Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Lonely Planet urges industry to cater better for growing trend

Lonely Planet calls on the travel industry to do more for solo travellers

1 in 3 travellers say they have felt disadvantaged by choosing to travel alone;

Lonely Planet urges industry to cater better for growing trend

World leading travel authority Lonely Planet has called on the travel industry to do more to cater for solo travellers. This follows new research revealing that the growing number of solo travellers face higher costs than those travelling with family or friends, including an average of nearly 20% on travel insurance and over 50% on accommodation.

Lonely Planet surveyed members of their dedicated global community of travellers, with more than 1 in 3 respondents claiming to have felt disadvantaged when choosing to travel alone, despite over 4 in 5 of those asked having taken or planning to take a solo trip in the future. Examples given in the survey by solo travellers of poor service from the industry included lack of choice in organised excursions and poor service in restaurants and bars.

 Solo travel is no longer just a rite of passage for young travellers, but despite these changing trends and demographics, travellers’ reports would suggest that many their needs are not met by travel and hospitality companies.
One in two travellers said that they have had to pay a single person supplement when travelling alone, and 90% of those surveyed said they would look more positively on a company that did not charge this. Restaurants were also particularly criticised by respondents to the survey, with typical comments involving poor service from staff, being seated in the worst places and even being refused bookings.

Despite these challenges, solo travel is on the rise. To help those planning on going it alone, Lonely Planet has compiled the top tips and advice from their experts in The Solo Travel Handbook, published this month, from the practical (meeting people and staying safe) to the inspirational (health, fitness and sustainable travelling). The travel company is also calling on the industry to look more positively on those travelling solo, rather than just as single occupants of rooms and dinner tables.

Lonely Planet Spokesperson Chris Zeiher says: “Travelling solo can be one of the most rewarding ways of experiencing any destination, and most travellers will find themselves alone on the road at some point in their travelling lives.  Sadly, a significant number of travellers cite a lack of choice or increased cost as a barrier to this type of travel.
The profile of the solo traveller has changed substantially over the last few years and is now spread across age groups, diverse backgrounds and, interestingly, evenly balanced across gender. Over the coming years we expect the desire to travel alone to continue its growth, setting the challenge for tourism providers to better serve this popular and lucrative travel trend.”
To find out more about The Solo Travel Handbook, and top tips for travelling solo, visit

 Lonely Planet’s Solo Travel Handbook

Published January 2018 / 168pp, full colour / H210 x W165mm, paperback / NZD $32.99

Words with Douglas McLennan

Why Sherlock, How You’ve Changed
     from The New York Times

Latest new2s from The Bookseller

Uncommon Type
Short story anthologies are enjoying a boom in sales, rising by almost 50% in value, to reach their highest level in seven years.
Night Sky with Exit Wounds
Former refugee Ocean Vuong has won the £25,000 T S Eliot Prize for his “remarkable” debut poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Jonathan Cape).
Tales on Moon Lane
The owner of Tales on Moon Lane, Tamara Macfarlane, will open another bookshop in South London in April.
Rebel Prince
William Collins will publish an “explosive” book about Prince Charles’ “desperate bid to rehabilitate himself” after Princess Diana’s death, written by investigative historian Tom Bower.
Croydon Council is to terminate its relationship with troubled contractor Carillion and bring the running of its libraries back in-house.
Steve Peters
Professor Steve Peters, author of The Chimp Paradox (Vermilion, Ebury), is publishing two new science-based books with King’s Road Publishing’s wellbeing imprint Lagom. 

