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  • Lots of details about the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2009 (which will be televised on ITV3 on Tuesday, 27th October at 9pm.) from the Bookseller:

    US crime writer Harlan Coben was named this week as ITV3 viewers' favourite crime genre author, beating Dick Francis, Alexander McCall Smith, Nicci French and Martina Cole after an online poll which lasted six weeks. But it was Lynda La Plante who stole the show with her views on celebrity authors.

    The award was announced at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2009, held [yesterday] at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. La Plante expressed her views on celebrity authors while on stage collecting her trophy to commemorate joining the 'Hall of Fame'. La Plante told publishers they needed to "cut through the dross" and put their "millions of pounds" into authors other than those enjoying "15 minutes of fame". This comes after the Daily Mail published an article this week in which authors including P D James dismissed the trend of celebrity authors. It named Martine McCutcheon who was also at the awards. Her debut novel The Mistress is due to be published by Macmillan in November.

    The best crime novel of the year went to William Brodrick who won the CWA Gold Dagger 2009, sponsored by BooksDirect, for A Whispered Name. The year's best thriller was The Last Child by John Hart, which won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2009, sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. Johan Theorin's Echoes From The Dead won the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2009, sponsored by Louise Penny and Michael Whitehead, as a first book by a previously unpublished writer, awarded in memory of CWA founder John Creasey.

    Colin Dexter, Lynda La Plante, Ian Rankin and Val McDermid collected trophies to commemorate their inaguration into the Hall of Fame.

    HBO's The Wire picked up two gongs, as best drama and its star Dominic West as the best actor. Juliet Stevenson won the best actress dagger.

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    Blimey: Stephenie Meyers Eclipse has sold its millionth copy in the UK:

    Eclipse, the third book in Stephenie Meyer's global phenomenon, The Twilight Saga, has sold its millionth copy in the UK this week.

    First published in 2006, it is set to join the first two books in the series, Twilight and New Moon, to receive the Nielsen BookScan Platinum Award for books that have sold over one million copies. The fourth book in the series, Breaking Dawn, follows closely behind. Though not yet available in paperback, Breaking Dawn has now sold over 750,000 copies.

    Ursula Mackenzie, Chief Executive of Little, Brown, comments, "Three out of Stephenie Meyer's four tremendous Twilight novels have now sold a million copies or more. This is an incredible milestone and we are grateful to Stephenie Meyer for her wonderful books and to the fans for their continued appreciation."

    In June it was revealed that 10 pence in every pound spent on a children's book in Britain was on a title in The Twilight Saga. In the UK alone, 4.1 million copies of the entire Twilight Saga have been sold to date. So far this year a copy of The Twilight Saga has been sold in the UK every 2 seconds and a copy of Eclipse every 9 seconds.

    Eclipse continues the story of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Their relationship isn't easy; Edward Cullen is a vampire. In Eclipse, a string of mysterious killings are ravaging Seattle and Bella finds herself surrounded by danger. On top of this, Bella is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob, a werewolf.

    Twilight, the movie, hit the big screen in November 2008 grossing over £10 million in the UK alone, making it the second highest grossing independent film of 2008. The second film, New Moon, is due to be released in the UK next month.

    The Host, Stephenie Meyer's stand-alone adult novel, was a run away success of the summer, selling over 200,000 copies in paperback since it's publication in July this year.

  • What the Dog Saw

    Tue, 20 Oct 2009 08:47

    Gladwell is back (via the New York Times):

    At the beginning of 2000 Little, Brown published The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It was an auspicious time for both the calendar industry and the publishing world. Mr. Gladwell had a deductive style and a teacherly simplicity that would make him one of the new century's most frequently quoted and widely imitated writers of nonfiction. He went on to write Blink and Outliers, and all three books went to the top of best-seller lists. What can this tell us about Mr. Gladwell or about the people who read him?

    While he wrote these books Mr. Gladwell continued to write feature articles for The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1996. And those articles -- some of which have been collected in his new book, What the Dog Saw -- had a distinctive format. He liked to begin by framing some kind of broad question. Then he liked to change subjects abruptly more...

  • Each Monday, here on Editor's Corner, I'm going to take a look at some of the news that has been dominating the book industry in the preceding week.

    The news, as usual, is mostly gathered thanks to the excellent resources that are the Publishers Weekly website and the GalleyCat blog.

    • Are foreign publishers colluding to keep advances down? "At least one American agent thinks so. Amid the regular appointments and deal-making in the rights centre, one thing that has ignited chatter is an e-mail message that Trident chairman Robert Gottlieb sent to a number of foreign clients just before the Fair. The mass e-mail, which Publishers Weekly obtained and which was sent to editors in countries including Germany, Italy and Holland, claims there has been "an increased level" of collusion among foreign publishers"
    • In an open letter to readers in The Huffington Post book section, "editor Amy Hertz made a controversial statement: 'Book reviews tend to be conversation enders, and when you're living in the age of engagement, a time when people are looking for conversation starters, that stance gets you nowhere'"
    • There's been a simmering anti-Google sentiment at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, "no doubt connected to European objections to the Google Book Search Settlement. And on Friday that simmer reached a boil, as the deal faced harsh -- at times, puzzling -- criticism at a registration-required panel on "European and American Positions Towards the Google Settlement."
    • Triumph Books, "the Chicago-based imprint of Random House renowned for churning out full-color sports books on short notice, is taking full advantage this month of what publisher Mitch Rogatz calls "fleeting excitement in the marketplace," by releasing three instant books -- one of them a flip-book about Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, who previously quarterbacked for the Green Bay Packers, another a guide to professional bull-riding, and the third an irreverent look at the Obama administration"
    • This week at the Frankfurt Book Fair, former HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman and film producer Jeffrey Sharp unveiled plans for Open Road Integrated Media -- the brand new eBook outfit with a multimedia edge. According to the NY Times, Friedman's company procured $3 million in start-up finances from venture capitalist James A. Kohlberg. Between 'backlist titles, new works and joint marketing agreements, which will include some self-published works,' the company aims to work on 750 to 1,000 titles in the first year"

  • Diwali -- the Festival of Lights

    Thu, 15 Oct 2009 04:29

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    Diwali, wikipedia tells me, "is a significant festival in Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and an official holiday in India" -- and the festival begins this coming Saturday.

    Diwali aur naya saal Mubarak! (Happy Diwali and a Happy New Year!)

    Adherents of these religions celebrate Diwali as the Festival of Lights. They light diyas -- cotton string wicks inserted in small clay pots filled with oil -- to signify victory of good over the evil within an individual.

    As per Hindu calendar, the five day festival of Diwali is centered on the new moon day that ends the month of Ashwin and begins the month of Kartika, beginning on the 13th day of the dark half of Ashwin (Ashwin 28th) and ending on the 2nd day of the bright half of Kartika (Kartika 2nd). The main day of celebration varies regionally.

    In Hinduism, across many parts of India and Nepal, it is the homecoming of Rama after a 14-year exile in the forest and his victory over Ravana. In the legend, the people of Ayodhya (the capital of his kingdom) welcomed Rama by lighting rows (avali) of lamps (dipa), thus its name: dipawali. Over time, this word transformed into Diwali in Hindi and Dipawali in Nepali, but still retained its original form in South and East Indian Languages. In Dravidian languages it is called as Deepavali and the same is used in Malaysia and Singapore. South Indians never say Diwali as it means Firebucket.

    In Jainism, Diwali marks the attainment of nirvana by Mahavira on 15 October, 527 BC (more...)

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