Being careful about the name of your company if you are about to join forces

Why picking a new name can be pure merger

When two companies join forces, there needs to be careful thought about what they’re going to call themselves, as Simon Usborne finds out

Murdoch's News Corp joins the battle to p-p-p-ick up Penguin

News Corporation is preparing to make a cash offer worth as much as £1bn for Pearson's Penguin Group, throwing plans to merge the major book publisher with rival Random House into disarray.

Penguin in merger talks with Random House

Two of the world's largest book publishers are in talks to create a new market leader designed to wrestle back leadership of the industry from the technology interlopers Apple and Amazon.

Publishers Random House and Penguin in merger talks

Two of the world's largest book publishers are in talks to create a new market leader designed to wrestle back leadership of the industry from the technology interlopers Apple and Amazon.

Sir David Jason to pen autobiography

Sir David Jason has signed a deal to publish his memoir after almost half a century in the entertainment world.

Landmarks of lubricity: Film adaptation of 'Fanny Hill'

Boyd Tonkin: Fifty Shades has topped all records - but rude books often lead the way

With straining limbs, tensed muscles and sweaty skin, toned bodies stretch and push towards the summits of physical endeavour, sometimes helped on by arcane technological aids but always urged towards their goal by an excited audience of millions. They break through the pain barrier and, after drawn-out minutes of suffering and constraint, hit that longed-for peak and collect the reward of a massive rush of endorphins. Yes, it's been a fabulous summer for EL James and Fifty Shades of Grey. I will leave it to the historians – or perhaps psychoanalysts – to tease out the connections between Olympic frenzy and the unstoppable popularity of James's SM trilogy. Every day, it seems, new records tumble.

Author E L James is looking to adapt her best-selling erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, for the big screen

Fifty Shades is UK's best-selling book of all time

E L James' Fifty Shades of Grey has sold more than 5.3m copies making it the best-selling British book of all time, according to figures released by its publisher.

Robert Hughes: 'I don’t imagine that any book is completely free of mistakes'

Renowned art critic Robert Hughes, 74, dies

Renowned Australian art critic and historian Robert Hughes has died after a long illness. He was 74.

Jewell says: 'I'm proud of the fact that I've done very little - and hence have little to worry about - and I've still got somewhere'

Lisa Jewell: 'I married someone I didn’t love. I was too polite to say no'

My first book came about over a bet I had a drunken conversation with a friend about some day writing a book, and she said, "If you write me three chapters, I'll take you for dinner at your favourite restaurant." So I did [the resulting book, Ralph's Party, was the biggest-selling debut novel of 1999], and she made me send it out to agents. When one of those agents liked it and told me Penguin wanted to pay me £120,000 to write my first two books, I thought everyone had gone mad.

Winning formula: E.L. James's soft-porn saga has broken sales records

'Fifty Shades' author greeted by sobbing fans at Comic-Con

Lola De La Cruz cried when she met author E L James. The 29-year-old fan had waited since 4am to accomplish the number one thing on her Comic-Con to-do list - meet the writer of "Fifty Shades of Grey" - and 12 hours later, she got her chance.

Mills & Boon re-release erotic works to cash in on Fifty Shades of Grey 'revolution'

Fifty Shades of Grey has sparked a “revolution” in women’s reading habits according to the romance literature giants Mills & Boon, and the subsequent surge in sales has prompted them to re-release some of their most erotic works.

Surprise US success for Briton

A little-known British author has topped the New York Times bestseller list with an erotic novel described in the US as "mommy porn".

Salma Hayek

Screen Talk: Prophet motive

Salma Hayek, whose résumé includes roles in movies From Dusk Till Dawn, Wild Wild West and Frida as well as regular character outings in TV series Ugly Betty and 30 Rock, is also an accomplished producer.

A book can be judged by its cover

With e-books threatening the future of the paper version, Nick Duerden speaks to five jacket designers helping to keep the old format alive
Dickson Wright says: 'I have an explosive temper That Krakatoa strata is still in my make-up'

Clarissa Dickson Wright: 'When I was young, pubs had badger ham on the bar'

What people loved about the Two Fat ladies was the sheer anarchy of it Two fat old bats on a Triumph, travelling around the country and cooking. The impact we had felt particularly brilliant: I found out recently we single-handedly saved the Gloucester Old Spot pig breed from dying out, after we did a programme about it.

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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker