This Week in Publishing: 4–8 January, 2016

Here’s a new feature I hope to post on a weekly basis, each Friday. If you’re interested in publishing news, please check in every Friday! I’ll try to get it up earlier in the day than I was able to today.

Monday, 4 January

  • Belgravia, an interactive digital book by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes in the vein of Dickensian serials, will be launched later this year as an app. (New York Times)
  • George R.R. Martin is disappointed to announce that we will definitely not be seeing The Winds of Winter on shelves before the sixth season of Game of Thrones debuts on HBO in April. (GRRM @ LiveJournal)
  • Print sales continued to rise in 2015 after a good year in 2014, largely driven by an increase in adult nonfiction sales (although adult fiction also performed admirably). (Publisher’s Weekly)
  • PW has also released the Nielsen BookScan list of bestselling books in the categories of adult fiction and nonfiction, as well as children’s books. (Publisher’s Weekly)
  • PBS’s Masterpiece is starting a book club featuring works inspired by its hit TV series, such as Sherlock and Downton Abbey. (PBS)

Tuesday, 5 January

  • Sourcebooks is holding a contest in support of January’s IndieNext pick, Readers of the Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. Enter to win a $50 gift card, and vote for your favorite indie bookstore to receive a $3,000 cash grant! (Sourcebooks)
  • 2016’s most anticipated movie adaptations. Personally, I’m looking forward to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (because I’d follow J.K. Rowling into hell if I had to) The Legend of Tarzan (because Alexander Skarsgård, of course), The Girl on the Train (which is on my shelf begging to be read, and also stars the fantastic Emily Blunt and Luke Evans), and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (because Tina Fey is the inspiration). Guy Ritchie’s directing a King Arthur film, too; should be interesting! (Word and Film)

Wednesday, 6 January

  • Independent Bookstore Day (modeled after the wildly popular Record Store Day) will take place  this year on April 30. The organization has just released the list of special books and products that indie bookstores will be selling that day. (Shelf Absorbed)
  • This random children’s book author decided it was a good idea to catfish a book blogger under the guise of an employee at Penguin Random House, sending out “ARCs” which were really just copies of her already-published book in order to get reviews. (Publisher’s Weekly)

Thursday, 7 January

  • Shelf Awareness reported the death of Olwyn Hughes, literary agent and sister of Poet Laureate (1984–1998) Ted Hughes. She passed away on 3 January at age 87. Olwyn was a staunch defender of Hughes’ literary estate, as well as that of his late wife, Sylvia Plath. (The Guardian)
  • Food and Wine made a list of America’s best indie bookstore, but none of them are in Boston, so I’m offended. (Food and Wine)
  • The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz won the Scott O’Dell Award, which includes a $5,000 prize. Remind me to pick that one up! (Shelf Awareness)
  • Publisher’s Lunch reported that the Penguin paperback book truck will be retiring after three years on the road. 🙁
  • Scholastic is starting an initiative called The Story Starts Here to help kickstart picture book reading with young children. (Publisher’s Weekly)

Friday, 8 January

  • Emma Watson is starting a feminist book club via Goodreads!!! Their first book is Gloria Steinem’s new memoir, My Life on the Road. (Twitter)
  • Several bookseller groups, including the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers, and the European and International Booksellers Association, have issued a joint statement expressing concern about the disappearance of five employees of the Hong Kong publishing company Mighty Current and its partner bookstore, Causeway Bay Books. The publisher is known for books criticizing the Chinese government. The Chinese government will neither confirm nor deny that the employees are in their custody. This is some bullshit. (Shelf Awareness)
  • More bullshit, this time from France. BD Egalité, a group of female cartoonists, is boycotting this year’s Festival d’Angoulême (the most prestigious award for cartoonists in France) because all of the nominees are male. (Publisher’s Weekly)
  • And no one is surprised that the Vatican has its collective head up its ass: they’ve attempted to jail two writers who “alleged corruption and financial wrongdoing in the highest circles of the Holy See,” according to a news brief from PW. So much for freedom of the press! (Publisher’s Weekly)

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