Friday 7 October 2016

Compass Points 187

A very warm welcome to Anness Books who joined the Compass team at the start of October. Here’s Paul Anness signing the contract with MD Alan Jessop, and the rest of our super sales squad!

You may think you know Anness as a promotional books operation – or you may not have heard of them at all – but it’s definitely time to take another look at this 28-year old company, as they have been re-focussing their publishing over the last year; and we’re really looking forward to telling you about some of the terrific new titles they have to offer you! They incorporate the imprints Lorenz Books, Southwater and Armadillo (children’s) as well as a stationery range called Peony Press and all of their titles are high-quality and highly illustrated; all generated in-house using their own team of photographers, editors and designers.

The adult lists incorporate cookery, gardening, history, art books and general non-fiction. There’s a lovely catalogue of their 2016 books – just ask your Compass Sales Manager for a copy and they have a very comprehensive website too which lets you flip right through (every single spread!) all the books they publish! Just type the title into the search box and then you can preview the entire book as well as see the AI and cover.
Current cookery bestsellers for them include The Wood-Fired Oven Cookbook by Holly and David Jones (hb, £9.99, 978 1903141946); The Spiralizer Cookbook by Catherine Atkinson (hb, £12.99 978 0754831570); Tagines by Ghillie Basan (hb, £9.99, 978 1908991263) and Microwave Mug Cakes: Home Made Treats in an Instant by Hannah Miles (hb, £9.99, 978 0754831365).

Have a quick look and I think one of the things that will strike you first is what high quality content and pictures you are getting for a really great price! Look out from more from Anness in the coming weeks…

Congratulations to KJ Orr, winner of the BBC Short Story Award. The London-born writer's Disappearances, was described by judge Kei Miller as “a near perfect example of how the short story works.” The story was inspired by Orr watching a solitary man in a café in Argentina whilst travelling. Surfaces and what lies beneath were a starting point for this tale of a retired plastic surgeon who develops a relationship with a local waitress and is compelled to visit the same café every day.
Orr was presented with the prize of £15,000 on Tuesday (4 October) evening by the 2016 Chair of Judges Dame Jenni Murray at a ceremony held in the BBC's Radio Theatre in London. The news was announced live on BBC Radio 4's Front Row, during a special programme celebrating the short story. The BBC National Short Story Award (pb, 9781910974278, £7.99), edited by Jenni Murray and published by Comma Press is available now. As you can see here, someone else appears to have crashed the awards ceremony at the BBC...

More prize winners to congratulate! Carcanet celebrated a double win at the Forward Prize ceremony which was hosted last week at the Royal Festival Hall in London! Vahni Capildeo's Measures of Expatriation won Best Collection (£15,000) and Sasha Dugdale's poem Joy, published in PN Review Issue 227, won Best Single Poem (£1,000). The three awards (there’s also one for Best First Collection) are Britain’s most coveted poetry prizes, celebrating the best new poetry published in the British Isles.
Measures of Expatriation is Vahni Capildeo’s fourth collection. Born in Trinidad, she has lived in the UK since 1991. She is at ease in a number of languages – including the Spanish, French, English and creoles of her childhood – and she writes in her winning book: “Language is my home, I say: not one particular language.” Malika Booker, chair of the five-strong jury, said: “Vahni Capildeo’s Measure of Expatriation is a work that amazes … this is poetry that transforms. When people in the future seek to know what it’s like to live between places, traditions, habits and cultures, they will read this. Here is the language for what expatriation feels like.”
Booker also described Dugdale's Joy, a poem which presents the death of William Blake as retold by Catherine, his widow, as “addictive writing, compelling and tender.” Measures of Expatriation (pb, £9.99, 978 1 784101 68 8) and PN Review Issue 227 including Joy (£6.99, journal, 978 1784101 38 1) are both available now from Carcanet.

