Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Chipping Norton Literary Festival - April 20-22

The first ever Chipping Norton Literary Festival will take place between Friday 20th and Sunday 22nd of April 2012, sponsored by property agents Knight Frank.

Chipping Norton is a busy market town on the edge of the Cotswolds and boasts an independent book shop, Jaffe & Neale.
Browse the full programme at their website and follow them on twitter: @ChipLitFest.

For crime fans, the main events are on the Sunday and include an audience with Colin Dexter, author of the Oxford based Inspector Morse and a crime writing workshop with Helen Black. Other crime writers present include Mark Billingham, Sophie Hannah, Dan Waddell  S J Bolton and Jasper Fforde. Other authors appearing include Joanna Trollope and Katie Fforde. Click here for a full list of authors appearaing at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

New senior editor at Random House Publishing

Cornerstone has appointed Sarah Norman as senior editor for Hutchinson, with Norman moving from her role as senior editor at Atlantic Books. She takes up her new role at Random House on 10th April, and will report directly to Hutchinson publishing director Jocasta Hamilton.

Read more: Sarah Norman to join Hutchinson:

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Case Files, the brand new e zine from the Crime Readers' Association

Case Files, the brand new ezine from Crime Readers’ Association has been launched. It features novels and articles written by members of the Crime Writers’ Association. The first issue takes crime fiction fans from stormy Scottish oceans to the bloody seas off England’s south coast in the Solent.

You can read Case Files on the Crime Readers's Association web site and you can also subscribe to receive future ezines.

Don't forget in the UK you have until 31 March to nominate your favourite British Crime Writer for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. 

You can nominate any of your three favourite crime authors between now and 31st March 2012. Nomination forms may be downloaded from the CWA website or ask at your local library.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Rights House and PFD buy four crime estates including works by Dennis Wheatley and Edmund Crispin

The Rights House and PFD have acquired four crime estates from Chorion in its intellectual property sell-off, acquiring works by Dennis Wheatley and Margery Allingham.

Dennis Wheatley who died in 1977, wrote thrillers and occult novels, with The Devil Rides Out among his best-known works. PFD acquired more than 65 of his titles.

Nicolas Freeling, who died in 2003, was a crime novelist, perhaps best known for his Van der Valk series. PFD will be managing an estate of 37 of his detective novels.

PFD also acquired the entire estate of crime author Edmund Crispin, comprising nine novels and 42 short stories, plus the entire estate of Allingham, comprising 20 novels and 44 short stories.

Chorion has been selling off its assets since it broke its banking covenants in September last year and was unable to restructure its £70m debt.

Read more: Rights House and PFD snap up crime estates:

Friday, 16 March 2012

Publisher Faber to launch online Creative Writing Course

Faber is to add to its series of Faber Academy creative writing courses with a new online course. Faber Academy Online was created with online education company Professional Writing Academy (PWA) and will host chatrooms, forums and video content from Faber editors.

Faber Academy and digital director Jason Cooper said: "Since we launched the first courses in 2008, people around the world have been asking for an online version, so we're very pleased to be able to offer it."

The first course to run on the online platform will be "Writing a Novel", a 28-week programme based on the face-to-face course of the same name already run by the Academy.

It will begin on 11th April and will be taught by author Kris Kenway, with the study materials and workshop sessions available online. It includes three one-to-one feedback sessions over Skype or on the phone, as well as 24-hour technical support and nine peer review sessions. 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

People in Publishing

As part of a restructure, Orion will replace its trade and paperback divisions with Orion Fiction (housing more than half of its frontlist titles, and nearly all of its crime fiction) and Orion General (for Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Phoenix, Gollancz, and Orion Children's.) Current trade managing director Lisa Milton will run the General division, while Susan Lamb, who oversees the paperback division, will now run Orion Fiction.

At McGraw-Hill Professional, Stephanie Frerich has been promoted to senior editor in the business group.

At Random House Publisher Services, Michelle Yung has been promoted to imprint sales director.

Mike McGrath has been named publisher of Templar Publishing, effective this summer, when current md Amanda Wood is set to step aside. He is currently executive director of sales & marketing at Quercus.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Edinburgh World Writers' Conference to launch in August with five day writers'conference

The Edinburgh International Book Festival and the British Council are launching the Edinburgh World Writers' Conference at the EIBF this August, marking the 50th anniversary of a five-day writers' conference which took place in 1962.

The conference is setting out to "build the most complete picture of writing and its relationship to modern life ever attempted", with the meeting to be broadcast live online, and with other conference meetings happening in countries including India, Germany, Australia, Canada and Egypt over the year. The EWWC will publish a book about contemporary writing, assembling the highlights from the conferences around the world, after final conference session in August 2013.

Full details of the participants and sessions will be announced in June. For further information visit Edinburgh International Book Festival

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

London event sponsored by Barnes and Noble suggests UK entry for Nook

US retailer Barnes & Noble is to sponsor an event for developers in London on 19 March, raising speculation about a spring entry of its digital reader the Nook into the UK and Europe.

The event will be hosted by Mobile Monday London and will feature a panel discussion with B&N director of developer relations Claudia Romanini, a workshop for Nook developers and a 90-minute “networking” period.

Earlier this year, B&N confirmed its plans to bring the Nook overseas and said it was considering spinning off its digital business from its main book retail venture. Rumours have been rife regarding a possible link-up between B&N and Waterstones.

Read more :London Nook event suggests "UK entry":

Monday, 12 March 2012

Chance to get published with Faber and Stylist crime writing competition

Stylist magazine has teamed up with publishing house Faber and Faber to launch a Crime Fiction Competition. The winner will have their first novel published and receive a £5000 advance.
Baroness Ruth Rendell CBE, who has written over 60 crime novels and is the creator of Inspector Wexford, heads up a judging panel that includes those from the crime fiction industry as well as Stylist’s editor Lisa Smosarski.

Entries are open to both men and women but the protagonist needs to be female.

To enter Stylist’s Crime Fiction Competition you will need to complete the first 6,000 words of your original crime or thriller novel. The novel must feature a female protagonist. Alongside this you will need to submit an outline, no longer than 300 words, to show how the story will develop but which doesn’t reveal the ending, plus a 250-word biography of the central character.

The runner up will receive a three month writing course worth £1750 at the Faber Academy led by author Dreda Say Mitchell.

Closing date is 12 July 2012. For more details and an entry form, visit website.

Friday, 9 March 2012

McShane new Waterstones head of books

Waterstones has announced former Piccadilly store manager Rik McShane as its new head of books at the same time as appointing Steve Monaghan as director of IT and e-commerce as Helen Baker steps down from the role.

McShane, who was also previously store communications manager, will now hold the title formerly occupied by Toby Bourne as head of books, and will be responsible for new title buying, range, publisher liaison and merchandising teams as well as commercial managers at the centre and in the regions.

A Waterstones spokesman said: “Rik's immediate priority will be to ensure a consistent vision across these areas and further develop the links between the book teams, shops and operations within Waterstones, and externally with publishers.”

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Kate Lyall Grant to be new Severn House publisher

Kate Lyall Grant is to become the new publisher of Severn House, with overall responsibility for the entire list, including the Crème de la Crime titles.

Crème de la Crime, specialising in mid-list authors, is celebrating its first birthday with the imprint “actively publishing two books a month”. The publishing house says it has seen growth on Amazon of 150% year-on-year, with 50% of Severn House's business in the United States.

Lyall Grant formerly worked at Simon & Schuster. She said: “In the current economic climate and the cautious buying market, our independent status means we can attract better quality authors than ever before. We’re competing with bigger publishers and gaining more coverage and starred reviews in trade journals and are hoping that the new e-book list and Severn Select imprint will pick up the slack from the declining library sales.

"With e-books especially, Severn House can compete on a more even playing field. Crème de la Crime allows British crime writing to be highlighted with the support of the whole company.”

Monday, 5 March 2012

New Literary Agency aims to take on two new authors through a competition

Literary agent Madeleine Buston is setting up her own agency, leaving the Darley Anderson Literary Agency where she has worked for four years. The Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency  will be based in central London close to King's Cross. The agency will represent commercial and accessible literary fiction; genre fiction including crime, thrillers and mysteries; memoirs; and crossover fiction, children's and young adult titles; handling all rights in the UK, US and foreign markets. In the US, Buston will work with agent Carly Watters on a case by case basis.

