Actually, I do have an idea, at least if you're a writer, and I've been preaching it here for yonks. Stay away from big publishing. Do your own thing. Of course you won't make any money, but remember what Jack Saunders said. Come on, I mentioned it only the other day -- 16 December 2005, to be precise:
Disintermediate now. Don’t wait for permission. Start from where you are. Get better by doing it. By and by, a cult will form around you. You’ll be respected by your peers. You’ll be known in the narrow world of what you do as a mensch. A stand-up guy. A soldier.I like that.
Another thing I like is on the Hotel Chelsea blog. It's a video plugging a new book called Legends of the Chelsea Hotel (not published till 28 September, I see). It's very simple, and presumably cheap, but very effective. First of a series, I believe. Of course you have to be old enough to know who they're talking about.
Fifty years ago, when I first became interested in writing, there was comparatively little information available to a wannabe writer: a few books (not very distinguished) in the local library, and that was that. Today, the place is awash with it. There's a great mountain of links on this one page alone. (Link from Paul Perry.)
Success in any medium is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it is much desired, and may well be the source of one's income; on the other hand, it brings with it many burdens and consumes huge amounts of time and energy. Witness the story of Jonathan Coulton, a successful songwriter and blogger. (Link from M.J. Rose.)
Now this one might be a treat. I've read the first chapter and it's certainly looks stylish and intriguing. The guy can write, and typos appear to be zero, which is always a nice surprise. If I didn't have such a big pile.... But you know how it is. Anyway, Ian Woollen has written a novel called Stakeout on Millennium Drive, and it's published by Ramble House Press. Here's the link to the book. It comes with endorsements, one of them from Michael Z. Lewin, an American who used to live 10 miles down the road from me. I wonder if he still does.
There's also an immensely worthwhile article on Bookslut, mainly about the importance of small presses, which makes a mention of Ian Woollen's book towards the end. From said article, I am surprised to find that Jake Arnott, once a star, is now published in the US by a small outfit like SoHo Press. Actually I'm not surprised at all, but there we are. I bear the man no ill will.
What is really, really interesting about Woollen, however, is that he's published by the Ramble House Press. The Mystery Strumpet at Bookslut describes Ramble House as a 'spit-and-bubble-gum publishing house', and I can see what she means. The firm seems to specialise in bringing to life long-forgotten authors, with a sprinkling of new stuff. It also operates through Lulu, which is a model that could repay study.
Everyman is publishing a book of poems about Fatherhood, just in time for Father's Day, 17 June. Ahhhh.... Inthat nice?
For lessons in how to plug a novel on TV, see Madame Arcati.
Hey, what did I tell you? The Blooker prizes have been announced, and Andrew Losowsky won the fiction prize for The Doorbells of Florence. The overall winner was a non-fiction book about the war in Iraq. And it looks as if it deserves its success.