The publisher of A Clockwork Apple, Beautiful Books, has gone into administration. It's such a shame. Simon Petherick, the MD, who set it up from his home in Clapham about four years ago before moving to a small west-end office had the passion for reads that were away from the mainstream. I'm not at all too disheartened. I'm just glad that I was one of the early authors; I know I'd have felt great sadness had I signed up only months ago. So, the copyright reverts to me, which I shall be free to capitalise on should my future books be successful enough to secure a readership. It is a shame that independent publishers struggle so much; they seem to be forever on the knife-edge. Waterstones plays a large part in that it can returns a whole load of unsold books in what is often an insufficient timeframe. What's to be done? I read a headline today about how amazon is breaking down the old arrangements by enabling authors to 'publish' digital 'books' direct to the reader. I didn't click on the link. I feel a bit of apathy towards getting the next publishing deal if truth be known. I have a publisher looking at Mary Burns, a publisher I respect and admire, but I'm a realist, even though I tell myself, frequently, that no-one knows anything: not about what will sell or what will work, what will take off or crash. No one.