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Posts Tagged ‘Headline’

WWII Is Hot, Hot, Hot

So posits the Telegraph in the wake of a new glut of fiction and non-fiction books who use World War Two as its backdrop, setting or purpose. “We’ve done incredibly well out of it,” says Jonathan Goodman of Carlton Books, whose bumper repackaged editions of classic Commando stories were one of the biggest hits in bookshops last Christmas, selling well into six figures, with two new volumes scheduled for imminent publication. Meanwhile Headline is republishing vintage true-life Second World War adventures including ODETTE, BOLDNESS BE MY FRIEND, and John Kenneally VC‘s THE HONOUR AND THE SHAME; Bantam Press has paid a six-figure sum for a series of Sharpe-style adventures about a Second World War infantryman by James Holland; and Bloomsbury will shortly launch my fictional series in a similar vein about a Flashmanesque hero named Dick Coward.

Period specialist and novelist Guy Walters has an easy explanation: “The Second World War is the greatest story ever,” he says. “It’s about the triumph of good over evil. It takes place all over the world. It has the ultimate baddy, who dies at the end in a squalid bunker. What’s more, we won and it’s always nice to read about a war we won.” The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are, publishers and authors argue, the second big reason for the Second World War revival. “At a time when we’re committed to wars where we’re not quite sure who the enemy is and whether or not we’re a peacekeeping force and whether it was right to go in there in the first place, there’s tremendous yearning and nostalgia for the decency and simplicity of the last Good War,” says Bloomsbury’s Mike Jones.

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Random House UK’s Promised Patterson Blitz

On Monday, Random House UK hosted James Patterson (situated at left with company CEO Gail Rebuck) at Sketch, reports Booktrade.info, where the company first held a conference day at the venue, outlining sales plans to staffers and the trade. Customers got to meet the author in the evening. And while Patterson was in London the company also arranged for him to do a photo shoot with Rankin, the results of which will be revealed in due course.

The Bookseller was at the presentation, too
, and report that Patterson will nearly double his annual output to eight books a year when he moves to the Random House next February, adding non-fiction, a graphic novel and more romance and teen fiction to his mainstay of thrillers. CHA marketing director Claire Round said the company will treat every Patterson launch “as if it were a major Hollywood release”, and has appointed a full-time brand specialist to manage the Patterson oeuvre. Each standalone thriller will be backed by prime-time television advertising. Further branding plans are in place for a new teen series, titled Jack X, the Michael Bennett series co-authored with Michael Ledwidge, and his existing series. “We felt strongly – sorry Headline – that the package could be evolved to bring in some new readers without alienating the current ones,” Round concluded.

Hodder Headline Drops Name, Reorganizes

The Bookseller’s Alison Bone reports that Hachette Livre UK is to drop the Hodder Headline name from August, in a raft of changes intended to simplify the publishing group’s structure. The changes will also see Hachette Children’s Books, Headline, Hodder & Stoughton, Hodder Education and John Murray reporting directly to Hachette Livre UK, rather than to Hodder Headline as they currently do.

Hodder Headline’s name dates to 1993 when Headline and Hodder & Stoughton merged. The legal entity Hodder Headline Limited will continue to trade, but with its name changed to HLUK (Euston Road) Limited, a name which will not generally be used in external communications. Hachette stressed that no author, employee or supplier contracts would be affected by the changes, that no job losses are involved, and that the Headline and Hodder publishing businesses would continue to operate separately.

As a result, many internal changes and promotions are in effect. Martin Neild, currently Hodder Headline m.d., becomes CEO of Hodder & Stoughton and John Murray, in addition to his role as m.d. of Headline. Hodder m.d. Jamie Hodder-Williams, who is joining the board of Hachette Livre UK with immediate effect, will continue to report to him, as will John Murray m.d. Roland Philipps, and Headline deputy m.d.s Kerr Macrae and Jane Morpeth. Hachette Livre UK commercial director Richard Kitson is also joining the board with immediate effect.

Headline to Publish Novel Online for Free

In what is likely to be a very closely watched experiment, Booktrade.info reports that Headline is heading into new territory by publishing CONTRACT, the debut novel from British comics writer Simon Spurrier, online for free starting on May 24th. Piers Blofeld, editor of Headline’s new generation fiction list, says Headline is the first mainstream commercial publisher to make such a move. “CONTRACT was one of those very rare submissions that had me literally jumping out of my chair with excitement,” said Blofeld. “The publishing industry has been tiptoeing around publishing books online. While there are obvious issues for publishers, the main point for me is that what writers need above all else is readers. With his comics background and established online presence, the fact that Simon has the perfect profile for this kind of venture, is a bonus; as is the fact the book will resonate with a particularly large market demographic of internet users.”

UK SF Book News has more on the proposition, including information about a MySpace page for the book’s main character, Michael Point. And I wonder, if this campaign works, this might be a great idea for William Morrow to explore when British comics writer Warren Ellis‘s debut novel, CROOKED LITTLE VEIN, is released here in late July…

Dateline LBF: Ego-tistical

At this point, I’ve no doubt that the already overhyped proposal Ali Gunn‘s been peddling around the LBF halls will find a home on both sides of the Atlantic, but to call it, as PW Daily does, “the talk of the fair” seems to fit in with the overhype. But don’t take my word for it, see what the publishing insider Gawker‘s Emily Gould recruited to give his or her opinion on the proposal opined: “Everyone is having great fun trying to pick out who the characters are modeled after and who the writer is. Beyond that, there is absolutely nothing to care about except to wonder idly how an internationally bestselling writer and a well-known agent could have put together such a resoundingly flagrant piece of utter crap without realizing (or maybe just without caring) how crappy it actually is. Also, the sex scenes are really really terrible.”

brian-freeman.jpgPW Daily’s piece pretty much rehashes PN’s story from Monday but adds the extra tidbit that many people at LBF figure that Gunn is the agent in question co-authoring EGO and GREED along with the American male author already mentioned. If that’s the case, looking at Gunn’s client list, the only “internationally published American male writer” who might fit the criteria is Brian Freeman (right), a Minnesota-based crime writer whose debut novel IMMORAL (2005) was nominated for the Edgar Award. That and his two follow-ups, STRIPPED AND STALKED, are published by St. Martin’s Press in the US and Headline in the UK. The catch, and it’s a big enough one to sway me against this particular guess is that Freeman is “published in 46 countries and 16 languages” according to his website, and PN’s story claims the author is “published in 17 countries” but they could be mixing things up intentionally to avoid accurate guesses and Gunn having to buy the winner dinner…