The Bureau of Second Chances
Women have dominated the winners' list at the Writers’ Guild Awards, with debut novelist Sheena Kalayil honoured along with British playwright Caryl Churchill.
Diane Setterfield
Diane Setterfield, author of international bestseller The Thirteenth Tale, published by Orion, has moved to Doubleday to publish her new novel.
Christmas failed to offset the decline in French book sales in 2017 as a whole, attributed partly to the presidential and parliamentary elections between April and June and the consequent delay in the arrival of big-selling titles. 
City A M
City A M has launched a monthly book review section and appointed Francesca Washtell as its books editor.
Only You Can Save Mankind
Sir Terry Pratchett’s Johnny Maxwell trilogy is set to be reissued with new illustrations by Mark Beech.
Golden Egg Academy
The Viney Shaw Agency has struck a first-look deal with The Golden Egg Academy.

The Roundup with PW

Amazon Cuts 58 at Self-Pub Biz: The e-tailer will lay off part of its office staff in North Charleston this summer, a year after it moved its book-printing factory out of the city.

Margaret Atwood Faces Feminist Backlash: The Canadian author’s op-ed defending due process for those accused of sexual misconduct sparked online ire.

Hulu Signs Clooney for 'Catch-22': The actor will star and direct in a six-episode limited series based on the classic novel by Joseph Heller.

Ocean Vuong Wins T.S. Eliot Prize: 'Night Sky With Exit Wounds,' the poet's debut collection, was hailed by judges as "the definitive arrival of a significant voice."

Short Stories Surge in U.K.: Short story anthologies are enjoying a boom in sales across the pond, rising by almost 50% in value to their highest level in seven years.

Off the Shelf

January 16, 2018
Off the Shelf Staff


Enter for a Chance to Win a Year's Worth of Book Club Books
It’s only January, but we have big plans for 2018. In fact, we’ve already mapped out our book club plans for the entire year! That’s right. We made a calendar for the perfect year of book club reading and discussion. And we want you to get in on the fun. Whether you prefer historical fiction, page-turning thrillers, literary fiction, or moving true stories, you and your book club will love these reads. One grand prize winner will receive a year’s worth of book club favorites and calendars for themselves and their book club. Twelve additional winners will receive calendars and 12 copies of one month’s book—so everyone in your book club can read together. Enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win!


Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

Rachel Chou will join Celadon Books as associate publisher, leading the publicity and marketing team, starting January 17. Most recently she had been general manager/chief content officer for Open Road Integrated Media, where she as part of the founding executive team.

Beth Ineson will take over as executive director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association, as Steve Fischer retires. Most recently she was executive director, retail book sales, marketing and operations at America's Test Kitchen.

Jennifer Myers joined Crooked Lane as a production editor. She was previously an associate production editor at Berkley.

At the Transatlantic Agency, Stephanie Sinclair has been promoted to senior agent, in addition to managing international rights for Samantha Haywood's clients. Sinclair will also manage international sales for Page Two, the separate company owned and operated by Transatlantic agents Jesse Finkelstein and Trena White.

Patricia Stockland returns to Capstone as publisher after an 11-year hiatus, most recently serving as publisher with Cantata Learning. Darin Rasmussen joins the company as vp of digital product development and management.


Stephen King will receive the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award for work that "embodies PEN America's mission to oppose repression in any form and to champion the best of humanity." He'll be honored in a ceremony on May 22 at the American Museum of Natural History. Simon & Schuster ceo Carolyn Reidy will be the publishing honoree at the event. The organization notes, "Reidy's commitment to diversity at Simon & Schuster has led the company to make substantial progress in creating a more diverse workforce and to publish a wider range of voices that is more truly reflective of our larger culture today."

Whiting honoree, poet Ocean Vuong won the TS Eliot prize for his debut collection,
Night Sky With Exit Wounds.


Indigo will open a 21,000-square-foot store on Robson Street in Vancouver, close to the former location of its Chapters store that closed in 2015.

Philip Roth is
interviewed by email by Chip McGrath in the NYT. Turning 85 in a few months, Roth notes: "I go to sleep smiling and I wake up smiling. I'm very pleased that I'm still alive. Moreover, when this happens, as it has, week after week and month after month since I began drawing Social Security, it produces the illusion that this thing is just never going to end, though of course I know that it can stop on a dime. It's something like playing a game, day in and day out, a high-stakes game that for now, even against the odds, I just keep winning." (We also note that author William Kennedy turns 90 today.)

