Monday, March 23, 2015

John Green's Paper Towns Official Movie Trailer


If you are a huge fan of John Green, wait who am I kidding, of course you are! If you haven't gotten your grubby book-whorish hands on Paper Towns you haven't yet lived. 



Set to release in the US 24 July 2015


About the Book


Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life – dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge – he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues – and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

Paper Towns debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and won the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery. It is taught in many high school and college curricular, often in conjunction with Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, which is an important text within the novel.





Monday, March 16, 2015

Tribute to Sir Terry Prachett


Photo by Kaleem Rorke


I picked up my first Terry Pratchett novel when I was thirteen years old. It was Mort, and it remains, in my opinion, his greatest Discworld novel to date. It was with this fine work of literary hilarity that Terry Pratchett introduced me to the fantasy genre. In the years to come his books continued to work their magic on my eager young mind and I found myself gravitating towards books stores, solely in search of the latest Discworld Novel. 

Through Sir Pratchett (because I would never presume to be on a first name basis with the man) I discovered my next favourite fantasy author, Neil Gaiman, when I read that defining classic of the fantasy-humour genre: Good Omens. I found the mixture of Pratchett's humour and Neil Gaiman's dark and often disturbing writing style, an exhilarating mix. I have lost count of the number of times I have read that book, trawling through pages trying to distinguish which author wrote which paragraph or chapter. 

It was this kind of passion and love for reading that Terry Pratchett inspired in his fans. His comedy was on point and his satire was biting. Groups of friends were built around a mutual love for his works, quoting select lines as 'in jokes'. He was a hero to every geek, fantasy reader, D&D gamer, lover of laughter, and many more besides.

It would be no stretch of the imagination to say that Terry Pratchett shaped my childhood and ultimately the man I would become. Before Pratchett I did not read. At all. Because of him I feel lost while waiting for the next favourite instalment of whichever fantasy epic I am reading at the moment. Because of him, my first real job was with Exclusive Books, because I needed to be close to the escape that books provided. Because of him I decided that teaching English simply must be my chosen profession. 

Without a sound education in the English language, the next generation will not know that sense of underlying pity for Death in his efforts to be more like the living; the sense of pride in our Captain Vimes when he comes out on top; the elation I felt every time Moist von Lipwig gets one over whoever is foolish enough to try and outsmart him; or the exasperation that comes whenever Rincewind stuffs up again. I could name favourite Discworld characters all day, but I won't. Read the books and decide who you love best.

Terry Pratchett was a pillar of the comedic fantasy genre and to say that we have lost a great man is an incredible understatement. We have lost the one man who understands that, as Death so eloquently puts it, ‘Humans need fantasy to be human’. The real world is so often unforgiving and cruel, as Mr Pratchett found first hand, and it is only through the escape of fantasy that we are able to conjure some magic into our lives. 


Terry Pratchett, you were and will always remain the magic in my life.



No one gets pardoned for living
- Death



- Robert Smith


Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Trailer: Touch by Claire North


Cover image (SA Edition)

I have never been the strongest fantasy fan, but after The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Claire North's first novel, which I have to admit (rather sheepishly) that I didn't really enjoy.  It seems North has taken a turn with her new novel, Touch. You have to see the trailer below to know what I mean.




Looks like a goodie...


Friday, February 20, 2015

I met Amanda 'F**king' Palmer




Working in the publishing industry gives you more perks than you can count on one hand - besides the facade of glamour, the free books, the access to books, the ability to talk books, sell them and constantly be around like-minded book lovers. 

So, you have to imagine my excitement when I was given the task to sub in or in layman's terms to 'sell' in Amanda Palmer's title The Art of Asking. (Subscribe, or in short Sub, is a jargon word in the industry meaning to get stores to take stock of a list of titles for a month). You can ask my boss, papers flew and there was a fair amount of screaming.

Amanda Palmer took JHB by storm, by doing what only Amanda Palmer could do, but just simply tweet and arrive - she rocked up, performed, did a signing at Exclusive Books Rosebank. THREE AND A HALF HOURS this woman captivated the audience and signed books. 

