Thursday, April 06, 2006

Catch-ups and comments

Here are a few notes arising from previous posts, email messages, et cetera.

My piece about Maddox the other day has generated some lively comment, particularly from Darryl Pierce, who acts as Maddox's p.r. person. Darryl is a very firm believer in the new publishing model, where the internet rules and is about to kick the whatsit out of old-time publishing. Whereas there are others, e.g. Clive Keeble, who think that the old gorillas -- old, but still weighing 600 lbs -- are going to prove too tough. On the whole I'm with the new guys, but it's not going to be easy, and both models will be with us for a long time to come. Win or lose, Maddox is, as I said at the beginning, a name to watch.

Then there's Cantara Christopher, who has read Henry Baum's North of Sunset and been highly impressed by it. (See her comments on my review.) And, since she is putting her money and effort where her mouth is, and running a proper publishing company on a shoestring, I think her views need to be regarded with a good deal of respect.

To my mind, what Cantara's review proves is that if you produce a piece of professional work, make it available somewhere, and spread the word a bit, you will probably find an appreciative audience sooner or later. It may take time, and the audience may not be large. But, who knows, one thing may lead to another.

Then we have news of another small press -- otherwise defined as a smile of optimists. This one is UK-based Tonto Press. Their first collection of short stories is just out, and it seems to be available almost everywhere. I see that the project was supported by the Arts Council of England, so it presumably has a lit'ry flavour. One of the contributors to the first collection is Jolene Hui, of San Diego, an 'actress and model' who seems alarmingly photogenic, as you can see for yourself.

Wisely or otherwise, Tonto have advertised that they're looking for novels. Let's hope the postman has a strong back. And, yes, they are named after that Tonto. The one who said What do you mean we, Paleface?

Last, but not least, the ever-thoughtful Bill Liversidge has an interesting idea about how publishers might do themselves a bit of good. And actually it seems to me that there is an opportunity here for an entrepreneur with a good working knowledge of (a) the publishing world and (b) html. Take and look and see what you think. And if you go further, and look at the Free Online Novels site that Bill mentions, you will see that there are a surprising number of free books posted there.


Anonymous said...

I was amused by the admonition given me on this Maddox thing to
"Don't hate the player. Hate the game." Don't recall using the hate word or even implying it, but do find this marketing tactic a phenomenon that is becoming more commonplace on Amazon and merely confusing folks trying to pick good books. I could be wrong, and I don't know this particular guru at all--in fact, he may be better/funnier/more divine than most current holy-of-holies. What I find fascinating is the hysteria of the discussions going on, led by his apparent cult following. It's a kind of energy that, once tapped, can do a great deal of good...and harm.

Interesting to watch.

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