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Showing posts from December, 2007

A future of free books would come at too high a price

Chris Anderson, author and editor of Wired, the computing industry 'bible' recently implied the future of reading and book-buying when he said his next book, The Long Tail, is to be issued by publisher's Disney in a range of editions. Nothing new there. But wait. One edition will come at most people's favourite price: free. But it will include a range of adverts. On the other hand an advert free edition will cost the standard price. This is not only borrowing what is now a well used Internet business model, where freebies are given in return for lots of pop-up ads and spam, but also from supermarket chains who sell loss-leaders such as bread for 10p (or there abouts) in return to get you into the store and buy other full-priced items. It is also not too dissimilar from the slew of free newspapers that one is bombarded with outside any bus/tube station, giving yesterday's news tomorrow. In music too we have seen the adoption of this business model by artists such as…

The word made real?

On Friday evening after work I went to my publishers and picked up a few copies of the bound proofs of my debut (published) novel, A Clockwork Apple. It is not, by a long chalk, the first novel I have written, but it will be the first to be published. It was weird, holding this substantial, compact block in my hand - my book! I'm proud, of course, but I have to admit that I also feel quite down about it now. Why? There is a certain rush and determination one has to have in order to push a book out there and get a publisher as passionate about as you are, and now that is spent. Yep, I hope there will be reviewers, but its not as if I will need to convince them of anything - I wont, as the word is already writ! Maybe its just another stage in this particular journey with it - Im sure it is. I have already begun work on writing other stuff, and, as if needing a change of format, I have begun the initial stage of writing a satire for TV. Im not sure if it has got wings, but sometimes…

My favourite book of 2007

Ok, it's only 1st December but all the lit supplements have already raced to list a selection of best books of the year. How do they know a masterpiece isn't due for launch in the next three weeks? Well supposing there won't be I want to name the novel that made the biggest impact on me this year, It also happens, surprisingly, not have been mentioned in any of the 'big' lists. It is Gerard Donovan's Julius Winsome, published by Faber and Faber. A beautiful, understated work that is the mark of a writer who has quite simply mastered the art of storytelling. I am building up a stable of personal classics that will, Im sure, stand the test of time throughout my life. Other novels in this stable are Per Petterson's Out Stealing Horses and Peter Hobbs' beautiful debut, The Short Day Dying (also Faber).
Here's a few lists to mull over: The GuardianPublishers WeeklySunday TimesThe New York Times Sunday Book ReviewNew York Times Notable Books of 2007The New…