New Fiction for Summer 16!

leyendo-un-libro-en-la-playaWe have two new fiction titles to announce for the summer season. ‘The Ballad of Curly Oswald’ is the account of a boy growing up in a hippie commune in the 1970s amid his extended family of drop-outs and dreamers, as they grapple with problems ranging from eco-friendly slug-control to the mischief of a power-hungry guru. It is an extraordinary chronicle of a lifestyle both alternative yet strangely viable, a microcosm of eccentricity, comedy and grotesque tragedy, told with the unflinching eye of a child and the sympathy of a narrator who sees the underlying humour of life in all its deranged glory. And yet more bizarre is ‘Quintember’, which tells of the murderous career of Dr Felix Culpepper, a classics scholar of St Wygefortis College, Cambridge and assassin-of-choice to the British Establishment. If there is a book with more erudition, violence and wit in it, it has yet to cross our desk. Either is the perfect antidote to yet another Wilbur Smith or Katie FFFFForde style item of beach fodder.

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Is January the new December for book lovers?

hqdefaultWe’ve been trawling through our Amazon sales data and spotted an interesting pattern: January is one of our best months for sales. Usually you’d expect a dip after people have maxed out  over Christmas; all we can think is that lots of people who didn’t get enough lovely books from Santa are topping up from us in January.

As the need for books with which to curl up in front of a log fire (or under a duvet etc as you prefer) does not end on 31 January, we’re now planning a Fireside February book promotion. Look in next week to see how it works and snap up some seasonal reading.

 

‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ on BBC Tonight

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Sir Robert Worcester and Mark Gill will be discussing ‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ on the BBC Parliament Channel’s ‘Booktalk’ show tonight at 8.45. And it will be available on the iPlayer for 21 days after that.

‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ Out Today

9781908041272The first full account of the 2015 election is published today. It’s been a great pleasure to work with the doyen of political analysis Sir Robert Worcester and his colleagues Roger Mortimore, Paul Baines and Mark Gill, and they’ve produced a guide that’s both packed with data and insight and also completely accessible to the general reader. There’s already a lot of media interest in what the team have found and the conclusions they have drawn, both about 2o15 and what it means for British politics now and in the future. To join in the debate, order direct from us and we’ll send it with free first class postage.

Explaining Cameron’s Comeback: A Cover Conundrum

We’ve been working on another cover design conundrum. After each general election, Sir Robert Worcester – doyen of political analysis and opinion polling – joins with his colleagues at MORI to produce the definitive guide to the campaign and the underlying trends behind the outcome. The series dates back to 1997 and we’re proud to be publishing the latest in the series, Explaining Cameron’s Comeback, in January.

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But how to maintain some continuity with the previous four books in the series, while also coming up with a fresh and striking look? We wanted to keep the cartoon theme – but oddly, there are very few political cartoonists who have really ‘got’ David Cameron (and those that have caught something of his essence, such as Stve Bell, are a little bit too scathing – and rude – for our purposes)
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In the end, we’ve gone for a riff on the second design – a really bod, authoritative title, but with the cartoon – by The Times’ Peter Brookes – to reflect the way the content is very accessible and has wry touches of humour too. And we found a fun new font – Newsflash BB – to give the title a bit of distinction. And it always helps to have a couple of big names giving their endorsements on the front cover to round it off!

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Getting it Right: or, The Perils of Proof-reading

It’s said that six out of every ten books published have errors not in the content, but in production – spelling, layout, punctuation, and so on. And it’s an odd thing that, however many times you check before it goes to press, it only takes a few seconds to spot those errors when you unpack the first box back from the printers. Yet getting it right isn’t just about pedantry: errors can spoil the enjoyment of a book, and (particularly in non-fiction) undermine the reader’s confidence in the content.

2015-12-04 12.24.04We were very conscious of this with ‘Latitude North’ because the author, Charles Moseley, knows just as much about the craft of making books as he does about writing them. He was an editor with Cambridge University Press, and he was also a trained printer, so would be sure to spot even  glitches such as inconsistent use of en and em dashes. And because ‘Latitude North’ ranges so widely over the culture and literature of the Scandinavian lands, as well as descriptions of the places he has visited himself, we also had a range of titles, technical terms and place-names to get right, in various Scandinavian languages, and using the right letters (yes, including runes).

Then there’s fact-checking. Should it be ‘skidoo’ of ‘Skidoo’? Is ‘omen aberat’ the correct way to make a pun in Latin on the obedience of your gun dog (and we had to go to a Professor of Ancient Philosophy at Durham University for that).

You can judge for yourself if we’ve got it right – and there’s a prize for the first reader to tell us what we missed.

 

The 2015 Election Explained

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The authors discussing the previous title in the series, ‘Explaining Cameron’s Coalition’, at a Hansard Society event in 2011.

Since Labour’s 1997 landslide, political analyst and pollster Sir Robert Worcester and his MORI colleagues have produced a definitive account of each UK general election. And we’re excited to say they’ve chosen IndieBooks as publisher for the latest in the series. ‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ analyses hundreds of surveys and focus groups to make sense of the campaign from the voter’s perspective: what they really thought of Cameron and Miliband; what made the 2015 campaign so unusual; why it made sense to go negative, despite voters’ claimed dislike of it; and why the pundits read the polls wrong. They also use trend data going back six decades to help show what the 2015 election result means for the next five years of British politics, from the European Referendum to the implications for the 2020 election. Sir Robert’s co-authors – Roger Mortimore, Paul Baines and Mark Gill – are all leader experts on political marketing and psephology in their own rights, so ‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ will have every justification for being called ‘definitive.’

Publication is scheduled for early January and we’ll be opening for preorders in December.

 

Latitude North Launched

3984448093_d6bc6980cbWe had a great get-together last night at Hughes Hall Cambridge, with friends, colleagues and well-wishers there to see Charles Moseley’s  Latitude North brought into the world. But don’t be down-hearted if you weren’t there, as we have teamed up with Cambridge institution Heffers to put on an event at their Trinity Street bookshop on 12 January. Charles will be reading from Latitude North and discussing his adventures and experiences in the far north, from the lost Viking settlements of Greenland to encounters with Polar bears. For more details, and to book your ticket, click here. The event is free, but places are limited and likely to go fast!

Brilliant Review of Robin Cook in New Statesman

Robin CookThere’s a great review of Robin Cook: Principles and Power in the New Statesman, which is also the hook for some thoughtful and non-partisan reflections on the current state of Labour after Jeremy Corbyn’s victory. It’s by David Clark, who worked closely with Robin for many years. The title of the article (“Ten Years On, Labour Misses Robin Cook More than Ever”) feels spot on. You can read the full article here.

Guide to the Gothic our Autumn Promotion

9781908041067What better choice for an autumn promotion that our introduction to all things scary, spooky and Halloween-y: The Young Person’s Guide to the Gothic. If you want to know the origins of werewolves in literature, why abbeys are so often infested with evil or why zombies are the new kids on the Gothic block, look no further than this handy (but not dusty) tome. It introduces each of the main Gothic themes, linking back to the original stories and exploring key ideas, writers and influences – ideal anyone studying the Gothic, which is now a set topic in Key Stage 3. It includes a dozen of the finest Gothic short stories, ideal as the nights draw in. It even has illustrations by that master of the macabre Richard Sala, heir to Edward Gorey and Charles Addams.

It’s so good you’ll want one copy for yourself and one for a friend or family member – and so we’re offering you just that! Order direct from us before the Day of the Dead (that’s 1 November, of course) and we’ll ship you two copies for the price of one 

Nice.