Roth's biographer Blake Bailey is said to have "amassed 1,900 pages of notes for a book expected to be half that length," and creator of The Wire David Simon is making a six-part mini-series of The Plot Against America. Asked if he ever foresaw "an America like the one we live in today," Roth writes:

"No one (except perhaps the acidic H. L. Mencken, who famously described American democracy as 'the worship of jackals by jackasses') could have imagined that the 21st-century catastrophe to befall the U.S.A., the most debasing of disasters, would appear not, say, in the terrifying guise of an Orwellian Big Brother but in the ominously ridiculous commedia dell'arte figure of the boastful buffoon. How naïve I was in 1960 to think that I was an American living in preposterous times!"

Separately, 82-year-old Robert Caro is
interviewed in the NYRB. "He doesn’t know when he'll finish the fifth and final volume [of the Lyndon Johnson biographies] —two years, five, ten? But...Caro is considering new projects." He says: "I do have some plans for when it's finished. I've written a lot of a memoir. It's about the fights I had with Robert Moses and the Johnson people to write these books. There's also another biography I've been thinking about to show some other aspects of power. I don’t want to say more, though."

Caro notes, "I write by hand to slow myself down. People don't believe this about me: I'm a very fast writer, but I want to write slowly."

With the ABA's Winter Institute covening next week and the full publishing season ahead, today we launch Buzz Books 2018: Spring/Summer and the companion Buzz Books 2018 Young Adult: Spring/Summer. This season's samplers continue the tradition of helping to share and promote breakout and discovery books across the publishing landscape, each with a wide selection of excerpts.

The consumer editions are available for download now for Amazon
Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple's iBooks (where they are being promoted on a number of high-profile pages), and Kobo, among other online retailers, with click-throughs for preorders. (Also all linked at our main Buzz Books website.)

Our full trade editions include marketing and publicity information on all of the titles, along with click-throughs to read or request full digital galleys on most titles. You can download a protected EPUB file of
Buzz and Buzz YA directly from our site, or get them through your platform of choice from NetGalley, where our samplers regularly top the most downloaded lists and drive further discovery (available also on Edelweiss).

The free adult ebook features substantial pre-publication excerpts from major authors, including Chris Offutt, with his first novel in 20 years, Country Dark; Ottessa Moshfegh with My Year of Rest and Relaxation; bestselling nonfiction author Sheila Heti's Motherhood, and Peter Swanson's thriller All the Beautiful Lies.

Eleven promising debuts include bestselling nonfiction author Aimee Molloy's forthcoming novel The Perfect Mother, already optioned for film by Kerry Washington. Accomplished comic book writer Charles Soule writes a novel that is part comedy, part thriller, The Oracle Year.

Our nonfiction section is filled with memoir: In The Fox Hunt, Mohammed Al Samawi describes fighting in the Yemeni Civil War before fleeing to the United States while Tessa Fontaine's The Electric Woman is about running away to join the circus.

The Young Adult Buzz Books edition includes Stephanie Garber's sequel to her New York Times bestselling debut (Legendary), Meredith Goldstein (Chemistry Lessons), Matt Killeen (Orphan Monster Spy), Farrah Penn (Twelves Steps to Normal), Mary Weber (Reclaiming Shiloh Snow), and more.

Get a jump on Winter Institute by downloading our free Buzz Books collections, and join the viral buzzmaking online at #BuzzBooks2018. Buzz Books are one of our favorite "good for everyone" projects — from authors and publishers to booksellers, librarians and readers — and they are driven by a wide circle of cooperation, enthusiasm and partnership. It starts with the participating authors, agents and publishers, and moves to our ebook distribution partners at Ingram CoreSource (who also produce the limited-edition printed Buzz Books through Lightning Source that lucky booksellers receive through the ABA's White Box mailing). NetGalley helps drive thousands of downloads and hundreds of reviews through their growing community. This marks our seventh year of spreading the word about exciting new titles. Thanks to all, and enjoy the buzz!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Same But Different Book Festival

The Same Same but Different writers festival offers something for everyone when it returns for the third time on 9-10 February 2018 at AUT’s central city campus.

