Monday 12 November 2018

Compass Points 282

Who doesn’t love Anne of Green Gables – and now it’s getting a whole new lease of life as Anne with an E (which you can watch a trailer for here ) has become a very popular show on Netflix. Arcturus already have four editions available of this classic title by Lucy Maud Montgomery: a paperback with a traditional picture cover (978 1788286824, £4.99), a paperback with their appealing Arcturus classic series look (978 1784284237, £4.99), a hardback with the same series look (978 1788882200, £9.99) and also a 228x183mm hardback gift edition (978 1788883788, £14.99). Coming in 2019 is a very good-looking slipcase, The Anne of Green Gables Collection which contains six hardback Anne titles (173x113mm, £49.99, 978 1788282611). Readers can follow the journey of the 11-year-old orphan as she grows up over the course of these six books: Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne's House of Dreams and Anne of Ingleside. Perfect gift for all fans of Anne both old and new!

Defeating loneliness by putting social activities such as cookery and art classes on prescription for older and isolated people is very much in the news at present, and Boomer lit – fiction written, and marketed with the baby boomer audience (those born between 1946 and 1964) in mind is also on the rise. I’m delighted to tell you that The Best Boomerville Hotel (978 1912550043, £7.99, pb) (Cumbria’s answer to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) hits bookshop shelves this week, propelled into paperback by its huge success (becoming an Amazon bestseller) as an ebook. Its author Caroline James says, “I am over the moon to see The Best Boomerville Hotel out in paperback and must thank all my readers for making it happen. I’ve been overwhelmed by the reception it’s received and the terrific support. It goes to show that pursuing your dreams, even in middle years – a subject very much at the heart of The Best Boomerville Hotel – is not a thing to fear but a passion to embrace because I’ve found that coming out of your comfort zone in midlife and beyond is absolutely brilliant.” Hear hear! There’s been some great coverage for this so far – including this feature in the Cumbria Crack and this in the Westmorland Gazette. The Best Boomerville Hotel centres on a fictional hotel set in the Lake District that hosts holiday retreats for guests of a certain age wishing to stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences – and for some, hoping to beat loneliness.It's published by Choc Lit

More good publicity for London's Street Trees (978 0993291135, pb, £12.99) and Birdwatching London (£12.99, pb, 978 0993291159) in The London Naturalist which is the annual journal of the London Natural History Society. These two titles are both from Safe Haven and reviewers have loved the “beautiful presentation”, “handy size” and “wonderful research”. There’s also been a super feature here on Birdwatching London in the

There has been some excellent publicity for Caught Beneath the Landslide: Manchester City in the 1990’s (£18.99, hb, 978 1909245808). This is the Manchester City of Maine Road and Moss Side, when the music was by Oasis and the football by Georgi Kinkladze and Uwe Rosler. It is the story of club that plunged through two divisions and then clambered back up again. In the words of Uwe Rosler: “It was a different club, a working-class club supported by the people of Manchester”. Jim White wrote in the Telegraph “The distance the club [Man City] have travelled is brilliantly chronicled by the journalist Tim Rich in his new book Caught Beneath The Landslide who writes about the changing times for Manchester City, going from losing 2-1 at home to Mansfield 20 years ago to being the Champions of England”. There have also been features in Sky’s Soccer Saturday, in the Independent who called it “brilliant”, on BBC Radio Manchester, in the Daily Mail  and The Scotsman, who also published an extract. It's published by De Coubertin.

Which drinks will we be enjoying around the Christmas tree this year? Well, I’m pretty sure that gin and champagne will be on the menu for many – and the two Birlinn titles on these subjects have been getting some good publicity! Ian Buxton author of the brand new and updated edition of 101 Gins To Try Before You Die (9781780275659, hb, £12.99, ) was asked by Which magazine to taste test the latest gin offerings and decide which would be awarded the accolade of Which Best Buy (it’s Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Blackfriars Gin, in case you were interested) Ian was fascinating about the process – it’s done very seriously, no labels, different glasses and numbers for each gin so the testers can’t compare with each other and you really can be sure that a Which Best Buy has not been paid for or sponsored in any way. And The Week has just featured the best champagnes offers of the season, and recommends the effervescent new title by wine expert by Davy Zyw, 101 Champagnes and Other Sparkling Wines To Try Before You Die (£14.99, hb, 978 1780275567) as the “definitive” book on the subject! Chin chin!