An excellent ad which you can see above, in the London Review of Books this week for two important books published this month by Skyscraper. State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel by Thomas Suárez (hb, £20.00, 978 1911072034) is a detailed account of the way terrorism was used to force the British out of Palestine. Baroness Jenny Tonge said “Everyone who has ever accepted Israel’s own account of its history should read this book.”
And Politically Incorrect: Why a Jewish State is a Bad Idea by Ofra Yeshua-Lyth (pb, 978 1911072041, £12.99) discusses how Israel’s insistence on an exclusively Jewish state is setting it on a course of self-destruction. Noam Chomsky called it “poignant and painful.” Both titles are published on 13 October.

I know versions of this have been all over the internet forever – but this still amuses me greatly: see what happens when you replace the word “wand” with something else in the Harry Potter books…

Ken Hom has been absolutely everywhere this week promoting My Stir Fried Life (£20.00, hb, 978 1849549783) published by Robson Press. I heard him on Simon Mayo’s Drivetime on Radio 2, and he’s also been on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, ITV’s This Morning, Radio 4’s Midweek, Radio 5Live’s Afternoon Edition and on LBC, Steve Allen in Conversation. There have been interviews in the Telegraph, The Sunday Times, BBC Easy Cook and Delicious Magazine; he’s been at the Daunts October Festival and will also be at the Blenheim Palace Literary Festival on 14 October. Simon Mayo used Bob Marley’s Stir It Up to introduce Ken on his show – love a bit of that!

You may have seen a piece in this week’s Bookseller, about Hillsborough Untold: Aftermath of a Disaster which is by Norman Bettison, the former chief constable of both Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police. The title will give an insight into what was happening at South Yorkshire Police headquarters following the tragedy, and will also "respectfully" seek to explain why Bettison feels his involvement has been "unfairly scapegoated" in parliament and by the press. The proceeds of the book will go to charity. Biteback said this "personal account" will describe how the Hillsborough disaster unfolded, and gives an "objective and compassionate" account of the bereaved families’ "long struggle for justice". Bettison said: "I wrote this account because I did not want my 40-year professional career to be defined by false accusations. The book should appeal to anyone with an open mind who remains curious about one of the UK’s most tragic, and controversial, peacetime disasters." Hillsborough Untold (hb, £18.99, 978 1785900891) will be published in November by Biteback.

We love a bit of e-books versus real books debate, so thoroughly enjoyed this thoughtful piece from Alison Jones at the Book Machine on the role of the print book in an increasingly online world. She writes how “that phrase, ‘friction and texture’ summed it up for me: this is what print provides and a white screen does not.”

Another Ken is also out and about at the moment: Ken Livingstone is on the road again, promoting Being Red: A Politics for the Future (£12.99, pb, 978 0745399058) which has just been published by Pluto Press. In it Ken serves up an account of the Labour Party and its future, at a pivotal moment in its history. Having worked most of his life within the party in various leading roles; as the head of the Greater London Council, as Member of Parliament and as Mayor of London, Livingstone is able to offer insights into the internal workings of the party, and the rise and fall (and potential rise again) of its radical socialist ethos. Discussing his battle with Boris Johnson, the fight against privatisation and pollution as well as his analysis of Jeremy Corbyn’s arguably radical leadership and its implications for the future; Livingstone displays his trademark honesty and humour. Ken has just been at the Henley Book Festival and will be at the Chichester Speakers Festival, this Saturday, followed by the Hillingdon Literary Festival on Sunday. Then he’s on to the Canterbury Festival on 27 October, and the Folkestone Book Festival on 21 November.

I still love this amusing moment from Top Gear 2007 when Ken is nominated for almost all of the awards!

I highly recommend a new fiction title coming in October by Jen Waldo; an astonishing new American voice who will stop you in her tracks. She brings an electrifying tone to fiction, tackling difficult subjects with a warmth and humour, and creating an unforgettable protagonist. Our MD can’t put it down! Old Buildings in North Texas begins when thirty-two-year-old Olivia (a recovering cocaine addict) returns to live with her mother and pregnant sister. Under pressure to take up a hobby, she decides to try urban exploration. Soon she's poking through derelict homes, churches and schools across North Texas. This vivid and humorous book modulates effortlessly from domestic nuance to taut adventure and social and moral transgression. It is a book about a modern woman's dilemma as she searches for personal equilibrium and wild adventure, trying to find stability in her existence without losing sight of what makes life worth living, and I think it will strike a chord with many. Old Buildings in North Texas by Jen Waldo (hb, £12.99, 978 1910050781) is published in October by Arcadia.