While I have an amazing video of Amanda Palmer reading the first chapter of her book, I thought the interview with Maria Popova, from Brain Pickings, was far more informative. (See it below).



So as the crowd gathers around the coffee counter, Amanda Palmer reads the first chapter of her book, The Art of Asking, gets fans to pick passages at random and reads them aloud, and when she has each audience member in the palm of her hand, she whips out a ukulele and stands on the coffee counter and sings The Ukulele Anthem.

Amanda Palmer on a coffee shop counter

Palmer is everything you expect her to be, artsy, ballsy, with a trait that catches every one's eye.  She talks, hugs, and takes photographs with every single fan. Truly awesome.

Bradley Lutz, Amanda Palmer, Me
Photo Credit: Talita van Graan
Then, if Amanda Palmer couldn't get any cooler look what she left fans, booksellers, coffee lovers, and all to gander on (I think this has to be the COOLEST thing I have ever seen an author do).

The signed coffee counter

And that is what happened when I met Amanda 'F**king' Palmer...


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Vlog #1: Book Rut Un-rutters


As the year speeds along, I needed new fresh inspiration for the year of blogging ahead. So, I get to share my very new project with you. A VLOG! 

While I realise it's new, probably badly edited, and a few things need to be changed - I am excited to see what you guys think.  Vlogs aren't the only thing I'll be adding and rejigging this year.  So stick around to find out.

In this month's vlog, I talk about book recommendations that are bound to get you out of any reading rut.  Check out the video below.


Please do let me know what you think of the video (thumbs up, comments, or even pop me an email).

Happy Reading


Monday, December 15, 2014

What Book Would You Give Away?


Kelly Ansara (Blogger, Sales Representative at Jonathan Ball)
Book: She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

As the silly season kicks in and Christmas fever settles, as trees go up, fighting through lines in shopping malls - or if you're anything like me, you start bulking up on reading material, wine and beer. Tis the Season to be Jolly

So as my last post for the year (and what a year it's been - but we'll get to that later). I was inspired by a post on BuzzFeed (Find the article here), the sinkhole for my insomnia, where Authors and Readers took part in a 'Giveaway Book' extravaganza.  Completely inspired and excited, I called in a few favors from my fellow book-lovers.

The premise of this exercise was to pick a book that shaped/changed/evoked/shook your world so dramatically that you would give the copy away (and in some cases not your actual edition, hehehe) to another person so they to can have that life-changing experience. 

Talita van Graan (Events Co-ordinator at Exclusive Books)
Book: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

S.A Partridge (Author)
Book: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Tammy February (Books, Community & Bride editor at Women 24)
Book: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Stefania Beninca (Make-Up Artist/Shop Manager at Kryolan SA)
Book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K Rowling


Tarryn Talbot-Da Costa (Publicist at Pan Macmillan SA)
Book: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen


Rene Brophy (Marketing Manager at Exclusive Books)
Book: The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

And while some just couldn't decide...


Varsha Lalla (Sales Assistant at Jonathan Ball)
Books: Harry Potter by J.K Rowling | The Discworld Series by Terry Prachett | Peter Pan by J.M Barrie

Samantha Jacobs (Sales Assistant at Jonathan Ball)
Books: The Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Houseini | Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Lizaan Kotze (Sales Assistant at Jonathan Ball)
Books: The Girl who Played Go by Shan Sa | Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels


If you want to be a part of this list, give a shout on twitter, facebook or even via email (contact details are in the contact tab). I want to thank my readers, the publishers, booksellers and fellow bloggers for this amazing book-filled year. I hope next year is as jam-packed. 

Have a glorious and safe festive season!



