Readersforum's Blog

April 17, 2013

SA startup Paperight wins prestigious innovation award at London Book Fair

london_book_fairIf you haven’t heard of Paperight, the network of independent copy shops that print books, it’s time to pay attention: the South African startup is capturing the imagination of the world’s publishing industry. On the heels of being named one of the winners of the O’Reilly Tools of Change Startup Showcase held in New York City, the startup from Cape Town was awarded the Digital Minds Innovation Award at the London Book Fair — one of the world’s most prestigious publishing events.

The showcase held Sunday night at the Digital Minds Conference, a precursor event to the London Book Fair, was a pretty big deal. The event that inspired conversation about evolution, innovation and disruption in the publishing industry, included keynote speakers such as authors Neil Gaiman and Robert Levine, as well as Will Atkinson, Sales and Marketing Director at Faber & Faber.

Paperight, funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation, beat out seven other shortlisted candidates by popular vote. The audience favoured Paperight’s solution to book distribution problems in South Africa: by allowing photocopy shops to print books cheaply, quickly and — crucially — legally, Paperight is increasing access to books where they have never been physically and financially accessible before.

Click here to read the rest of this story

November 18, 2011

Miami Book Fair 2011: The Year’s Hottest Authors Are in Town

© Shawn Grant Palahniuk: "My books all start with some horrible, unresolved thing in my own life."

In a few days, South Florida takes off its dunce cap, trades its oversized reflector shades for a pair of sturdy bifocals, and flees the thumping club beats for the quietest stall at the library. It’s that great time of year when the Miami Book Fair brings the world’s literary elite to town to talk writing, politics, religion, and the enduring search for the great American novel.

The fair consists of a slew of events spread over eight days, but the main draw is the Street Fair, happening Friday through Sunday. New Times interviewed some of its biggest headliners. Unless otherwise noted, these authors will speak at the Chapman Conference Center (Building 3, Second Floor, Room 3210).

What would happen if Judy Blume rewrote Dante’s Inferno to star a sexually repressed teenager who thinks she’s in hell for overdosing on pot? There’s only one author alive qualified to tackle that question; luckily Chuck Palahniuk, maverick author of Fight Club and Choke, decided to give it a shot.

The result is a rollicking trek through a land of cascading shit waterfalls and oceans of hot vomit populated by Hitler and a cast of teen stereotypes out of the Breakfast Club. Palahniuk uses the gruesome setting in Damned, his new novel, to skewer America’s Puritan obsession with healthiness.

“My books all start with some horrible, unresolved thing in my own life,” Palahniuk says. “Before I wrote this, I was taking care of my mom with cancer.”

Palahniuk has cultivated a reputation for shocking audiences. One infamous short story, called Guts, is so brutal that when Palahniuk reads aloud on his tours, dozens have reportedly fainted. But in Damned — which has its own share of stomach-churning encounters — and other works, Palahniuk says his real goal is a legit human response.

read more

November 14, 2011

Printed word, e-books coexist

Mitchell Kaplan is the founder of Books and Books. Here he is at the Lincoln Road location in 2009 Miami Herald FIle

From the battle of the tablets to the rise of mini publishing houses, reading isn’t dead, it’s just morphing in fascinating ways.

By Connie Ogle

Miami Book Fair International — the last, best refuge for lovers of print books — opens its doors Sunday amid the formidable onslaught of the digital age. E-book sales continue to rise; even the once-reluctant J.K. Rowling is finally selling her Harry Potter series digitally on her own website Pottermore. Amazon and Barnes & Noble have come out swinging against Apple and the iPad with their versions of the tablet, which — we have been told over and over, whether we want to hear it or not — is the absolute, undeniable future of reading.

And local hero Books & Books is proudly entering the print publishing business.

How very 20th Century.

Owner and fair co-chair Mitchell Kaplan knows what you’re thinking: “Is he nuts?” He’s not — or at least he doesn’t think so. The first editions of B&B Press: A Project of Books & Books — a gorgeous, meticulously designed hardcover of Les Standiford’s history of Henry Flagler’s railroad, Last Train to Paradise, and Blue Christmas: Stories for the Rest of Us, a paperback collection of unorthodox holiday tales, many penned by local writers — will debut at the fair, which runs through Nov. 20 at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson campus in downtown Miami.

“I just felt that these books called out for us to do them, basically,” Kaplan says. “I don’t think I started out thinking I was going to have a publishing house, and I’d look for books. It was the other way around.”

Read more:

September 26, 2011

Hot books line up for Frankfurt 2011


Frankfurt Book Fair 2011

| By Graeme Neill

If This is Home, Stuart Evers’ follow-up to his short-story collection Ten Stories About Smoking, is one of Aitken Alexander‘s hot books for Frankfurt Book Fair 2011. It is also selling Tim Lott’s first novel in seven years. Under the Same Stars is about two brothers on a US road trip to see their dying father who abandoned them as children. The agency is hoping for further international rights deals for débuts The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen and Snake Ropes by Jess Richards. In non-fiction, it is selling Molly Birnbaum’s Season to Taste, about how a precocious cook lost her ability to cook after an accident removed her sense of smell. It is taking offers on A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen, the story of a homeless man whose cat helped him deal with the past.

read more

September 6, 2011

Beijing 2011: A Day of Deal-Making

Filed under: Book fairs — Tags: , , — Bookblurb @ 5:38 am

By Teri Tan

The International Hall remains busy on day three of the fair. Most participants have now come to accept the logistical issues that accompany the new middle-of-nowhere venue, and are focused on their main goal of making new deals and partners.

For rights executive Emily Gerbner of Bloomsbury Publishing, this first visit to Beijing has been busy and most productive. The company’s extensive list means that there is always something for someone. Its visual arts titles and commercial fiction are doing well here. Berg Publishers list, for instance, are popular with universities with art, design and fashion courses. “I am also pleasantly surprised that two re-issued publications — The Wombles, which is very English, and Gerald Rose’s The Tiger-Skin Rug — have found favor with Chinese publishers. It proves that this market is not cut-and-dried, and you never really know what would work here.”
A few booths away, publisher Jessica Kingsley sees more demand for titles on parenting, children-specific issues and special needs. “Issues such as dealing with anger, as depicted in our picture book, The Red Beast, and titles on music therapy are garnering attention.” Her imprint, Singing Dragon, has already published eight titles with content bought from China. “We have one visitor — whom we later found out to be a reputable author — dropping by our booth with an almost-complete manuscript in English yesterday. It seems like our reputation in publishing authentic Chinese material without injecting Western viewpoints is growing.”

August 12, 2011

Sex! Nudity! Comix! iPhone App… Censored!

Adrianne Curry on a Comic-Con panel, discussing how liberating it is for women to wear sexy outfits. Later, she was officially escorted from the convention because of her barely-there Aeon Flux costume. Photo by M. Dooley.

By Michael Dooley

Adrianne Curry’s “bust” for revealing her butt wasn’t the only “scandal” unfolding during the recent San Diego Comic-Con. Elsewhere, cartoon characters were getting totally naked, and having sex, and taking drugs. And since they were images on an app, Apple was banning them from their iPhone.

But then, Comix Classics is a visual history of those anarchic, hippie-era undergrounds. And, Apple does have a record of blocking “inappropriate” iPhone apps.

Kim Munson, the app’s creator, had planned to introduce versions for iPhone, iPad, and Android platforms at Comic-Con. She first told me she’d been denied iPhone authorization during an opening day session on Wednesday, July 20th. Ironically, the session dealt with “advances” in digital comics publishing.

Kim kept me updated throughout the convention. And I connected with her afterward, to hear the full story.

Read more:

March 17, 2011

Big French publishing houses to return to Paris Book Fair

By  Barbara Casassus

The new-look Paris Book Fair will open on Friday [18th March] for four days as five of the leading French publishers ponder the raids by the European Commission competition officials a fortnight ago.

Hachette Livre, Bayard and other houses, which pulled out of the fair last year or scaled back their presence in protest against the cost of participating and the length of the event, are returning in force. Stand rentals have been reduced by 17%, the number of days has been cut from six to four and the opening hours have been extended.                                                                                                                  …read more

March 10, 2011

Sonny Mehta to receive LBF Lifetime Achievement Award

Filed under: Book fairs — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 7:04 pm

| Katie Allen

Sonny Mehta, editor-in-chief of Alfred A Knopf, is to be awarded the eighth Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing by London Book Fair.

Mehta has published authors including Thomas Mann, Willa Cather, Albert Camus, John Updike, Toni Morrison, V S Naipaul and Bill Clinton. He is also chairman of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.                                                                      …read more 

Gourmand Awards

At last week’s Paris Cookbook Fair, the annual Gourmand Awards feted cookbooks from around the world. The awards cover a vast array of categories, from books by chefs to first books to photography and design. Among the winners were the Japanese cookbook Gion Sasaki, Hiroshi Sasaki by Mami Nagasue (Nagasue Books), which won a best chef cookbook award, and Pippa’s Festa by Pippa Matei of Malta (Miranda), which won an entertaining award.                                                                                         …read more

February 25, 2011

Jerusalem International Book Fair 2011: Awards, Lectures and Deals

by Daisy Maryles

Click to buy

 All coverage of the official opening on February 20 of the 25th Jerusalem International Book Fair focused on British author Ian McEwan’s acceptance of the Jerusalem Book Prize, Israel’s highest literary honor. The celebrated author had been besieged with demands that he boycott the prize and his trip to Jerusalem. “It will make him a collaborator with Israel’s worst human rights offenders,” was how the London newspaper The Guardian put it. McEwan told the standing room only crowd that “since accepting the invitation to Jerusalem, my time has not been peaceful.”
                                                                                                                …read more 

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: