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Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world's leading liberal voice
  1. Children’s authors of colour published in UK rose to 11.7% of market in 2021

    BookTrust research shows, however, that the overall picture ‘remains far from representative’ with some writers and illustrators reporting tokenism

    New research has found that 11.7% of children’s book creators published in the UK in 2021 were people of colour, up from 5.6% in 2017.

    Despite the big improvement, though, “the UK’s body of children’s literature overall remains far from representative” said Diana Gerald, chief executive of BookTrust, in the report’s introduction.

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  2. Paramount scraps $2.2bn sale of Simon & Schuster publishing to Penguin

    Penguin owner Bertelsmann will not appeal US judge’s ruling that merger would be illegal because it would hit authors’ pay

    Penguin Random House, the world’s largest book publisher, and rival Simon & Schuster have scrapped a $2.2bn deal to merge, Penguin’s owner said in a statement on Monday.

    Bertelsmann, a German media group which owns Penguin, initially said it would appeal a US judge’s decision that said its purchase of Simon & Schuster would be illegal because it would hit authors’ pay.

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  3. ‘All you have to do is participate’: how the Shotgun Seamstress zine made space for Black punks

    As the DIY publication is collected in a new anthology, creator Osa Atoe and the musicians she inspired reflect on its defiant positivity

    In 2006, Osa Atoe picked up pen and paper and began to write herself into history. She had decided to create a fanzine, titled Shotgun Seamstress, with a simple manifesto: to support “Black people who exist within predominantly white subcultures, and to encourage the creation of our own.” She went on to produce eight issues, and now those lovingly crafted pages have been compiled into an anthology that celebrates her zine’s status as one of the most iconic subcultural documents of the 00s alt-rock scene.

    “I think it had to do with finding a genre that encourages participation,” reflects Atoe from her Florida home. “My parents are Nigerian, and my dad always had a big record collection, mostly pop and R&B. I was a teen in the 90s so it was impossible to not know about grunge, but punk was the first genre that told me that I could be in a band.”

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  4. TikTok to sell books directly to users via marketplace

    To further capitalise on the popularity of BookTok the social media giant will let users purchase titles through partnerships with publishers and retailers

    TikTok has proved to be a hugely successful way to promote books in recent years, with publishers attributing the popularity of books such as It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid in large part to recommendations on the app. Now TikTok has decided to sell books directly, announcing partnerships with publishers HarperCollins UK, WH Smith, Bloomsbury and bookshop.org, all of which will sell books via TikTok’s online marketplace.

    #BookTok is one of the social media platform’s most popular hashtags, reaching more than 90bn views to date, and as a result TikTok has formed several partnerships off the back of its success, including with the Hay festival and publisher Penguin Random House (PRH), where since September, app users have been able to tag any PRH title in their videos.

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  5. Bernie Sanders to publish book outlining vision for ‘political revolution’

    It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism, out next year, will argue the world needs to ‘recognise that economic rights are human rights’

    Former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is to publish a book outlining “a vision of what would be possible if the political revolution took place”.

    It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism will be published by Penguin Random House in February 2023.

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  6. Nadine Dorries to write book about Boris Johnson’s ‘dramatic downfall’

    The former culture secretary and author of 16 novels reportedly has the working title, The Political Assassination of Boris Johnson

    Nadine Dorries is writing a book about Boris Johnson’s “dramatic downfall”, her agent Piers Blofeld has said.

    The former culture secretary will publish the book next year, according to the Evening Standard. It is expected to be a further demonstration of Dorries’ loyalty to Johnson, and comes after reports that she is among a group of the former prime minister’s allies that are due to be rewarded with seats in the House of Lords. The working title of the book is The Political Assassination of Boris Johnson, suggesting that it will take aim at Rishi Sunak and others who encouraged the former prime minister to resign.

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  7. ‘An acutely difficult time’: companies respond to Arts Council funding decisions

    In our third set of case studies exploring the impact of Arts Council England’s new funding round, we hear from Eclipse in Leeds, Oldham Coliseum and Hexham’s Bloodaxe Books

    Eclipse, a black-led touring company based in Leeds, is still digesting the news that its annual grant from Arts Council England will more than double to £563,474. “We’re relieved, and grateful for the support in the current climate,” said Lekan Lawal, Eclipse’s artistic director. “But we’re also very aware of the impact of the news [of the 2023-26 settlement] on a lot of friends and collaborators and the communities they serve. So it’s a bittersweet situation, and we’re still trying to work out what the ramifications are.”

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  8. Inspirational passion or paid-for promotion: can BookTok be taken on face value?

    TikTok’s book reviewing community is here to stay, having even received publishing awards for innovation, but issues of authenticity and safety abound

    BookTok, the nickname for TikTok videos in which books are discussed, analysed, cried about and turned into “aesthetic” moodboards, began as a small group of the app’s users who wanted a place to talk about books. It has since grown into a hugely influential community that has the power to pluck authors out of relative obscurity and propel them into the bestsellers charts.

    Earlier this month it was named FutureBook Person of the Year, an accolade which recognises digital innovation and excellence across the book trade. According to James Stafford, Head of Partnerships and Community at TikTok, BookTok is a community of “creative people around the world with a shared passion for literature”. Publishers, creators and writers have generally agreed that this corner of the platform has had an overwhelmingly positive effect, having led to huge increases in book sales and the discovery of new writers. The Bookseller even recently called it “the last safe place on the internet”.

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  9. FTX crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried subject of new book by Michael Lewis

    Bestselling writer Lewis has been shadowing Bankman-Fried as the cryptocurrency founder’s company, FTX, failed

    Bestselling author Michael Lewis, whose books include The Big Short and Flash Boys, is writing about the former boss of the failed cryptocurrency exchange for his next book.

    FTX, which was the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange, filed for bankruptcy in the US last week. Its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, also resigned as chief executive.

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  10. Mindfulness books for children are a runaway publishing trend

    Industry reports sales of titles for under-10s addressing emotions up almost 40%, driven by demand from young people

    Mindfulness books for children as young as two are the latest runaway publishing trend, the industry has said, with children themselves calling for more titles to help them make sense of their emotions.

    Publishers including Magic Cat Publishing are reporting that sales of books for children under 10 years old that address emotions and mental health issues are up almost 40% year on year since 2021.

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