Non-fiction on the up

Managing director of Pan Macmillan SA, Terry Morris, says local publishing is in a very healthy condition — particularly non-fiction.

“The quality, range and depth of titles has increased markedly over the past few years despite a lacklustre retail environment,” she says.

“That being said, local fiction is a very difficult area to publish in because of low sales and a greater following of international fiction trends by consumers.”

Morris says there are many good journalists who would like to write full-length non-fiction books — always a good source of talent for publishers. She cites Kevin Bloom, a freelance writer contributing to The Daily Maverick and various international publications, as one such talent.

“A new fiction author to keep an eye out for is Craig Higginson,” she says. His latest title, Last Summer, was released in February this year and his next novel will be out in 2011.

“Also look out for young author Angela Makholwa, who is working on her third novel, a thriller.”

Morris says it’s “about time” for a literary festival in Johannesburg. “Cape Town really trumps Johannesburg at holding festivals. Hopefully the Mail & Guardian event will grow larger each year and excite readers to meet and interact with well-known and new authors.”

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