Friday, November 21, 2014

Books You Need for a Career in Publishing



When I first started in publishing I didn't know my head from my elbow. It's amazing how often I turn to books to help me figure out the world around me. Recently, I bought a new bookshelf and while packing some old books, and some new books; and if you are anything like me, you don't just pack the books, you arrange, rearrange, alphabetise, and figure out a 'section' area by genre or by collection (i.e. signed hardbacks, or languages, or books worked on). It's complicated to say the least, but while packing, I realised I had an entire shelf on 'Books for Publishing' - granted theses were collected over the years some from my career, some from my publishing honors degree. So why not share them with you, dear reader? These don't have to be used for a career in publishing, but if you love books, and want to explore how they are made, sold, and financed this list will help...


Mathematics of Bookselling: A Monograph by Leonard Shatzkin

The Mathematics of Bookselling is a definitive resource for book retailers looking to maximize margins and profits through the proven pricing and inventory management practices developed by Leonard Shatzkin, one of 20th century book publishing’s most innovative executives.

Because bookselling involves dealing with so many different products from so many different suppliers with so many different prices and margins, it is perhaps the most complex retailing challenge there is. The Mathematics of Bookselling, a monograph by Leonard Shatzkin, explores a variety of the real-life challenges booksellers face -- what and when to buy, how margin (the amount made on a sale) and turn (the speed at which inventory brought in gets sold) affect profitability, whether to add or subtract titles from the mix -- and lays out the logic and calculations by which the "right" answers can be found.




Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
"I'm a panda," he says at the door. "Look it up."
The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.
"Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

So, punctuation really does matter, even if it is only occasionally a matter of life and death.

Now, we all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighbourhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the internet, in e-mail, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species.

In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From the invention of the question mark in the time of Charlemagne to George Orwell shunning the semicolon, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with.



How to Market Books by Alison Baverstock


Over four editions, Alison Baverstock's How to Market Books has established itself as the industry standard text on marketing for the publishing industry, and the go-to reference guide for professionals and students alike. With the publishing world changing like never before, and the marketing and selling of content venturing into uncharted technological territory, this much needed new edition seeks to highlight the role of the marketer in this rapidly changing landscape. 

The new edition is thoroughly updated and offers a radical reworking and reorganisation of the previous edition, suffusing the book with references to online/digital marketing. The book maintains the accessible and supportive style of previous editions but also now offers: a number of new case studies detailed coverage of individual market segments checklists and summaries of key points several new chapters a foreword by Michael J Baker, Professor Emeritus of Marketing, Strathclyde University.



Get your Book Published in 30 (relatively) Easy Steps by Basil van Rooyen

Writing a book? Need answers to your questions? What are my chances of getting my book published? Where can I find information about which publishers handle which books? What exactly is involved in publishing a book and how long does it take? Who pays for what? How do I protect my copyright? These and scores of other questions can frustrate the first-time author - and often haunt published authors too. 

Part 1 traces the entire publishing process, from the moment the author conceives of the idea to the moment the finished book arrives in the bookshop, and beyond, by breaking it down into 30 easy-to-digest steps. 

Part 2 is an overview of the inner workings of the international book trade as well as the South African book industry. This edition of this authoritative aid for authors brings prospective authors up to date with new developments in the book world such as e-books and now focuses exclusively on general trade books (fiction and non-fiction).



Walking on Eggshells by G.E de Villiers

Walking on Eggshells is a practical, down-to-earth – and entertaining! - guide to some aspects of English usage. It is aimed at the reader with an interest in the subject, whether on a professional or personal level. Additionally, it should also be of use to those who wish to improve their knowledge of language and how it works.











Book Commissioning & Acquisition by Gill Davies

Since its first publication, this essential guide to book commissioning has established itself as the one and only 'must-read' for any successful editor, and the core training text used both within publishing houses and on publishing courses worldwide.

In this new edition, Davies concentrates on the essential skills of commissioning, as well as other editorial challenges such as handling new lists following mergers and takeovers, and the demands of digital technology. New case-studies have been added which illustrate the commercial and practical problems that editors must address in today's complex and demanding marketplace.

This book remains the one text that editors must have by their side throughout their careers.



On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999 – and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it -- fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.










If you have any suggestions to add to my list, please send them through - comment below or pop me an email.


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