Saturday, August 31, 2013

Debutant Alex Blackmore’s No Exit Press launched with innovative approach

Pakistan News & Features Services

No Exit Press, an imprint of Oldcastle Books, has launched an off-beat marketing campaign to promote the launch of their latest thriller Lethal Profit by debut author Alex Blackmore.

The low-budget campaign will use mysterious business cards placed strategically across high footfall locations in London to entice readers to a website, where they can enter a competition to win tickets to see hit play The Pride starring Hayley Atwell and Mathew Horne, and a meal for two with wine at The Clarence. The book will simultaneously be offered at 99p as part of Amazon's summer reading Kindle campaign. 

"We saw this as a great way to utilise the amazon promotion to generate buzz about a fantastic new book. As a small indie, our marketing budget is often very limited, so combining different promotions to create a campaign that will appeal to readers and generate interest is a good way to launch a new author on a budget,” Alexandra Bolton, Head of Marketing at No Exit Press, reckoned. 

The competition will launch this week, and will continue in line with the Amazon Kindle Summer Sale which offers the book at 99p. Readers who find one of the cards can take it into the Volte Face shop on Great Ormond Street and use it as a voucher to purchase Lethal Profit for £3.00. 

Lethal Profit is a corporate conspiracy thriller that exposes the shady world of big business, when a young woman's brother disappears in suspicious circumstances and she is propelled into a frightening world of faceless bad guys.

Autumn Book Club announce plans to search for next bestseller

Pakistan News & Features Services

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan are launching a national competition to find a new bestselling author alongside their Autumn Book Club according to an announcement on August 29.

The Search for a Bestseller competition will be looking for first time authors to submit the first 10,000 to 12,000 words of a novel, of any genre, aimed at adults as the idea to generate something brand new. 

They have askied the entrants to submit their novel via their Book Club website by January 1 2014, along with a synopsis of the rest of the book. 

The duo will lead the selection process, along with editors at the book's future publisher Quercus, plus experts from literary agency Furniss Lawton. The winning writer will receive a publishing deal worth £50,000 from Quercus for the rights to sell their novel around the world 

Quercus is thrilled to be working with Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, Britain's best loved book advocates, to discover a new author and launch their writing career. We know there is a wealth of undiscovered talent out there and we are excited to start the search today," Mark Smith, Chief Executive, Quercus Publishing Plc, remarked. 

The Autumn Book Club, exclusive to W H Smith, launches simultaneously and includes a list of eight brilliant recommendations, which are available now from W H Smith stores across the country and online from 

"The Book Club launches with The Shining Girls, a book that has been called the next Gone Girl. It's no wonder that Richard and Judy loved this. It's a brilliant and original high concept thriller that will have everyone talking about it." Jackie Wing, W H Smith’s Business Unit Director for Books, added. 

“If there's one thing we've discovered in picking winning titles for the Richard and Judy Book Club, it's just how many talented new writers are out there. Since forming the Book Club, we are proud to have helped launch the careers of a growing list of exceptionally gifted debut authors. This time however, we're going a step further – and it's a big step, but we simply cannot wait to get started," Richard Madeley observed. 

"Few things beat finding a new author's work to read and recommend to other people. We've experienced the excitement of being there at the beginning of a word of mouth bestseller with so many of our debut novelists but we are so excited to be getting involved at the very first step this time and to help make an aspiring writer's dream come true,” Judy Finnigan elaborated

RC Bridgestock sold to Turkey in a three-novel deal

Pakistan News & Features Services

The deal, negotiated by Kalem Agency of Turkey and Monika Luukkonen Literary Agency, was struck with the Turkish publisher Trend Yay for the first three RC Bridgestock novels, Deadly Focus, Consequences and White Lilies.

"I am very excited about this deal which shows that RC Bridgestock crime novels are starting to get more and more interest from publishers outside the UK,” Literary Agent, Monika Luukkonen, was quoted as saying. 

“This follows on from the rights sale into South Korea earlier in the year and marks a fantastic year for Bob and Carol Bridgestock. They have been working as consultants with Red Productions on a new BBC crime drama Happy Valley, and ITV's award winning crime drama series, Scott & Bailey," Darren Laws, a spokesperson of Caffeine Nights, the Bridgestock's UK Publisher, revealed. 

The Isle of Wight-based RC Bridgestock is husband and wife crime fiction authors, Bob and Carol Bridgestock. With 47 years of policing with the West Yorkshire police force between them they write compelling police procedural novels set in Harrowfield, a fictional town in Yorkshire and a fourth novel is about to be added to RC Bridgestock's works with the publication of Snow Kills in November published by Caffeine Nights Publishing.

Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair 2013 slated for November

Pakistan News & Features Services

The 23rd Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair 2013 will take place over two days on Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2 in the picturesque surroundings of the Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Road, opposite Sydney Street, in London.

The intimate, yet high-quality Fair is directed and managed by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ABA), the UK's oldest association of antiquarian booksellers and part of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). 

It attracts around 80 exhibitors, both local and from around the UK and abroad, who specialise in all types of books, manuscripts and ephemera. Tickets are complimentary if pre-booked in advance online, or £10 (£15 for two) if bought at the Fair. 

Over the years, the Chelsea Fair has become a fixture in the November calendar for book collectors and dealers from Britain, Europe and America. Warmer than Boston, more intimate than York, less formal than Paris, Chelsea has it all. Most of their exhibitors come back year after year as the sales continue to increase with the customers returning again and again.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Amazon launches Mexican e-book store, publishing

Pakistan News & Features Services

Amazon has launched a Mexican Kindle store, publishing platform and local brick-and-mortar sales in the country's Gandhi chain of booksellers on August 29, bringing the popular e-reader directly to a Latin American market. 

Earlier this year, Amazon had opened up sales of its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader for delivery in more than 175 countries, after it was previously only sold in the US, Japan, and some European countries. This takes the business directly into one of Latin America's biggest markets. 

The e-commerce giant announced on August 29 that Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite are now available in Gandhi Stores at a suggested price of 1,399 pesos and 2,399 pesos (US$105 and US$180), respectively. Meanwhile the new Mexico Kindle Store offers 2 million e-book titles, more than 70,000 of which are in Spanish and of those, 1,500 that are free. 

In addition, the Mexican writers and publishers are able to sell their works to customers in their own country and more than 175 others worldwide in the new store using the company's Kindle Direct Publishing platform. 
"The vast majority of Mexicans do not have access to a bookstore in their town," Pedro Huerta, Director of Kindle Content in Latin America, was quoted as saying, who added that the Mexican Kindle bookstore delivers a catalog of millions of titles to anyone with an Internet connection. 

He also noted those with access to Gandhi stores have a more convenient way to buy Kindles. An element that Huerta overlooked is the fact that the majority of Mexicans also do not have access to the Internet. 

According to the Mexican Internet Association, 45.1 percent of Mexicans have Internet access. However, it is among the most Internet-connected countries in Latin America, alongside Brazil.

Beijing International Book Fair 2013 gets underway

Pakistan News & Features Services

The 2013 Beijing International Book Fair has opened on August 28 at the China International Exhibition Centre where over 20,000 exhibitors from 76 different countries and regions have showcased their best reads. 

Now in its 20th year, the book fair remains dedicated to its mission: to introduce books from around the world to China, and to share Chinese literature with the world. 

The guest of honour this year is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and there are a number of representatives from the Middle East to show more of their cultural side. 

"Saudi Arabia is not a country of oil or construction but a country that is rich in so many other things. When it comes to culture and heritages, geography photograph and arts, we have more than 700 titles, we were able to translate 53, from Arabic to Chinese. And this is considered to be the largest translation effect from Arabic to Chinese and we’re proud to do it,” Khaled Al-Anqari, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Education, stated. 

The varied collection of reading material covers an area of almost eight soccer fields. "We come here every year. Our main focus is traditional Chinese folk art, and this time we’ve brought our new collection called Beautiful China,” Wang Kaiyuan, chief editor of Hubei Fine Arts Publishing House, observed. 

Apart from offering platforms for publishers, the event is also a top destination for book lovers, many seeking more than just traditional paperbacks. "I always buy best-sellers online and read E-books on my phone. As a mother, I also hunt books for my children. Thanks to the new technology, we have a lot more to choose from. I’m an editor, so I browse through book stores once or twice a week for books about healthy lifestyle and beauty. But I do like E-books and audio books,” he added. 

From literature to cartoons to the digital zone, visitors have the rest of the week to get lost in this massive carnival for readers.

Kansas School holds book fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

The annual Kansas School Open House and Book Fair, held on August 27, turned out to be another success story as several students and parents attended the Open House and then stopped by the Scholastic Book Fair in the library. 

The fair offered preschool, picture, hard-cover, educational, reference, serial, entertainment, and easy reader books. Other available items included bookmarks, pointers, highlighters, erasers, pens, and pencils. 

