Archives for book publishing

I agree with… Joanna Trollope

Joanna Trollope “The physical book is rearing its head again as a very desirable possession because after all you don’t own an e-book, you only lease it. So if you have a library of e-books you can’t leave them to your grandchildren…” Question: Will physical books cease to exist? “I would regret that, and I don’t think it will happen. And if it did happen, then the book will start again in a sort of green shoots way, some enterprising publisher will produce an exquisite thing and people will say ‘isn’t this an extraordinary simple and effective piece of technology. Why didn’t we think of this before?’ and the book will be reborn.” [Joanna Trollope, in conversation with Mark Lawson] I love this idea of books being re-invented. And I have to admit I hadn’t thought of an e-book as being ‘on lease’ but Trollope is right. I do get irritated with the e-books on my Kindle which can’t be shared with friends, or taken to Oxfam to pass on. For Joanna Trollope’s website, click here.   If you agree with Joanna Trollope, perhaps you will agree with:- Lynn Barber Jane Smiley Joel and Ethan Coen ‘Balancing Act’ by Joanna Trollope
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

I agree with… Val McDermid

Val McDermid “If I published my first three novels now, I wouldn’t have a career because no-one would publish my fourth novel based on the sales of my first three… Back in the day when I started you were still allowed to make mistakes, you got to make your mistakes in public, in a way. I think the world was a more forgiving place when I started my career [in 1987], in the sense that we got time and space to develop as a writer. That is definitely something that wouldn’t happen now. No-one will say, ‘Write half a dozen novels and find yourself’… If you don’t make the best-seller list, if you don’t get shortlisted for any prizes, it’s goodbye.” Val McDermid has sold 10 million books. Her first crime novel, Report for Murder, was published by Women’s Press in 1987 and was to be the first of a series about freelance journalist Lindsay Gordon. She wrote a crime novel, because she enjoyed reading them. McDermid went on to write the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series. She is a highly-decorated and respected author. So for her to say she doesn’t think she would make it today as a
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

I agree with… Chris Cleave

Chris Cleave “I was the last generation of writers given one chance; the generation before had two chances; the generation now doesn’t have a chance… More writers need to celebrate new writers: This is my protege, I want you to read their books. In music, artists feature less well-known artists on their album, to bring people on – they need help. I’ve never seen an author pick up a major prize and say, Now you are listening to me, you should read X, Y and Z.” [in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine, July 7, 2014] Cleave spoke to The Bookseller as chairman of the judging panel for the 2014 Desmond Elliott Prize, awarded to Eimear McBride. Publishers’ margins today make it difficult for them to take risks, Cleave said, and that the nine years it took the multi-award winning McBride to get published is a wake-up call for the book publishing industry. He called on established authors to support each other, particularly newcomers, and to turn away from the selfishness he sees in the business now. “Established authors are starting to develop a real career mentality. There’s a lot of selfishness, a lot of people have lost sight of
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

I agree with… Matt Haig

Matt Haig “I think there would be nothing duller or more counterproductive than a ‘safe’ book market. The quickest way you could kill books in their tracks is to stop taking risks, because when risks pay off, they pay off with dividends. For instance, my fellow judge [Haig is chair for the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize] Sam Jordison is a founder of Norwich’s Galley Beggar Press which took a risk on Eimear McBride’s risk-taking ‘A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing’ [which won the 2014 Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction]. We need to have more confidence in books now than ever before. We need to push and publish the boldest, brightest works in order for books to remain the most vital of all art forms, and one that could never die. For the world of publishing to last, it makes sense to look for books that could last. Brilliance must be rewarded.” [writing in ‘The Bookseller’ magazine, June 20, 2014] Nothing ventured nothing gained. Matt is an author, but I think he is addressing everyone in the UK book trade. Authors need to have the confidence to keep taking risks, believe in their own work, and not feel pressured to ‘change things’ in
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.