Booksellers have a pretty good track record when it comes to moving from stacking the shelves to sitting on them – so many of you out there may well be interested in the Search for a Star Novel Writing Competition which has just been launched by leading independent women's fiction publisher, Choc Lit. Sponsored by Your Cat magazine, on offer to the winner is a three book deal across all platforms, digital, print and audio – and of course the winner and runners up will feature in the magazine! Search for a Star is for writers not previously published or accepted by an agent or publisher; competition submissions should be full length novels (60,000 to 100,000 words) and they must include a cat! It could be a heart-stopping romance or a gripping thriller, even a Christmas story, as long as there's a moggie in there somewhere! Lyn Vernham of Choc Lit said, “This competition is about finding fresh new talent and giving readers a voice. There are no industry yays and nays - the judges here are a panel of readers and the manuscripts won't have been subject to filtering by the traditional industry gatekeepers. It's exciting and we can't wait to see what fresh new talent the competition delivers!” Competition entries must be made by 28 February and submitted via the website 

HUGE and ongoing media interest in Queen in 3D (hb, £30, 978 1999667429) including the unseen photos Brian took on the set of Bohemian Rhapsody which has now been the number one film in the UK for several weeks. There have now been features in the Mail , the Express, the Sun, the Mirror, the Big Issue, Mojo, Classic Rock and the Mail on Sunday. ITV’s Lorraine interviewed Brian May about the book with images on screen and Lorraine enthusiastically flicking through the book saying “A remarkable book for anybody who’s a fans of the band, it’s an absolute must have … a really brilliant insight”and you can watch that here. Sky News, Radio 2, Magic FM, Absolute Radio, and Planet Rock have all run promotions. And there’s more to come including a BBC Future video interview about the book coming later this month, the Mail on Sunday’s feature on the best books for Christmas and BBC Radio 2’s Johnnie Walker to interview Brian about his stereo world and the book on the massively popular Sounds of the Seventies show!

The public’s interest in all things royal (particularly when it concerns Meghan), shows no sign of abating and the news that the Duchess of Sussex now has her own coat of arms which you can find out about here  on the BBC, has piqued an interest in heraldry in general. A good opportunity to tell you about the new Lorenz title The Illustrated Book of Heraldry: An International History of Heraldry and Its Contemporary Uses by Stephen Slater (hb, £15, 978 0754834601). This lavishly illustrated and highly informative book looks not only at the medieval world in which heraldry thrived, but also at its language, the elaborate system of coded messages it conveyed, and its inextricable link with chivalry. Featuring more than 700 illustrations, it also covers the origins and development of heraldry, everyday heraldic uses, royal and global heraldry and contains a comprehensive glossary. This masterly history is full of both fascinating archive material and specially commissioned artworks.

Great to see Love Letters by Deborah Brown (hb, £10, 978 0995647831) featured with a pic of the jacket in the Bookseller February Highlights this week. This title is published by Hikari Press in February and as the Bookseller writes, is an “ingenious book which describes the trajectory of a relationship using combinations of the word LOVE rendered in illustrative typography in which each of the letters takes on a character of its own. The result conveys complex meanings with powerful effect telling a story in which love is an endlessly complicated yet beautiful four-letter word.” Love Letters will be produced to a very high spec and will look gorgeous! It will be a hard­back, quarter binding with a strip of burnt-orange cloth, foil blocking on the spine and spot UV on the cover. There will be a major marketing campaign for it, leading up to its launch on Valentine’s Day 2019. Telling a universal story of love in simple, illustrated form it should have wide appeal and is a great gift for someone special.

Nature, the world's most cited scientific journal, has just run a glowing review of Mission Moon 3D (hb, £30, 978 1999667405 ) from London Stereo calling it “spectacular” – you can read that whole piece here.

This weekly blog is written for the UK book trade. If you would like to order any of the titles mentioned, then please talk to your Compass Sales Manager, or call the Compass office on 020 8326 5696. Every Friday an e-newsletter containing highlights from the blog is sent out to over 700 booksellers – and if you’d like to receive this then please contact

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