Friday 12 February 2016

Compass Points 158

Sorry about the absence of Compass Points last week – a bit of a computer meltdown here at Compass Towers! Which gives me the perfect opportunity to mention We All Have our Moments: An Antidote to Life’s Frustrations by Liz Cowley (hb, 978 1783341009, £9.99) which is published by Gibson Square in March – the illustration on the front cover showing a woman taking to her computer with a hatchet pretty much sums up my position this time last week! No-one manages to take such delightful snapshots of everyday life quite like Liz Cowley; her wry, astute verse amuses many, she has the rare gift of making you smile – in more ways than one; her poetry collections have now sold over 10,000 copies! Her two previous humorous poetry collections about gardening Outside in My Dressing Gown and Gardening in Slippers have both done very well indeed. We all have our moments so instead of reaching for the axe, reach for Liz's new book. All those times at work, in love, friendship, family and anywhere else where life seems to be getting the upper hand are put in perspective in these delightful humorous vignettes. Order We All have our Moments here

Well, the whole book trade is buzzing over the news that a hardback edition of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II will be released on 31 July, the day after the play has debuted on stage in London. The script from the forthcoming Harry Potter play has unsurprisingly leapt to the top of bestseller lists - following Wednesday's news, pre-orders have propelled it to number one on the Amazon and Waterstones book charts. We do love a bit of Harry Potter news – and we also love that Buzz Feed have made a whole new page for those of us that have done far too many HP quizzes – and time and time again have come out as a little bit Slytherin – AND a little bit Hufflepuff! Have a look here to find out what it means to be both naughty and nice!

Congratulations to us and also to Carcanet, for nominations in this year’s IPG Awards! Compass have been shortlisted for the Services to Independent Publishers Award (along with Graham Bell, EDItEUR, Firsty Group and Stison) while Carcanet have been shortlisted for the IPG Alison Morrison Diversity Award. This is a great endorsement for Carcanet’s continued support for diverse writers from all corners of the globe and different backgrounds, Carcanet Press won this Award last year for the huge ethnic and cultural breadth of its poetry list, and it deepened its commitment to diversity again in 2015. The judges said “Carcanet has had another great year championing a form of publishing and writers that do not get as much attention as they deserve.” IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: “Competition for the IPG Independent Publishing Awards gets tougher every year—but the strength of this year’s nominations was remarkable. Every company and individual on these lists should feel very proud, and those who did not make the final cut from such an excellent range of entrants should not be discouraged. It is fitting that our 10th anniversary Awards should have such an exceptional range of finalists, and we are really looking forward to celebrating the outstanding achievements of the independent publishing sector on 3rd March.” You can see the full list of awards list of awards here. Fingers crossed that both Compass and Carcanet pick up a gong on 3 March!

Tons of great publicity and good reviews for Comrade Corbyn! (hb, £20, 9781849549967) In this week’s Independent, Andy McSmith springs to Rosa Prince’s defence  saying that “She has been denounced for her "spiteful analysis" and had her personal integrity called into question by the JeremyCorbyn4PM Twitter feed, so I assume she is off the Corbyn Christmas card list, but – with all due respect to Corbyn-loving acolytes – this is not a hatchet job. It is an affectionate portrait of a man she obviously thinks has landed himself in the wrong job…when the Corbyn era is over, and students looking back on how it impacted on the fortunes of the Labour Party consult this book, I doubt if its author will be accused of being "spiteful". I think the verdict will be that she was rather kind.” Yesterday’s Evening Standard, was also positive, saying that “(Prince) has described in extraordinarily close detail exactly how, methodologically, it happened that Corbyn became leader.” Pretty much all of the national media have featured this book; the Telegraph called it “explosive” – and we’re expecting more; including the Times and Sunday Times both running this weekend. You can order Comrade Corbyn here

Valentines’ Day coming upon Sunday of course – thanks to Scottish Book Trust for this great list of The 14 Worst Break Up Scenes in Literature! And if a bit of literary vulgarity is more your type of thing, then I think you will enjoy this hilarious list of Literary Valentines from those jesters over at Buzz Feed. E.g. ARE YOU A BANNED BOOK? BECAUSE BABY YOU’RE ON FIRE, Love Ray Bradbury or HOW ABOUT WE SKIP CRIME AND GET RIGHT TO PUNISHMENT, Love Fyodor Dostoevsky.  I’m sure you can’t wait to see what Herman Melville has to say…

Who’s excited for the film of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? Watch a trailer here! And if literary mash ups are your thing (and they look like a very rapidly growing genre to me) then how about: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Android Karenina, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, Little Women and Werewolves, Henry VIII Wolfman, Jane Slayre or The Late Gatsby - all genuine books! Meanwhile, have a look a look here for 20 Lessons that Jane Austen Has Taught Us about Love!

