April 2011 Archives

E-selling Experiment

Arthur Slade on his e-selling 'experiment'.

The books are available on Amazon, iBooks and Smashwords. My total sales were as follows: February: 21 copies March: 51 copies April: 368 copies

Of the sales 440 total sales, 419 come from Amazon....

Place your bids

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Place your bids...

Original David Lucas painting - a rare original signed painting by renowned children's author David Lucas (48cm x 32cm, unframed). This lot is an unused panel from his popular book 'Whale'. Lot includes a copy of 'Whale' and two other books by the author.

Anyone can put in a bid for this and other lots to be auctioned at the Lewes Football Club's Gala dinner to be held on May 5 at the Pelham House Hotel.

To place bids email charlie@lewesfc.com with your bid amount and contact details.

Q & A with Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Q & A with Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
by Julia Eccleshare
from Publishers Weekly

Allan Ahlberg - A Life In Writing: The Guardian

recommended feature

He was 22 and working as a grave-digger when he had what he calls his second big stroke of luck. The head of Oldbury's parks and cemeteries, a somewhat paternalistic "officer class" boss who had been a squadron leader in the RAF and still treated all his employees as "his men", discovered that the quiet young man he employed to dig graves had left school with some A-levels. "He came to the cemetery one day, stood over the grave I was digging and told me that he had decided that I should become a teacher," says Ahlberg. "I didn't think it was such a good idea. I was very shy - I found it embarrassing to buy a bus ticket. But he got me to put my suit on and have a wash and a clean-up, and he took me to one or two schools, just to visit, just to get the feel of it. It was great: in those days you could go into a school and effectively be a teacher with no qualifications at all."

2011 Edgar Allan Poe Winners

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Edgar Winners 2011


The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy by Dori Hillestad Butler (Albert Whitman & Co.)


Interrogation of Gabriel James by Charlie Price (Farrar, Straus, Giroux Books for Young Readers)

Anne Fine Interview

from canada.com

Fairytale Character Dispute

Russia and Ukraine have become embroiled in a dispute over the origin of several popular fairytale characters...

Telegraph Children's Books Roundup

Easter weekend's roundup by Dinah Hall

Egmont Changes

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Leah Thaxton has been made Fiction Publishing Director at Egmont with immediate effect. Leah was previously Senior Publisher. Cally Poplak, Managing Director, said: "This is a well-earned new title for Leah after a spectacular 2010 for the Fiction list and terrific results so far this year."

Thaxton has worked at Egmont for 7 years and edits bestselling authors including Andy Stanton and Michael Grant. Under her management, the fiction list has seen record growth in the last three years in both the UK and International markets. Since 2009 she has doubled the list's output of teen fiction, most successfully with the launch of Gone, by Michael Grant, which is currently ranked no 21 on Amazon.

Thaxton said: 'Egmont Press provides a wonderfully eclectic list to suit most tastes. I am particularly proud of the strides we have made in the sci-fi crossover market and in billing ourselves as the House of Humour - 'I am NOT a Loser' is the next fantastically zany comedy offering to look out for, for all you Mr Gum fans out there...! 2011 promises to be equally exciting with some inspired new launches from Kjartan Poskitt (Agatha Parrot) and Garth Nix (Troubletwisters), along with some heartstopping debut novels such as Between, We Can Be Heroes and Forgotten. This a great age for children's books and the Egmont list has more than its fair share of talent to offer."

In another change, Ben Horslen from Hothouse Publishing will be join Egmont Press on May 23rd as Commissioning Editor, as maternity cover for Rachel Boden.

Adult Picks

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Latest selection of new titles on ACHUKA's adult table....

Go to the page...

Children's Laureate To Have Waterstone's branding

welcome evidence of belief in the continued existence of the Waterstone's chain?

Booktrust and Waterstone's have announced that the Children's Laureate will be rebranded as the Waterstone's Children's Laureate for the 2011-2013 post. The current Laureateship, which is held by celebrated author/illustrator Anthony Browne, will come to an end this June. The new Waterstone's Children's Laureate will be announced at a daytime event at King's Place, King's Cross on Tuesday 7 June 2011.

The Rise of Self-Publishing

Interesting piece... Raises the question of whether ever or how soon this might be replicated in children's publishing.

Egmont Best New Talent Winners

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Birgitta Sif and Marta Altés are the 2011 winners of Egmont's annual Best New Talent Award. They both received £250 each at their final year shows, as well as a publishing deal from Egmont.
Since the award ceremony, Egmont have commissioned Birgitta to illustrate a new fiction series called 'The Magnificent Moon Hare'. This is the first time a Best New Talent winner has illustrated a fiction book and Egmont is delighted to be using an award winner outside its picture book list. The first Moon Hare will publish in March 2012 with book two in August 2012.

Egmont will work with Marta Altés in the future as she is currently signed up exclusively to another publisher.

Now in its fifth year, The Egmont Best New Talent Award is presented to a graduate of the MA course in Children's Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University in recognition of their outstanding achievement on the course.

New YA List Announced

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Sterling Publishing is launching a new YA list SPLINTER in the UK this autumn. The first book on the list will be ENVY, book one in New York Times best-selling author GREGG OLSEN'S debut teen series EMPTY COFFIN.

