Archive for January, 2007

All hail the small press revolution

Rescuing talent otherwise lost to literature is a PR coup for small houses, as is their snatching the lucrative Christmas number one slot from under the noses of the high spending conglomerates. It has helped hype them as the saviours of 21st Century publishing: small, human, creative and above all untainted by the demands of bean counters they publish books that would not see the light of day otherwise. But scratch at the mythology and claims that small presses are storming the gates of HarperCollins et al look more like hype than reality.

Bookselling: Independence day for bookshops

The arrival of Wottakar’s has been a wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee moment for large publishers. Of course, they all profess a love of independents – how else can they get bijou books bought for a song and unsupported by marketing into the hands of readers? But their love is rarely backed with the kind of terms that mean independents don’t look expensive compared to their high street and cyber space rivals.

You read it here first

As predicted last week HarperCollins has been forced to cancel the paperback of Jade Goody’s autobiography. A spokesperson for the publisher is quoted on the trade wires saying: “In light of recent events, HarperCollins has decided it wouldn’t be appropriate to proceed with the paperback publication of Jade: My Autobiography
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An interesting final chapter?

I should feel pleased about the news regarding Zedlebrity Big Brother and the dreadful Bermondsey Bully. C4 is firefighting, offering all profits from today’s phone lines to charity and running shows last night clearly designed to quell the storm. And Carphone Warehouse has realised that having its brand tied to
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Something for the weekend?

I’m rushed off my feet – hence the rare blog entries. Anyway, there are some great films and books on the horizon this year. I would love to hear what you guys have to recommend. Here is a handful I recommend you beg, steal, borrow or sneak into the back
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Sarah Waters: the wordsmith

Sarah Waters has reason to look tired: 2006 has been a rollercoaster year for the Welsh writer. The Night Watch was published to critical acclaim, short-listed for the Orange and the Man Booker, for which it was the bookies favourite, and fell at the post both times. “Always the bridesmaid?” I ask, half joking. She laughs. “I was thinking that. Considering how much of a winner you feel when you get on the shortlist, you do feel like an absolute loser when you don’t win. It’s dreadful isn’t it?” she answers.
The Booker was an ordeal, the writer admits. “The cameras [at the Booker] make it dreadful. I have enjoyed the Orange parties but the Booker is so formal. Everybody is in bloody dinner suits or whatever. It just feels a lot grimmer.”