Friday, May 22, 2009


I'll admit it, today I am absolutely floored by the value systems used by the mighty in this world. We're supposed to admire Quercus for creating some best sellers, while not being able to pay their authors, and I see mention of them going back to investors for more money while spending huge sums of Stieg Larsson marketing. And incidentally, his partner of many years is not benefitting from his fame either, as his children refuse to acknowledge her needs. And our politicians are busy claiming for duck ponds and moats, and apparently are on suicide watch as their guilt surfaces - a wee bit too late.

One of the good chains is on its knees, and Books Etc in particular has always been good at supporting titles from independent presses, and so we have one large quality chain left. There is no way that all the good books to be published can be promoted in one chain, and yet there is no other way to sell any quantity of books.

We're enjoying fabulous publicity - Daily Mail and Evening Standard books of the week, Lettice Wilkinson of Charity Shopping will be on Robert Elms next week, and yet you try getting books into shops ahead of this publicity. It's not possible to do it. No. Or rather a deafening silence from the over worked key buyers. It's a real shame, and I think my idea of getting the large presses in the UK to buy Borders is not a bad one. At least the publishers would then have an interest in bookshops, and make sure, with sound editorial values, that good books got to be seen by the public, who, luckily, still love books. As we do here.

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