The festival celebrates Aotearoa New Zealand’s LGBTQI+ writing talent as part of Auckland Pride 2018.

The two-day February programme highlights the breadth of LGBTQI+ writing talent including New Zealand’s brightest young talent such as Cole Meyers and Courtney Sina Meredith to 88- year old theatre writer Renée. This year’s international guest is Australian trans man Quinn Eades, an acclaimed academic, author and poet.

The festival opens on Friday evening, 9 February with the gala session ‘Great Moments’. The line-up of festival founder Peter Wells, Hera Lindsay Bird, Marilyn Waring, Chris Tse, Anton Blank and Mani Bruce Mitchell will pitch their lively, controversial and intense stories of great moments.

Sessions on Saturday 10 February range from Pasifika writers, theatre writers (including Snapchat-dude Tom Sainsbury and Madeline Sami), an intersex documentary discussion to an academic panel themed ‘queering the academy’.


In the closing gala on Saturday evening, ‘It Gets Better’ with Jo Drayton, Courtney Sina Meredith, Cole Meyers, Sam Orchard and Gina Cole, will tell stories of the winding roads we walk to be ourselves.

The festival also includes two free events, the ‘Poetry Speakeasy’ at Ley’s Institute Library Ponsonby on Wednesday 7 February, and a ‘Queer Zine Workshop’ at the Auckland Central Library on Friday 9 February.

he festival is open to everyone. Programmes are available at The Women’s Bookshop, Unity Books and some Auckland libraries. Tickets for individual sessions or a full festival pass are available now at

 For more information and full session details visit the Facebook page:

Junot Díaz: 'Indie Booksellers Kept Their Faith in Me'

Shelf Awareness

"Sadly, I grew up in something of a bookstore desert. When you grow up poor and marginalized spatially, that is often the case. There weren't bookstores of any kind anywhere near our neighborhood. I had to ride a bus over an hour to reach a Waldenbooks (back when there were Waldenbooks). It wasn't until I was older and had a car that things changed. I found the Montclair Book Center, among other places, a bookstore I still visit regularly.

"But to speak strictly as a writer, I wouldn't be where I am if not for independent bookstores. My first book, Drown, stayed alive, and in turn kept my career alive, because independent booksellers continued to put the book in people's hands long after everyone else had forgotten it. For 11 years, I had no other book and yet indie booksellers kept their faith in me. To them, I owe very much. I'll definitely be in a lot of indie bookstores on this tour, as many as will have me."

--Junot Díaz, who will be a keynote speaker at the American Booksellers Association's 2018 Winter Institute in Memphis, in a q&a with Bookselling This Week

Off the Shelf

January 12, 2018
Julianna Haubner



Proving to us that we can indeed have nice things in 2018, Barack Obama recently released his list of favorite books (and songs) of the past year. A semi-annual tradition from his time in office (and here at Off the Shelf), the bestselling author and former leader of the free world created the collection to “reflect on the works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around the world.” This year’s picks range from transportive historical tales and contemporary fiction to big biographies and blistering social commentary—so get reading!


January 11, 2018
Off the Shelf Staff

A Peak Behind Allison's Shelf

We’re taking you behind the scenes to meet the members of our incredible team, one-on-one. First up is Allison Tyler! A founding member, Allison is instrumental in the day-to-day operations at Off the Shelf. She believes a good book and a cup of tea help cure what ails you. In addition to writing some of our favorite lists and reviews, Allison is also the voice of our Twitter account. But after four wonderful years together, Allison is setting off on a new adventure, swapping books for birds.