Talking of the US, we all know that book jackets are often different when they’re published in the UK and over the pond. But why? Have a look here at these fun comparisons on BuzzFeed to see if you can come up with any answers!

It was National Poetry Day this week, a good time to remind you about the paperback of A Lion Was Learning to Ski and Other Nonsensical Limericks by Ranjit Bolt (pb, £8.99, 978 1783340927) which is published this month by Gibson Square. The hardback edition was a 2015 Christmas bestseller which reprinted three times and has now sold over 10,000 copies! Robert McCrum in the Observer said it “Transforms Ranjit Bolt into a literary lion … a parable of print and paper in the age of eBooks and social media…”

You’ve done extremely well with the David Bowie Colouring Book, and on a similar theme, the Classic Album Covers Colouring Book (978 1905959938, pb, £9.99) just published by Red Planet is getting tons of promo and I think could be equally successful. It’s been mentioned on The Radcliffe & Maconie Show, BBC 6 Music are talking about it and radio interviews are coming up on BBC Berkshire, BBC Lancashire, BBC Stoke, BBC Ulster, BBC Wales, BBC Cumbria, BBC Solent, Wirral Radio Merseyside, Swansea Sound, Talk Radio Europe, Real XS, North West, Planet Rock, and Absolute Radio and there will be more to follow! This great gift paperback features 30 classic album covers to colour in yourself – and I can think of tons of people who would like to find this in their stocking! It includes all the greats – from Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Bowie, Nirvana, The Eagles, Duran Duran, The Cure, The Sex Pistols, Bruce Springsteen –  they’re all here! As one Amazon enthusiast said “What a great idea. Loads of my favourite albums in here and its great fun digging them out and making your own version of the cover! I've now got a psychedelic cow on Atom Heart Mother and The Beatles are all in blue jeans on Abbey Road! Great fun.”

So to finish – let’s watch this brilliant 10 minute round-up of the Greatest Albums of All Time – how many are in the Red Planet colouring book I wonder!

Compass is on Twitter! Follow us @CompassIPS. This week we’re loving all the great tweets at #TheApprentice – have a look for some hilarious pictures, gifs and memes celebrating the return of the show!

LilianHarry ‏@LilianHarry I can't believe that they get thousands of applicants and THESE are the best......?

Mark Johnson ‏@Testwood The Apprentice is our annual reminder to appreciate our colleagues because there are at least 18 worse people you could be working with

Lily Bailey ‏@LilyBaileyUK WatchingThe Apprentice is great because I always feel I have mediocre life skills, but then I see theirs and by the end I feel like a CEO.

hoskas ‏@hoskas Can't wait for that woman to find out that the chair she was so proud of selling for £17.50, was actually worth £300

Katie Weasel ‏@KatieWeasel "Thank you for the opportunity to reveal myself as a useless cretin to around 6 million people Lord Sugar."

Ian Hyland ‏@HylandIan Lovely tribute to Alan Rickman on tonight's The Apprentice. One of them has come as Hans Gruber.

The Apprentice@bbcapprentice “You got any experience in antiques?” / “I watch a bit of Bargain Hunt.” / “You’re hired."

Jack Edwards ‏@jackbenedwards The first episode of a new series of The Apprentice mostly just consists of me muttering "wanker" under my breath.

Sam Avery ‏@samaverycomedy The reason you never see the face of Lord Sugar's receptionist is because it's last year's winner.

Moe ‏@MoesusLDN It's been 1 episode only & i swear the gyals got less brain cells combined than Claude has hair on his head.

Ricky Gervais@rickygervais LikeThe Office never happened #TheApprentice

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 talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the office on 020 8326 5696.

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