Tuesday, March 28, 2006

More short bits

Child prodigy strikes again

An anonymous commenter has been perusing PRWeb and has found yet another press release about the eight-year-old alleged wunderkind Adora Svitak. (I see that in earlier mentions I mistyped her surname as Sitvak. Though she seems to operate mainly under the one name Adora; just like Madonna.)

I really don't recommend that you read this stuff. It's probably bad for your blood pressure and/or digestion. But there it is.

The 50 least influential...

Following the the Observer's recent list of the 50 (allegedly) most influential people in UK publishing, Buzzwords has invited nominations for a list of the 50 least influential people in publishing -- not necessarily British. (Link from Bookslut.)

Well, you may or may not be surprised to hear the that GOB has been nominated. And it's all true, every word. I am deeply honoured.

On the same list, by the way, there are nominations from another Mike Allen, who is not me. But the name Michael Allen is a very common one, as you can find out from Squidoo. One other Michael Allen is the President of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. No, I didn't know there was one either.

Booker injustice?

Over at Campaign for the American Reader, Marshall Zeringue is inviting readers to nominate the book which should have won the Booker and didn't. Or did win it, and never should have. And all like that.

Not a matter on which I am equipped to comment.

New Prize

The Mercantile Library has announced a new $10,000 prize for the best first novel by an American. I haven't read the small print, but I get the general feeling that anything published through PublishAmerica or Lulu is probably not eligible.

Walter Ellis

In a comment on my brief reference to Seth Godin, last Friday, Walter Ellis, author of the autobiographical The Beginning of the End, has some understandably bitter things to say about the attitude of UK book retailers. Serialisation, good reviews, a tour, radio interview, and no sales to speak of.

Everyone Who's Anyone et cetera

Gerard Jones has just published the fifth edition of his online directory Everyone Who's Anyone (in the book world, originally). Over the past few years, however, the list has been expanded to include film people and a whole lot more. So now the web site is entitled Everyone Who's Anyone in Adult Trade Publishing, Propagandaville and Tinseltown, Too, is a Worthless, Superfluous, Giddy, Giggly, Chickenhearted, Money-Grubbing, Nazi Moron.

More useful than ever, then. And, despite everything, Gerard still has a sense of humour.

The most powerful woman

The Scotsman claims to have identified the most powerful woman in UK publishing. (Link from Booktrade.info.) And she is, unsurprisingly, the gatekeeper on the Richard and Judy TV chat show. Think Oprah UK.


Anonymous said...

I already commented on Walter Ellis's posting a few days ago.

Perhaps this morning, after Walter has digested Ottakar's trading figures which show a trading loss for the last financial year as well as sales for the past 8 weeks to 25th March which are 8.1% down, he might try and consider the difficulties facing all UK shops.

Dewhurst Butchers yesterday called in the administrators,at very short notice, presumably because their bankers were not prepared to meet last week's quarterly rent demands for the shops.

There is massive predatory pricing from the supermarkets and internet merchandisers.

Few shops are immune, the booktrade is bleeding badly : I hope to survive but expect to see many business failures.

Everybody is rationalising, endeavouring to trim costs. In these times bookshops, especially independent bookshops, will only be taking a punt with stock which they are likely to sell to their core customer base.

Clive Keeble

Anonymous said...

I consider this rash of kindergarten geniuses to be nothing more than a circus trick. And people love circus tricks. Much like the child evangelists of the 1930's, who were beaten into memorizing the bible.

His Grumpiness is most deserving of any award that comes his way. I hope it comes to you as it should.