A great Guardian review for R.F. Langley’s Complete Poems (pb, £12.99, 978 1 784100 64 3) which has been described as “one of the secret treasures of modern poetry” The Guardian wrote: “Langley does so much to elucidate, as he put it, ‘not things/but seeing things. And with / such care, it would be like / being shown what was not there” and “he brings to wrens, moths and teasels, to English pub interiors and Venetian edifices, the same kind of scrutiny that art historians bring to real brush strokes.”. Thanks to the Writer’s Centre in Norwich for hosting a great sell-out event this week: an evening of readings by writers who admired R.F.Langley’s work, published by Carcanet of course.

More awards news – this time some it’s The Romantic Novelists' Association who has revealed the shortlists for its six awards, where Choc Lit are more than well represented – many congrats to them and all their authors.
In the Contemporary Romantic Novel category Melanie Hudson’s The Wedding Cake Tree, is shortlisted, while the Historical Romantic Novel category, includes The Secret Kiss of Darkness by Christina Courtenay.
The RNA Rose Award, which recognises the best in category or series and shorter romances; includes The Wedding Reject Table by Angela Britnell and also Cora's Christmas Kiss by Alison May. Chairman, Eileen Ramsay, said: “The announcement of the shortlist is always an occasion for celebration, when we reveal the best in romantic fiction from the last year.”
Previous years’ winners have included Joanna Trollope, Freya North, Rosie Thomas, JoJo Moyes and Rosamunde Pilcher so these awards do have pretty good form when it comes to spotting talent! Fern Britton will host this year’s award ceremony at Gladstone Library in London on 7th March and you can find the shortlist in full on the RNA website here.

Look out for The Goddess Revolution by Melissa Wells (pb, 978 1781807125, £10.99) which is coming from Hay House in June. There is lots of publicity for this glamorous soap star and her battles with eating disorders already – have a look at  this huge feature from the Express last week, which gives you more info – and credits the book. Following this piece ITV’s Lorraine have expressed serious interest in having Mel on the sofa in June just before her book is out.
She is also awaiting a date from Loose Women to go on their show as a guest in due course. Melissa Wells is also part of a massive new campaign coming from the BBC this year called Body Positive – you can see her in a promo videos for it here  – alongside the like of Rebecca Adlington. The debate about women’s shapes and sizes, and promoting healthy body images to young women is already a hot topic for 2016 – and it looks as if The Goddess Revolution by Melissa Wells is going to be perfectly placed to capitalise on this. You can find put more and order it here.

Who’s your favourite Beatle? For many, it’s gotta be George, and George Harrison: Behind the Locked Door by Graeme Thomson explores Harrison’s work both within and without the Beatles and at the same time examining in detail his private and public passions, from Eastern spiritualism to horticulture, from comedy to film-making, from fast cars to working with UNICEF and his career renaissance in the 80s with the Travelling Wilburys. The hardback edition of this book published in 2013 has achieved sales of over 10,000 copies, and great acclaim – MOJO called it "An excellent biography" and The National: "An insightful, rigorous and beautifully written atomisation of the youngest Beatle's life." Graeme Thomson is one of Britain’s leading music writers. As the author of critically acclaimed and definitive biographies of Elvis Costello (Complicated Shadows) and Kate Bush (Under The Ivy) and this new paperback, beautifully illustrated with black and white photos is certain to find many fans. George Harrison: Behind the Locked Door (pb, £16.99, 9781785582691) is published by Omnibus Press in April
Find out more and order it here.

So let’s finish with my top 5 George Harrison songs: It wouldn’t be much of list if it didn’t include Here Comes the Sun or indeed My Sweet Lord would it. And I love Got My Mind Set on You and also Handle with Care from his time with the Travelling WIburys. How evocative is All Those Years Ago – with some great old film footage – and as a final bonus track; I love him here, singing a Paul Simon song back in 1976 - Homeward Bound.

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. Here are some of our favourite tweets from this week...

Richard Skinner ‏@RichardNSkinner  ·'So much more than an account of a tragedy. Astonishing and beautiful.' @stephen_kelman #BusbyBabes @urbanebooks

Sandra Foy ‏@Monkbythesea Leaves: John Simmonds - This is SUCH a good book!

Hay House ‏@HayHouseUK  Great to see  - @juliemontagu's #EatRealFood is on @voguemagazine's  Healthy Reading List!

Chaucer Doth Tweet@LeVostreGC  Bookes, Bookes,Pyles of bookes, Left arounde the hous,Toweres high of mirth and lore, Skyscrapers ye kan browse.

Guardian Books ‏@GuardianBooks  · Booky things to do this half term with kids! Ideas via @GdnChildrensBks

Biteback Publishing ‏@BitebackPub  @David_Cameron is meeting Angela Merkel in Hamburg to discuss his #EU deal #Europe #InorOut

Emma Draude ‏@ed_pr  · 'It captures the essence of Proust beautifully' say @TheEconomist #Proust #GraphicNovel @gallicbooks

Cora Linn ‏@Corazzz  · Really needed my @ChocLituk Friday Treat today! So intriguing from @ClareChase_

NBN International ‏@nbnibooks Massive congrats to all nominated for @ipghq awards, esp. our good friends @carcanet and @CompassIPS

That’s all for now folks! More next week!

This blog is taken from a newsletter which is sent weekly to over 700 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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