Gregg Olsen, who has a significant following in the US and beyond, has been compared to Joseph Wambaugh and James Patterson. He is also one of the world's top 'true crime' writers and books in the EMPTY COFFIN series will feature story lines inspired by ripped-from-the-headlines news and real crime-solving techniques.

There's more true-life inspiration too: each book in the series stars twin sisters Hayley and Taylor Ryan, whose father is a famous true crime writer. Olsen himself has twin daughters.

"We're very excited about the launch of SPLINTER", says Adrian Greenwood, Sterling UK Sales Director, "The YA market in the UK is bigger now than it's ever been, and we're confident that in EMPTY COFFIN we have a series teen readers will love. In the US they are describing it as a thriller/true-crime/paranormal mash up, we're saying Sweet Valley CSI! It's edgy but very readable, very commercial."

Sterling titles are distributed in the UK by GMC. Sales Director Michael Robb is equally enthusiastic about SPLINTER. "SPLINTER is something very different for Sterling, but the package is excellent. Customers we've spoken to so far have been very positive and we're expecting a great reaction from the trade generally. John Grisham, John Connolly and Harlan Coben have set a high standard for thriller writing for teens, but Gregg Olsen is the real deal."

The second book in the EMPTY COFFIN series BETRAYAL will be published in 2012.

Teen Fiction Reviews - The Scotsman

Keith Gray reviewed the following titles 10 days ago in The Scotsman:

Being Billy by Phil Earle

Everybody Jam by Ali Lewis

Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel

Quarry by Ally Kennen

Grass by Cathy MacPhail

teen Fiction reviewed by Robin Dunbar

Thanks to David Maybury for alerting me to this, via his excellent blog...

In this very good and recommended Irish Times piece, Dunbar reviews:

The Bad Karma Diaries by Bridget Hourican

Flick by Geraldine Meade

Bracelet of Bones by Kevin Crossley-Holland

Buried Thunder by Tim Bowler

Thin Ice by Mikael Engström
no link available to this translation

CBA Shortlists

Five separate shortlists

Guardian review

Being Billy by Phil Earle, reviewed by Marcus Sedgwick

It's a great skill in a writer to achieve what Earle has achieved here - to present an unreliable narrator through whom we can nevertheless honestly see both the good and bad intentions of those around him, despite the fact that Billy himself frequently does not. Yes, this is an angry, unflinching and sometimes bleak look at the life of children in care, but it is also life-affirming, redemptive, and really just rather good. MARCUS SEDGWICK

Michael Morpurgo Feature

from Broadway.com

Troubletwisters Trailer

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Deakin Newsletter March-April 2011

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New Holmes Title Announced

The House of Silk is set in 1890, but as written by Watson in a retirement home, a year after the death of Holmes.

The 85,000-word book will be published in hardback on November 1, in a "very large" edition

Beverly Celary Profile

A New York Times profile of the author know best for her Ramona and Ralph the Mouse series.

Guardian Short Story Competition

Finish a story started by Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon...

The competition is open to children aged 6-12 and the closing date is midnight on 26 April 2011.

The New Young Glums

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The New Young Glums

Indpependent on Sunday feature about courrent vogue for YA dystopian fiction:

Lovesick vampires, angst-ridden werewolves and troubled wizards are to be cast aside as young readers turn to gritty, dystopian narratives filled with post-apocalyptic societies and climate catastrophe.

Sales of "paranormal romance" novels for teenagers, which exploded in the wake of Stephenie Meyer's hugely successful Twilight saga, have seen a decline in the past year. Already Hollywood producers are scrabbling to sign up the new young glums.

Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

The Kissing Game by Aidan Chambers, reviewed by Patrick Ness

Despite a long and distinguished career spanning 45 years and including a Carnegie medal and the Hans Christian Andersen award for a body of work, Chambers hasn't over-published. There is care and quality in all his books, and The Kissing Game is a smart, challenging collection that teenagers may find themselves reluctant to leave. PATRICK NESS

The Ice Bear

I suspect this is the kind of book that parents would really like their kids to like, even though most kids - including the ones I read it to - would way rather hear a story about crazy characters standing on their heads. There isn't much intrinsic to the book that will immediately hook a child - no wacky family members, no scaredy animals or talking toys. But seeing as the book is Mozart quality in a world of Justin Biebers, maybe it's worth the persistence in order to get a child interested.

So grown-ups, break out a reference to the Coca-Cola-swilling polar bear or to televised dogsled racing - whatever helps a child put out a fingerling of appreciation toward this lovely book will certainly pay off. KRISTINE CAMPBELL

Kat Rosenfield, Self-Interviewed

Q: Hey, self, you've got a hell of a nerve calling yourself a YA novelist when your book isn't even published yet.
A: Ohmigod, I know, right? I'm such a SAUCY MINX. You should slap me.

Ally Condie talks about Matched and the sequel Crossed (from PenguinYoungReaders)

Anthony Horowitz Q&A Feature

Horowitz is getting a HUGE amount of press at the moment. This is just one of very many similar featurettes.

Carnegie Medal - 2011 Shortlist

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Guardian Review

Wreckers by Julie Hearn, reviewed by Linda Buckley-Archer

bound to keep readers hooked, provoke debate and enhance Hearn's reputation as a talented storyteller LINDA BUCKLEY-ARCHER

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