By Joni Di Placido
And we’re back, post long-weekend! I hope those of you in North America enjoyed the last long weekend of summer and are bedding down for the all-too-soon onset of winter.
No major Kobo updates this week, but we’re seeing some great early KWL sales on Walmart and, slowly but surely, edging our way into households in the US.
Following up on our last update, KWL rock star Kendall Ryan has continued to amaze us – her Kobo Original Dutch translation of the Filthy Beautiful series was the most-read series overall on Kobo Plus in August. We’re so happy for her and really proud of her success.
Yesterday was the anniversary of Kobo audiobooks! We’ve now been in the audiobook biz for 366 days and we’re still seeing lots of growth. If you haven’t yet signed up for a free trial, you absolutely should (and check out Steph’s great post on audio recommendations)!
In other news:
UK Bookseller Waterstones has acquired family-owned book chain Foyles
The flagship location at Charing Cross road is over 100 years old and has a storied (heh) history. It has been featured in multiple literary works and is beloved by authors and bibliophiles the world over.
Waterstones is buying the 115 year-old family-owned chain Foyles, saying the deal will help to “champion” real bookshops in the face of online rivals. The sale includes Foyles’ well-known Charing Cross Road store in central London, which was relocated to larger premises in 2014.
InDesign Alternative Launches Public Beta
Not exactly book news, but may be relevant to many indie publishers: a new InDesign replacement launched a public beta today. Affinity have created some of the best Adobe alternatives in the past few years—their Affinity Photo for Photoshop, Affinity Designer for Illustrator, and now they’re taking on InDesign. The main attraction is the payment model—outright purchase rather than indefinite subscription. http://press.affinity.serif.com/pressreleases/affinity-publisher-beta-launched-try-it-free-2655186
Every Book Tour Should Include a Public School
I loved this article on LitHub about guest writer programmes in high schools—encouraging contemporary authors and teenagers to interact and learn from each other.
Every year, I meet more and more writers like me-writers happily employed in the New York City public schools. I’m the library director at Bard High School Early College Queens, where I work alongside several other writer-educators. About three years ago, I began dreaming about bringing more writers into the school.
Congratulations to the following KWL authors who were featured this week on the USA Today Bestseller List!
J.S Scott was #27 with Billionaire Unchallenged
Penelope Ward #55 with Love Online
Lexi Blake #63 with Memento Mori
Louise Bay #88 with The Earl of London
Joni Di Placido, Author Engagement Coordinator, KWL
I’m dying to read Bob Woodward’s upcoming title, Fear. In the meantime, I read former White House stenographer Beck Dorey-Stein’s memoir, From the Corner of the Oval. If you’re looking for a political memoir, this isn’t it; the focus is heavily on the author’s (sometimes painfully messy) personal life, but the writing is funny and engaging and there’s plenty of behind-the-scenes insider info. Think The Devil Wears Prada, but replace Condé Nast with the White House. Highly recommend.
(For what it’s worth, I switched back and forth between the hardcover and audio version —read by the author—and really enjoyed both. Dorey-Stein’s “Obama voice” is pretty hilarious and great.)