The proceeds of the fair are used to help buy books and supplies for the library. For anyone wanting to help by purchasing items, visit

IBA students launch online book portal

Pakistan News & Features Services

Two students of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Imran Hemani and Safeer Hussain, have come to the rescue of students by launching IBA, an online bookshop, on the eve of the new semester. 

The duo of Imran Hemani and Safeer Hussain has developed the portal with the support of their course supervisor, Erum Abbasi. The book portal, aimed to serve the fellow students of the prestigious institution of Karachi, was launched on August 25. 

It has been hailed as a well-organized student initiative which other institutes could follow for serving the community involved in the buying and selling of books through haphazard channels. 

“During our technology entrepreneurship course last year, we pitched in ideas to establish a platform for students to buy and sell textbooks via a few clicks. The students can place their textbooks for sale at the portal by following four easy steps, while others can buy them and start their new semester without any hassle. We take care of delivery within the campus free of charge,” Imran Hemani remarked in an interview. 

“The seniors at academic institutions are usually hesitant about asking money from juniors in exchange for used books. At the IBA, they can choose to remain anonymous. Another benefit of the portal was that students usually received around 30 to 40 per cent of a textbook’s actual market price when they went to the market for resale. The bookshop owners, however, resell the second-hand textbooks at around 60 to 80 per cent of the actual market price. The sellers will be able to get a better price,” Safeer Hussain explained. 

“At present, it is a completely free venture for IBA students, but we plan to expand it to other universities in the years to come by designating ambassadors to help the project grow. With this expansion, the sellers will become premium account-holders of our website by paying a very reasonable amount,” he added. 

The initiative would also serve as the first significant project for a start-up company in the web and graphics design industry, the Big O Studios, established by the duo around two years ago.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Parkway Drive to celebrate 10th anniversary with book launch

Pakistan News & Features Services

The filmmakers and actors are not the only ones to immortalize their accomplishments by bringing out books, even though it may primarily be meant for marketing purposes. The musicians are not far behind as Parkway Drive have announced to celebrate their 10th anniversary later this year by releasing their first-ever book titled ‘10 Years of Parkway Drive’ whose preview clip has already been made available online.

It will be a grand 300-page hard cover release which documents the history of the band from their humble beginnings in Byron Bay to becoming one of the biggest metal bands around. 

Featuring full-colour posters, newspaper articles, interviews and other career moments, the book also contains words from friends, colleagues and the band members recalling seminal moments throughout their highly active career. 

This book is certain to become a welcome addition to any fan’s collection, which by now is sure to include all 4 full-length albums from the band, and the two feature-length documentary DVDs. 

With a release date of September 27, the book will be dropping towards the end of their previously announced Australian tour dates which see the band celebrating their legacy status in style in some intimate locations.

"The first goal was to ‘make friends, mosh hard.,” Parkway Drive frontman Winston McCall laughed when inquired just prior to their tenth anniversary tour for the metal/hardcore mob’s initial motivation. 

“It sounds stupid, but that was literally it; ‘Let’s make the heaviest band possible, so we can play the youth centre, and kids can go mental’. That was it. Then that goal literally changed two weeks later, when someone said, ‘Hey, you wanna go play Brisbane?’ Then it changed again to, ‘Let’s try and do this release, then let’s do a tour and then let’s continue touring’, and it just kept growing and growing. 

“It really has been one of those things where the goalposts kept moving, and the goals were never massively long-term. They just slowly became bigger and bigger, simply because the opportunities became bigger and bigger. So its nuts to be ten years on and still to be able to remember the feeling of playing the youth centre at our first show,” he observed.

Satyagraha: The Story Behind the Revolution released in book form

Pakistan News & Features Services

The filmmakers and actors across the globe have been paying more attention towards promotional strategies as they know that marketing efforts can make them earn extra bucks.

Prakash Jha, a Bollywood Director, chose a novel idea of launching a book on the topic of his upcoming film Satyagraha: The Story Behind the Revolution. The film itself, a political thriller, is slated to be released later. 

The book, which inscripts all the details about the making of the film, was launched on August 27. 

Authored by Pooja Verma, it talks about the hard work, fun on the sets, costume crises, art direction accidents and how a team of people came together to tell a story of a revolution. 

At the book launch event quite a few members of the high-profile team of Satyagraha, Kareena Kapoor, Manoj Bajpayee, Arjun Rampal and Amrita Rao were present with megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay Devgn found missing.

"We are happy that the book comes around the release of the film. It really chronicles the whole effort put in by everyone, cast, crew and members, telling readers about the months of hard work, tribulations and gruelling work we have put into it, and how," Prakash Jha remarked on the occasion. 

