The London Book Fair, due to convene starting March 10, has acknowledged concerns and inquiries about international travel in the wake of the coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak. They write in a special post that they are “monitoring the situation carefully” and “the health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and staff is our number one priority.” Precautions at the Fair will include public health messaging displayed and shared before and during event; strengthened hygiene, sanitization, availability of disinfectants; and strengthened medical support.
Organizers suggest that “if you have any concerns that you may get caught up in an inbound or outbound quarantine, or are feeling unwell, you may want to reconsider your attendance at the event.” The UK government is officially “advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call [the] NHS, even if symptoms are mild. We are carrying out enhanced monitoring of direct flights from these areas.”
The giant Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, which draws over 100,000 people and was scheduled for February 24 – 27 in Barcelona, was cancelled. Separately, the Taipei International Book Exhibition, scheduled for early February, was postponed until May 7. Rights people who spoke to the Bookseller are expecting substantially diminished attendance from across Asia, but otherwise expect little or no impact on travel from other parts of the world to London. As we reported last September, licensing by Chinese publishers of books by US authors has fallen substantially during the larger trade war between the two countries. Simon & Schuster ceo Carolyn Reidy said today in a quarterly earnings interview that they “haven’t seen any change” in that slowdown.
Random House Children’s will publish Dan Brown‘s first picture book, WILD SYMPHONY, on September 1. Illustrated by Susan Batori, the book is about Maestro Mouse who “brings readers along as he visits a variety of animal friends, from cheetahs and kangaroos to elephants and blue whales.” The book will be accompanied by original music composed by Brown, available through a free interactive smartphone app.
John Bolton spoke at Vanderbilt University, this time alongside another former National Security Director, Susan Rice, and he continued to field questions on his silence in advance of government review of his forthcoming book. “I’m not out here flacking for it,” he insisted. More broadly, “I’ve done the best I could in difficult circumstances,” Bolton said. “I sleep at night because I have followed my conscience.”
“But for all those who say that I should just spill my guts here or anywhere else, make no mistake,” he noted, “in the back of the position that there’s classified information in the manuscript is the implied threat of criminal prosecution.”
Though he seemed to be signaling that he wanted to testify at the Senate impeachment trial, he now says, “I will bet you a dollar right here and now my testimony would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome. If anybody thinks to the contrary, I just don’t think you knew what was going on in Washington.”
Rice provided fairly stark contrast to Bolton’s position: “I thought a lot about if I had been in that position how would I have approached it, and I’ll be honest: It’s inconceivable to me that if I had firsthand knowledge of gross abuse of presidential power that I would withhold my testimony from a constitutional accountability process.”
She also said, “I can’t imagine withholding my testimony, with or without a subpoena. I also can’t imagine, frankly, in the absence of being able to provide the information directly to Congress, not having exercised my First Amendment right to speak publicly at a time when my testimony or my experience would be relevant. And, frankly, when my subordinates … were doing their duty and responding in a fashion consistent with their legal obligations to provide information.”
Tina McIntyre joins Wattpad Studios as interim head of publishing, covering Ashleigh Gardner’s position during parental leave. She was previously vp of marketing and business development at Novel Effect. Caitlyn Stewart joins as marketing manager for Wattpad Studios and Wattpad Books. She was previously marketing manager at James Lorimer & Company. Holley Corfield joins as publicity and marketing manager at Wattpad Books. She was previously senior publicist at House of Anansi Press.