Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another week, another party.

This time, it was the English PEN summer party in a lovely if slightly eccentric house in Kensington. Our congratulations go to Brian Thompson who won the PEN/Ackerman prize, thanks go to English PEN for organizing a great evening and especially to Lisa Appignanesi for saying that I looked 'hip'.

But the real reason for this post is to lay down some guidelines my future posting. My friend Mark at Readysteadybook gently chastised me in my old incarnation for using the blog merely as a marketing tool - everything was 'exciting', 'fantastic' and led to buying some sort of book. He was absolutely righ and my response is twofold. Firstly, it's my job. I like being able to pay the rent. Secondly though, it was because I genuinely did find everything 'exciting' and 'fantastic'. We're in independent publishing for chrissakes, we don't do it for the money. Most of my non publishing friends already earn significantly more than me and in five years time the gap will be exponentially greater. However, I still feel more privileged than most of them for the mere fact that I have the opportunity to get excited in my job.

Thus at Marion Boyars it'll be more of the same, almost. The fact that everything is new to me here gives an opportunity to write about the publishing house and especially its list as I discover it myself - I've not read most of the books that we publish but very much plan to and I'd like the opportunity to share what I think about this reading and, indeed, what I think about working here as openly and honestly as I can. If it ends up sounding like marketingspeak by all means let me know.

So: The most exciting and fantastic thing I did today was begin going through The Bookaholic's Guide to Book Bloggers . It's a whole lotta fun. (American passport, I can say stuff like that) I really think that Cathy and Rebecca are coming up with a unique document. It reads more like travel writing than anything else, replete with exciting characters and insights over wider themes. Over the next couple of weeks or so I expect that all kinds of different bloggers will receive permissions requests. I urge them to accept because they'll be part of something very worthwhile and strangely of the moment, one of those books that probably couldn't be written last year and shouldn't in the next and for that very reason will come to be read ten and twenty years from now. (does that make sense? Very F&Eish ed.)

I'm also reading The Devil in the Flesh , but more on that another time, it's late.

1 comment:

Mark Thwaite said...

Good to have you blogging again Kit.

The "gentle chastisement" you refer to was aimed at publisher's blogs in general as much as it was at your lovely self. If publisher's blogs are going to be any more then merely a regularly updated catalogue (and they certainly have a use just as this) than they have to become destinations.

Why do I read other blogs? Because of the individual voice of that blogger: what they like/dislike, what insights they can give me into particular books, what news they have, all in the context of the bits of life they share with me as a reader.

Yes, I want to know what the latest Marion Boyars release is and how it came to be chosen, and why this cover and not that cover -- maybe I could see some of the discarded covers? -- and why this author is special etc.

But I also want to get to know you as blogger not just as publisher's clerk. If I get to trust your voice I may well start to read your blog regular and tell others about it on my blog. And I may well buy more of your books ...