a permanent loop; I must admit I laughed a lot at this rendition of Love is an Open Door.

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

This blog is written for booksellers as well as 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.

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