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Printing Capacity, Independent Bookstore Day, and Writing About 2020: This Week in Book News

Photo by Bank Phrom on Unsplash

Happy last Friday of August, everyone! It’s wild to me that we’re almost in September and summer is coming to an end. Where does the time go?! I know a lot of our authors are also parents and are gearing up to either send their kids back to school or start up remote learning again, and we’re thinking of you as you being to navigate these new challenges.


Printing companies for trade books are almost running at capacity. Between the number of spring books that have been moved to a fall release date, and an increase in sales in specific categories, printers are feeling the pressure.

Printers Confirm: Capacity for Trade Titles Tight

At the Book Manufacturers Institute’s check-in webinar on August 26, representatives from across the book manufacturing spectrum confirmed something that has been widely discussed in publishing circles for many weeks: printing capacity for trade books is tight.

Canadian publishers ECW Press and Annik Press have announced a new partnership.

Canadian Publishers ECW and Annick Form Partnership

Two Toronto publishing houses are working together in a unique way to ensure a smooth transition to new ownership. Independent publishing house ECW Press, a publisher of adult books, and Annick Press, a publisher of children’s and YA titles, have announced a new partnership that will see them begin closely collaborating on January 1, 2021.

Wattpad and Spain’s Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial have formed a new partnership, granting PRH Grupo Editorial translation rights for Wattpad Book’s English titles.

Spain’s PRH Grupo Editorial and Canada’s Wattpad Strike Rights Deal

PRH Grupo Editorial gets translation rights to English-language titles from Wattpad Books in the deal, comprising a world Spanish exclusive for Grupo Editorial. By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson ‘A Strong Pool of Diverse New Voices’ In a statement from Barcelona this morning (August 27), Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial has described a new partnership with Toronto-based Wattpad, establishing an imprint to publish Spanish-language Wattpad stories in Spain and in other Spanish-language markets.


Kuwait has relaxed their book censorship laws after banning thousands of titles in recent years.

Kuwait relaxes book censorship laws after banning thousands of titles

After banning almost 5,000 books in the last seven years, Kuwait’s government has relaxed its book censorship laws in a move that has been welcomed by writers and free speech activists. Kuwaiti state media reported that the country’s parliament had voted 40 to nine in favour of lifting the Ministry of Information’s control over books imported into the country.


After months fraught with controversy and accusations of racism, Bon Appetit has announced that Dawn Davis has been brought on as the new editor-in-chief as the magazine attempts to rebuild.

Bon Appétit’s New Editor-in-Chief Is Simon & Schuster’s Dawn Davis

Publishing executive Dawn Davis will lead Bon Appétit magazine through a period of rebuilding as its editor-in-chief, amid ongoing claims of racism and toxicity that led former editor Adam Rapoport to resign.

Speaking of controversy, JK Rowling continues to make headlines as she returns a human rights award given to her in 2019, after the president of the organization criticized her transphobic comments.

JK Rowling returns human rights award to group that denounces her trans views

JK Rowling is returning the Ripple of Hope award given to her last year by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR) organisation after its president, Kennedy’s daughter, criticised her views on transgender issues. The award, which is for people who have shown a “commitment to social change”, was presented to Rowling in December for her work with her children’s charity, Lumos.


A big topic this week across several publications has been how writers will portray 2020 in years to come. One piece asks if post-9/11 fiction can guide our expectations of literature post-Covid-19 literary world?

The future of post-pandemic fiction

Someday soon, we are going to be turning the pages of the newspaper and will spot a review for a book about the pandemic spring of 2020. Already, the nonfiction accounts are on their way, with their chronicles of the virus’ spread across the globe and the missed opportunities to contain it.

And this article asks how crime writers will tackle the pandemic in their books?

How Are Crime Authors Going to Address the Pandemic in Their New Books?

On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, I was headed from my suburban Westchester County home to lower Manhattan to meet an editor in the Woolworth Building, two blocks north of the World Trade Center. My husband was in his midtown office, about to leave for a breakfast meeting, also in lower Manhattan, when he heard that a plane had just crashed there.

It’s not just Covid-19 that will be remembered in literature; how we remember the protests against racial injustice will also be influenced by how authors write about them.

Writers Will Decide How We Remember the Protests

This piece is part of The Uprising Marches On , a package on what’s next for the movement for Black lives. It was just over 55 years ago, on August 11, 1965, when 21-year-old Marquette Frye was pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer in the Watts section of Los Angeles for alleged reckless driving.


The shortlist for the 2020 Journey Prize has been announced.

Lisa Foad, David Huebert and Jessica Johns named finalists for $10K Journey Prize for short fiction | CBC Books

Lisa Foad, David Huebert and Jessica Johns are on the shortlist for the 2020 Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. The annual $10,000 award is given to the best short fiction published in a Canadian magazine. It is geared toward writers in the early stages of their careers.

Marieke Lucas Rijneveld has won the International Booker Award for The Discomfort of Evening

Marieke Lucas Rijneveld wins International Booker for The Discomfort of Evening

The 29-year-old Dutch author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld has become the youngest author ever to win the International Booker prize, taking the award for their “visceral and virtuosic” debut novel, The Discomfort of Evening.


For the nature writers our there: Helen Macdonald has shared some excellent advice to anyone looking to write about the natural world.

Helen Macdonald: The Things I Tell Myself When I’m Writing About Nature

A not-too-serious and also quite serious list that is entirely non-prescriptive, and is absolutely not a set of instructions. Your mileage will vary wildly. There are as many ways to write about the natural world as there are kinds of beetles.

If you’re in the process of creating a marketing plan for a new title, take a look at this piece on how Bookstagrams have changed the way books are reviewed and read.

How #bookstagram has changed the way fiction is read

Culture Books Book blogging has always existed on the internet, but on Instagram it collides with the influencer economy, writes Zamira Rahim Wednesday 25 September 2019 13:47 L et me talk to you about this book, because I have a lot of emotions going on,” begins one Bookstagram caption.


Tomorrow is Independent Bookstore Day! It’s a great time to support your favourite local indie shop, and to make sure you’re supporting them in the right way.

People want to support their local bookstores. They might be hurting them instead.

As the novel coronavirus takes its toll on businesses all over the world, many well-meaning consumers have flocked to local community bookstores. However, increased demand on these small shops has put a strain on business owners. Even worse, some have received backlash from impatient and disgruntled customers for slow shipping or sold out inventories.

Who are your favourite independent bookstores?? Let us know in the comments, and have a great weekend!


Staff Pick
Rachel, Author Engagement Intern
“I’ve been on a bit of a literary fiction kick as of late, and the last book I finished (at around 10pm last night) was Emily St. John Mandel’s The Glass Hotel. I’m a big fan of her work (Station Eleven has been haunting me since mid-March), and her latest novel is no exception. This book, in large part, is about the 2008 financial crisis, which isn’t usually my genre of choice, but between the stunning prose and captivating characters, I found myself unable to put it down.”

The Glass Hotel ebook by Emily St. John Mandel – Rakuten Kobo

Read “The Glass Hotel A Novel” by Emily St. John Mandel available from Rakuten Kobo. #1 national bestseller New York Times bestseller From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of…

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