For those of us with a foot in the world of publishing, this time of year spells one thing: the London Book Fair.
This year was as frantic as ever - publishers striking deals on books they may not have read but which sound like bestsellers; agents and publicists voiceless after three days of non-stop talking; all then on a detox after yet another furiously fast and fun fair.
As you’ll read, the Four Colman Getty team used the time well. We announced the longlist for the Man Booker International Prize; we were the on-site media desk for Pan Macmillan as they confirmed new signings – some of which will of course be bestsellers. We also talked non-stop about Endeavour Press, the leading independent digital publisher, which has launched a print division to coincide with its fifth anniversary. That may sound counterintuitive but the move into print already looks set for success.
Still in the world of books, I’ve mentioned Sally Emerson and Quartet’s plans to reissue all six of her compelling novels as ‘Rediscovered Classics’ over the course of this year. The first two of these, Fire Child and Heat, were published last week and launched with a party the like of which has become a rarity in our new austere publishing world. Read more about it all from Hannah – and then read the books!
I was thrilled to read last week that the winners of two of the major prizes we look after – Paul Beatty for The Sellout (The Man Booker Prize for Fiction) and Philippe Sands for East West Street (The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non- Fiction) have been shortlisted for The British Book Awards. And also that the Pan Macmillan imprint Bluebird is nominated for Joe Wick’s Lean in 15: The Sustain Plan – another one we’ll be cheering on.
Honour upon honour. We will hear more about all three at the awards ceremony on 8 May.
In total contrast to the hurly burly of the fair is the deep peace on offer from Stillpoint Spaces London, a unique new venue for events, therapy, and contemporary cultural reflection in the heart of Clerkenwell Village. We launched the centre a couple of weeks ago, as Laura tells you – to me it sounds like the perfect retreat for all those burned out publishing folk…
Art can often be a source of tranquillity too but you may find your blood pressure rising as you watch the new Sky Arts series Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge, which premiered earlier this week. Chris will tell you more but my challenge to you is this: are you art sleuth enough to spot a fake?
Answers on a postcard or by email please (I always love to hear from you) – and more next month!