The Summer Digital Book Party, co-hosted by The Literary Consultancy and Byte the Book, brought together key speakers to present to a sold-out audience the latest in digital innovation from within the book world. Chaired by Claire Armitstead (Books Editor, The Guardian and The Observer), five organisations showcased the ways in which they were effecting change in publishing, across new platforms and publishing models, demonstrating how they were ‘thinking outside the book’, and encouraging others to do so, with a focus on reaching invested readers through collaboration, innovation, and integrated technology. Presenting were Stuart Evers (Community Manager, NetGalley), Anna Jean Hughes (Founder, The Pigeonhole, recently announced as a Bookseller Rising Star), Laurence Howell (Director of Content, Audible), Tom Hunersen (Director EMEA, Spritz Technology Inc.) and Sam Missingham (Head of Audience Development, HarperCollins). A more detailed write-up will be coming soon here on the TLC website, and press write-ups will be featured in BookBrunch, Publishing Perspectives and The Bookseller. A news flash on the digital reading statistics presented exclusively at the book day by Steve Bohme at Nielsen Book Research can be found in The Bookseller here.
The TLC Pen Factor Writing Competition also made its return at the Book Party, with four finalists live-pitching to a panel of literary agents and editors (Patrick Walsh at Conville and Walsh, Hellie Ogden at Janklow & Nesbit, Tom Witcomb at Blake Friedmann, and Kirsty Dunseath at Orion, editor of Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn). The winner was James O’Neill, with a quirky literary offering, praised by the judges for its cutting humour and compelling premise – a man, given six months to live, takes the co-ordinates of his date of birth and travels to the corresponding location on a map: Sturgeon Landing, Saskachewan, from which the novel derives its title.
The three runners-up were:
Kate Ansell, The Inventorist
Campaspe Lloyd-Jacob, My Inquisition
and Laurence Jones, New Country
Previous TLC Pen Factor winners include Guinevere Glasfurd, whose debut literary novel The Words In My Hand is forthcoming with Two Roads, and Piers Alexander, who has just brokered a digital and audio serialisation deal with The Pigeonhole for his Pen Factor-winning historical fiction The Bitter Trade following the book becoming an airport bestseller. July’s TLC Website Showcase will feature all four finalists in a TLC Pen Factor special. For details or to request extracts of any of the works here mentioned, please email Aki Schilz on