"The book has been designed in the style of social media. Social media forms a very intrinsic part of our movie as it has become new language of young people in India," he added. 

According to author Pooja Verma, while ‘Satyagraha’ is a serious film about relationships, modern-day politics, the book is not ‘serious literature’.

With so much buzz about the subject of the film in the media, the book 'Satyagraha' is expected to sell in good numbers despite its price of Rs 995 being on the higher side.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Yuvraj Singh’s The Test of My Life high on ratings

Pakistan News & Features Services

The enterprising Indian all-rounder, Yuvraj Singh, happens to be the role model of millions of cricket enthusiasts all over the world. His fan base has continued increasing phenomenally eversince he broke into international cricket with a bang in 2000.

Having played the pivotal role in India’s triumph in the Cricket World Cup 2011, in which he was declared ‘Player of the Tournament’ after a string of match-winning performances, he faced the greatest challenge of his life yet when diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in his left lung and underwent chemotherapy treatment in the US. 

Quite remarkably he overcame the deadly disease and returned to the international arena more swiftly than generally anticipated. 

Not surprisingly though his 200-page autobiography, ‘The Test of My Life’ which was launched in a rather emotional gathering in New Delhi earlier this year in the presence of his illustrious teammates like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Harbhajan Singh, has remained high on the ratings and the reviewers have thoroughly praised it. The book chronicles his battle and victory against cancer.

“The Test of My Life is a story in my own words. It is about my toughest days and how I managed to come out of it. It is about hope, determination and courage to face challenges despite all odds. And believe me we all have the strength to do it. So keep it up and keep your dreams alive and never give up. God Bless,” Yuvraj Singh remarked in his message. 

The book has been into three parts, Before Cancer, During Cancer and After Cancer, and there’s more than enough substance for the cricket followers, his fans in particular, to keep their interest alive until the very end.

In the first part, he has written about his childhood, disclosing how he was forced to become a cricketer and talked about the rigorous training sessions his father, also a Test cricketer conducted. 

In the second part, Yuvraj Singh has shared about how he tried acupuncture for cancer treatment, believing a friend of his; about how he ignored the symptoms in the initial stages; about his travel to the UK and US for treatment; about his chemo sessions and about the people who supported him during all this. 

In the third part, he has written about his struggle and determination to gain form; about his return to the national team; about the love showered upon him on his return; and about the side-effects of chemo. 

In the end he has talked about his NGO, YOUWECAN, an organisation which provides free cancer diagnosis in rural India.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Literary great Prof Dr Farman Fatehpuri passes away

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News and Features Services)

Eminent writer, scholar and critic, Prof Dr Farman Fatehpuri, passed away in Karachi on August 3. His funeral prayer was offered at Masjid Khulafa-e-Rashideen, 13-D/1, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, and he was laid to rest at the Karachi University's graveyard.

He has left behind two sons and four daughters to mourn his death. One of his sons, Engr Syed Abrar Ali, is presently the Registrar at the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi. 

The SSUET Chancellor, Engr Mohammad Adil Usman, and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi, have expressed their grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Prof Dr Farman Fatehpuri. 

In their condolence messages, they paid rich tribute to the great writer for his contribution toward the promotion of the cause of Urdu, noting that the literary world has lost one of its most versatile personalities. They prayed to Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant fortitude to bereaved family to bear the irreparable loss. 

Prof Dr Farman Fatehpuri was acclaimed as an outstanding Urdu linguist, researcher, writer, critic and scholar. He was widely regarded as the supreme authority on life and work of Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, the greatest-ever Urdu poet. He is credited to have penned more than 300 scholarly articles, 600 book reviews and 400 editorials of Nigar. He received Sitara-e-Imtiaz, for his literary accomplishments, from the Government of Pakistan in 1985.

He was born on January 26, 1926 in Fatehpur, Uttar Pardesh, India. He did his matriculation in his Fatehpur, intermediate from Allahabad and graduation from the Agra University. He had migrated to Pakistan in 1950 and relocated in Karachi. 

He became the first Pakistani to earn the prestigious degree of Doctorate in Literature in 1974. He remained associated with the University of Karachi for more than three decades, having produced numerous PhDs and researchers. 

He was then appointed as the Chief Editor and Secretary of the Urdu Dictionary Board. He also served as a member of the Civil Services Board of the Government of Sindh. 

Prof Dr Farman Fatehpuri became the editor of the monthly publication, Nigar the oldest Urdu literary journal, founded by Farman's mentor, Allama Niaz Fatehpuri. 

He had special association with the legendary Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and hardly ever missed a function organised in his memory by the SSUET.