Pottermore, big publisher office moves, Waterstones removing kindle devices from its stores and the recent Paris attacks feature in the Top 10 most-read stories on The Bookseller website in 2015.
The surprise news that Bonnier Publishing’s Studio Press was to bring out a Harry Potter Colouring Book the following month hit the headlines in October and was the 10th most-read online story in 2015. At the time Bonnier Publishing’s Helen Wicks said: "The Harry Potter Colouring Book fits perfectly with Studio Press’s remit for quirky but commercial books for both gift or trade. Pre-orders for the book have been incredible since chatter began on forums around the globe and we’re confident that it will be a best-seller for Christmas."
The ninth most-read story of the year perhaps unsurprisingly was news of the Man Booker Prize Winner for 2015 – Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings published by independent Oneworld. Despite half the trade being at Frankfurt Book Fair, readers still flocked to The Bookseller to read the news of James being the first Jamaican to have won the £50,000 award in its history, with the book praised for being “startling in its range of voices and registers, running from the patois of the street posse to The Book of Revelation”. Picture: Janie Airey
The eighth most-read story on thebookseller.com 2015 was the tragic news that two French editors died in the devastating terrorist attacks on Paris last month, in which 130 people died and over 250 were injured when gunmen opened fire at the Bataclan theatre, outside bars and restaurants and bombs were set off outside the Stade de France. Lola Salines, 29, a children’s book editor in the Edi 8 department at Gründ, which is part of the Editis group, and Ariane Theiller, 23, who worked at Rustica Hebdo, which is part of the Média Participations group, were among the victims who were attacked whilst watching the Eagles of Death Metal gig at the Bataclan theatre.
At number seven is a story about EBSCO Information Services for libraries buying YBP Library Services from Baker & Taylor. EBSCO announced that the buy was a "significant investment in the library workflow", saying it would bring together the components of an integrated solution that would "help change the course of library automation".
Coming in at number six is news of the Bookseller Industry Award Winners for 2015, with Pan Macmillan crowned Publisher of the year and Waterstones named as Retailer of the Year. Pan Mac’s Francesca Main and Waterstones’ Jen Shenton were also honoured as editor and bookshop manager of the year respectively, while Booka Bookshop in Oswestry clinched the Independent Bookshop of the Year gong.
News that Julian Lennon - son of Beatles legend John Lennon – was to pen his first children’s series made it onto the most-read list in fifth place. The series – about making the world a better place – is co-authored with Ben Davis. The books are described as an "interactive concept – one part story, one part journey, and one part pledge to make the world a better, cleaner place".
Three years after it first shocked the industry by embarking on a deal to sell its rival Amazon’s e-readers, The Bookseller story that Waterstones was in the process of removing Kindles for sale after “pitiful” sales made it into fourth place in the 2015 most-read chart. "Sales of Kindles continue to be pitiful so we are taking the display space back in more and more shops," Daunt said. "It feels very much like the life of one of those inexplicable bestsellers; one day piles and piles, selling like fury; the next you count your blessings with every sale because it brings you closer to getting it off your shelves forever to make way for something new."
HarperCollins finally moved into News UK's swanky new London headquarters in London Bridge in January and readers were scrabbling to take a look inside – provided by The Bookseller –making it the third most-read story of the year. Among the highlights of the building are its own bookshop and a revolving line-up of Doris Lessing, J R R Tolkien and Paddington Bear featuring on animated billboards between lifts.
Aged 67 and following a battle with cancer, the sad news that author Mal Peet had died in March hit The Bookseller headlines and was the second most-read story of 2015 on the website. The writer, whose latest novel The Murdstone Trilogy came out in 2014, won a number of awards during his career, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children’s Book Prize and the Branford Boase Award. His agent Peter Cox said: "Mal was a writer’s writer. He was universally adored and admired by other writers. His talent was a prodigious as his warm, wide-open heart. I have lost a dear friend, and we have all lost an author of exceptional genius. His best and most exciting years were still ahead: his premature death is utterly tragic."
And finally, in the number one spot, the most-read online story of 2015 was the news that Pottermore was re-launching as a mobile-first website, dropping the gaming elements and instead focussing on its core audience of young adults. The overhaul was led by Susan Jurevics who joined as Pottermore c.e.o. almost two years ago and sees the website shift its focus away from introducing new readers to the brand, to "delighting" those users who have grown up with the books and who now wish to explore more facets of the growing franchise.