Industry Notes: Richard Charkin Opens Mensch Publishing; LBF Opens Award Submissions

In News by Porter Anderson

Richard Charkin announces a new publishing venture, and London Book Fair opens submissions for its 2019 International Excellence Awards.

Artwork for the new Mensch Publishing is by Spitting Image founder Roger Law. Image: Mensh Publishing

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘I Trust Mensch Will Live Up to Its Name’

Richard Charkin

Close on the heels of his most recent exclusive column for Publishing Perspectives, Richard Charkin has announced that he’s opening Mensch Publishing, a boutique house in London, with “no mission statement and no stated editorial strategy.”

In typically wry form, the former executive director of Bloomsbury Publishing and past president of the International Publishers Association, Charkin has announced that the new venture “will have ‘brilliant’ sales, rights and distribution handled by Bloomsbury, and a group of experienced (but not old) professionals to support authors, including Ruth Killick for publicity, Phillip Beresford for design, Peter Gill for copyediting, and Adrian Downie for web design.”

The company has announced that Guy Kennaway’s Time to Go, “a darkly funny memoir about assisted dying,” will be its first outing, with an expected release in February in hardcover and an audiobook edition.

In a prepared statement, Charkin is quoted, saying, “Having been a publisher for 46 years working for other people, it felt like time to do my own thing.”

Charkin goes on to say that the first title from Mensch will be “Kennaway’s book, which, from the first to the last lines, is both entertaining and important.

“I don’t have a grand strategy for Mensch publishing—success will be driven entirely by the books we publish, not the statements I make. But I trust Mensch will live up to its name.”

Publishing Perspectives readers see Charkin’s column each month here.

London Book Fair has made the above promotional video about its 2018 International Excellence Awards program.

London Book Fair Opens Excellence Award Submissions

While most of the publishing world’s attention is turned toward the Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 10 to 14), the London Book Fair and the UK’s Publishing Association have opened submissions for the sixth annual International Excellence Awards “in 16 categories, representing the best publishing ambassadors, innovative publishing, and ground-breaking initiatives in the industry.”

It’s appropriate in this closely followed set of honors each year for companies and individual publishing players to nominate themselves and/or others, and the site at which submissions can be put forward is here.

Jacks Thomas

In a prepared statement, London Book Fair’s director, Jacks Thomas, is quoted, saying, Back for a sixth year, the LBF International Excellence Awards will once again give us all the opportunity to see some of the interesting and great output from publishers and others within the industry around the world.

“Commitment, passion, excellence and innovation are the themes that come through in the nominations.

From the best library, to the two Market Focus Indonesia categories; from the best audiobook publisher and literary festival trade award to winning educational initiative, I’m looking forward to seeing the work showcased across 16 categories this year.”

Here are categories for submission limited to markets outside the UK:

  • The Audiobook Publisher Award
  • The Academic and Professional Publisher Award
  • The Educational Initiatives Award
  • The Educational Learning Resources Award
  • The International Literary Agent Award
  • The Literary Translation Initiative Award
  • The Literary Festival Award
  • The Bookstore of the Year Award, sponsored by Gardners
  • The Library of the Year Award
  • The Rights Professional Award

Categories open to all countries, including the UK:

  • The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) Award: Initiative
  • Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) Award: Publisher

Categories open only to Indonesia (the fair’s Market Focus in 2019):

  • The Indonesia Adult Trade Award
  • The Indonesia Children’s, Young Adult and Education Award

And the category that’s open only to UK submissions;

  • The Inclusivity in Publishing Award
Stephen Lotinga

Stephen Lotinga

Speaking for the fair’s partner on the awards, Publishers Association chief Stephen Lotinga is quoted, saying, “We are very proud to support the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards, always a highlight of the fair and a moment when excellence across the industry is both showcased and celebrated.

“The awards cover the entire scope of international publishing and continue to go from strength to strength. I would really encourage people to nominate and I look forward to seeing the outcome.”

The deadline for submission is December 21, and the awards’ invitation-only ceremony is set for March 12, the opening day of the 2019 fair, at Olympia London’s conference center.

More from Publishing Perspectives’ Industry Notes series is here, on Richard Charkin is here, and on the London Book Fair is here.

And our pre-Frankfurt magazine is ready for your free download and is themed on politics and publishing.

It includes our extensive preview of the Frankfurter Buchmesse. Download the PDF here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.