New ways to do old things, no. 94: Simon Spanton, of Orion, sends out an email to people in the book trade, warning them about 'three bitter, angry, damaged, resentful and extremely violent people who have been making themselves very unwelcome around our offices. They should be in care, they'll probably end up in jail. Or dead, after a drunken brawl or from a drug overdose. And you might say good riddance.'
Turns out they're characters in a new book.
Hm? Oh, all right then. The Steel Remains, a 'new epic fantasy' from Richard Morgan. Published by you know who. Or part of them.
Paul Brown of the UK's Tonto Press has an unusual book out: The Rocketbelt Caper. Described as 'a true tale of invention, obsession and murder'.
The Tonto blog has a discussion about small publishers somehow being regarded as inevitably publishing books of local interest. When you have a true crime/popular science book that is set in Texas filed under Local Interest in a Newcastle bookshop you know you have a problem.
Paul Brown also draws my attention to the article in the Observer which uses the Frankfurt book fair as the excuse for a survey of the modern book trade, and comes to some discouraging conclusions. You're surprised?
Old hand Patrick Jimjam-Smith: 'If you're not in a three-for-two or Richard & Judy, forget it. There's no point. If you ask me, publishing is in a mess.' No! Really? Who'd have thunk it?
Lyn Lejeune continues to try to revive New Orleans. She is giving all royalties from The Beatitudes to support the city.
Chris Keil complains that I made a comment about his book without having read it. Actually I was making a general point, rather than commenting on his book in particular. However, to make amends I will point out that Nicholas Clee has read Chris's book (Liminal), and reviewed it in the Guardian. And thanks, but it still sounds like the kind of book I don't want to read.
Emmett James's Admit One can be previewed on Google books. Which is interesting for me, because it's the first time I've actually been to that site. But preview is the right word, because the book isn't actually published yet.
The title of this book refers to a ticket to the movies. And it is about, not surprisingly, a young man who is obsessed with film, and eventually makes his way to Hollywood.
Emmett himself spent his childhood in Croydon, South London, and after studying acting at Strasberg Actors Studio in London he eventually moved to Los Angeles in the early nineties to pursue a career in film. He comes from a family of authors which includes J.B. Priestley.
Libel strikes again; this time in the classical music biz. But Yanks, it seems, will be able to read the material more or less as is.
By contrast with other commentators on the book world (see above), Evan Schnittman returns from Frankfurt convinced that publishing has the edge over technology for three reasons: discoverability, print on demand and repositories. See the OUP blog.
Mary Whitsell tells me that The Word Detective is a site somewhat like Michael Quinion's World Wide Words, but American. Looks promising.