Archive June 2012

Book Expo is the foremost US book trade fair and, I think, fair to say unique around the world. I don’t know of anywhere else that has such total focus on connecting booksellers, librarians, bloggers, influencers of all shades and writers and their new books from breakfast to nightfall. Booksellers, librarians, publishers and authors come from all

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over the country to beguile and be beguiled — publishers are doing everything in their power to help make good word of mouth happen. And there’s no formula for that, it really is magic.

Hachette stand BEA

A small shot of the fair, with the Hachette stand in sight

As well as authors speaking almost continuously for four days there are the signing sessions, hundreds and hundreds of proofs given away and booksellers lining up to get them signed and to chat with their authors (in some case their heroes, e.g. Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith and in some cases complete unknowns). These are held in what’s called the sheep pens, a remarkably democratic affair, reducing all authors to a talking Sharpie (the ubiquitous signing pen). Even the editors get in on the act. There is a session called the Editors Buzz Panel (or Editoridol as it’s nicknamed), in which 6 prominent editors speak passionately about the book on their list they love the most. This year’s six were:

  • The People Of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  • In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
  • Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
  • Panorama City by Antoine Wilson
  • A Million Heavens by John Brandon
Karen Engelmann signs The Stockholm Octavo at BEA

Karen signs proofs of The Stockholm Octavo at BEA

Interesting to check out their fates in a year’s time.


Will Schwalbe signing BEA

Will signs The End of Your Life Book Club proofs at BEA

Three Two Roads authors were also working hard at BEA. Karen Engelmann, THE STOCKHOLM OCTAVO; Will Schwalbe, THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB and Gretchen Rubin, HAPPIER AT HOME. Here are some shots of their

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signing sessions and some general pics of the weird and the wonderful!


For as much as publishing is a very professional business, with much at stake BEA also has a streak of daftness. Long may that continue.

There are more postings and photos of BEA on our Facebook page here







Guest blogger: Valerie Appleby, Assistant Editor Two Roads

I’m not much of a mystery reader, but something about Josephine Tey’s Brat Farrar intrigued me. Perhaps it was the horse on the front cover, or perhaps the title that I just couldn’t place (I admit, I thought it was a Gaelic phrase before discovering it was actually just the name of the protagonist), but when I first discovered this book in the manuscript pages of Will Schwalbe’s The End of Your Life Book Club, I was tempted to read it right away.Brat Farrar, Josephine Tey

As it happened, I wasn’t alone. After selecting Brat Farrar for the eighth Two Roads book club, I was inundated by requests to join from my colleagues in Hodder towers. Several of my peers mentioned it was one of their favourite books, others proclaimed they’d been dying to read. I’m pleased to announce that this book lived up to all its hype.

Brat Farrar is a mystery of sorts (we’ll get to that) about the Ashbys, a family of seven on a large estate in southern England. When Mr and Mrs Ashby die in a plane crash, the value of their estate is frozen until their eldest child (who is also a twin) turns twenty-one and legally inherits the property. But

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shortly after his parents’ death, he mysteriously vanishes, assumed to have committed suicide. continue reading »

Six weeks working in New York has been amazing and a privilege…but all good things come to an end and I must face

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Thank you New York, you’ve been excellent company. Until next time…


The Flatiron

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