'Book fashion show' at PRH sales conference

'Book fashion show' at PRH sales conference

New books from Bill Bryson, Yotam Ottolenghi and Nigella Lawson, and Patti Smith reading the audiobook of Jo Nesbo’s Blood on Snow (Harvill Secker), were among the announcements made at the two-day Penguin Random House UK sales conference this week.

The conference, which began on Wednesday (25th February) and finished yesterday (26th February), also saw Penguin Press put on a fashion show, with models dressed to represent the division’s books, and in-person appearances from authors including Ruby Wax, Julian Clary, Rachel Joyce, Anne Enright, Edmund De Waal, and Bridget Christie.

A performance by Chrissie Hynde, frontwoman of The Pretenders, ended the conference.

Each division of Penguin Random House presented its forthcoming lists to the rest of the company.

Transworld announced Bryson’s first travel book in 15 years would be released this autumn. The division also handed out cards to staff across Penguin Random House, asking them to note down the two Transworld books they most wanted to read, and promising to send copies to them, and spoke about Kate Atkinson’s companion novel to Life After Life, A God in Ruins.

Michael Joseph yesterday announced it would be publishing a sequel to Moyes’ Me Before You called After You, but the division’s presentation to the sales conference was “top secret”, according to Twitter.

Lawson was interviewed on stage at the conference, and talked about her forthcoming book Simply, while Irvine read from his forthcoming novel A Decent Ride (Jonathan Cape). Mary Portas and Alan Johnson, who both have books out this year, were also interviewed, and spoke about their upbringings and inspirations.

Ebury revealed a new book would be coming later this year from Yotam Ottolenghi, although no details have been made public.

Emma Hooper, author of Otto and Etta and Russell and James, played her violin for the conference, while George the Poet did a live performance.

While the conference at the Hilton Metropole in Edgware Road, London, was not open to the public, it was widely tweeted about by Penguin Random House staff using the hashtag #PenguinRHUK15.