Buston said she was hoping the agency would be "innovative, dynamic and personal", focused on "growing and establishing new authors", planning to have a 50/50 split between adult and children's fiction. She added: "I will miss Darley Anderson and his team enormously but I am thrilled to be, as Lee Child says, captain of my own ship."

Buston is planning to take on two new authors through a competition to celebrate the launch of the agency, which can be accessed through, to go live on 14th March.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Bloomsbury sells its German subsidiary to Swedish media company

Bloomsbury is selling its German subsidiary Bloomsbury Verlag GmbH to a subsidiary of Swedish media company Bonnier AB, announcing a strategic publishing partnership with Piper Verlag, a company in the Bonnier AB Group.

The sale is expected to complete in the next few weeks.Bloomsbury Berlin will continue to bring authors to the German market from Bloomsbury Publishing's international list of authors.

As of 28th February 2011, the publisher reported Bloomsbury Verlag had gross assets of £8.1m.

Bloomsbury c.e.o. Nigel Newton said: "The future of Bloomsbury in Germany is now strengthened through this new strategic partnership with Piper, one of Germany's leading literary publishers. We look forward to our cooperation with them as we bring some of the most successful international authors commissioned by our editors in London, New York, and Delhi to the German market."

This follows Bloomsbury’s move to set up its own business in India, announced earlier this month

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Social networks and cyber crime a source of ideas for novels

I came across a fascinating article on the Writers Forensic Blog, which not only provides some basic research for someone writing a crime or thriller novel but can also throw up ideas for plots and perhaps warn those using social networks to be a little bit more careful about what they post.

Below is just a flavour of what can happen from author and law professor, Lori Andrews in her latest non-fiction book, I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy.

"Facebook posts can provide the motivation for a murder—such as the 34-year-old British man who hacked his estranged wife to death after she changed her Facebook status to “single.”

"Posts can also provide ways to uncover crimes. The IRS searches social network sites for evidence of taxable transactions and the whereabouts of tax evaders."

I expect here in the United Kingdom Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs are busy doing the same.

Cyber crime has always fascinated me. I chose it as the basis for one of my thrillers: In For The Kill.

In For The Kill, is a thriller about a man whose computer is hacked and embedded with false information leading to his arrest and imprisonment.

Alex Albury, the victim and the hero in In For The Kill is released from prison after serving three and a half years for fraud and embezzlement, determined to find the man who framed him. All he knows is his name: James Andover. But who is he? Where is he? Because of his experience though Alex has a phobia about using technology to assist him and that includes using a mobile phone. Alex embarks on his quest to track down Andover, but with the trail cold he is frustrated at every turn. Worse, he finds himself under suspicion by the police. The pressure is on and Alex has to unearth the answers and quick. But time is running out. For Alex the future looks bleak and soon he is left with the option - to kill or be killed

And here is some more from Lori Andrews:

"When a woman advertised a diamond ring for sale on Craigslist, the people responding to the ad robbed and beat her and shot her husband. She’d posted her address in the ad, but sometimes people unwittingly reveal their location and information about their possessions. Photos taken with most smartphones, for example, have embedded in them a string of digital data known as a geotag. When a woman posts a photo of her new engagement ring or her new baby, the geotag reveals the physical location where the photo was taken. Free software programs can readily decode the information and provide a Google map of the location, leading security analysts to warn about a new problem, “cybercasing,” where anything from a theft to the kidnapping of a child can be planned based on data people unwittingly reveal."

Scary, isn't it? Lori Andrews continues: "Checking in on Facebook or Foursquare can also create risks. In New Hampshire, a burglary ring hit more than fifty homes when people posted status updates on Facebook indicating that they weren’t home".

She goes on to write: "Some people are so dependent on social networks that they can’t make a decision about anything—whether to buy a certain car or break up with a boyfriend—without doing Internet searches or running a poll of their friends. When faced with the evidence in a British sexual assault and abduction case, a juror posted the facts on her Facebook page and said, “I don’t know which way to go, so I’m holding a poll.”

So ideas and inspiration for contemporary crime and thriller writers there and perhaps for authors of other genres too.