Saturday, May 19, 2007


David McKie has been talking about his obsession with other peoples' bookshelves (isn't the image of David Cameron reading the new Ian McEwen cringe-making?). I can't help looking for my own books. Any photograph with a bookshelf in the background, any scene on the telly and my head's tipped sideways and I'm checking the colours and fonts. Even movies made before I was published, even old black and white photos of Sir Winston Churchill.

This is embarrassingly laughable for many, oh so many reasons. Apart from, as you may have gathered by now, the obscurity of these books, they are commerical fiction with commercial covers of the brightest, gawdiest kind. When I was shown the cover for novel 1 I was very happy. There it was - proof - I was going to be a published author. One male friend from my writing group did take me to one side and had a quiet word about how inappropriate it was for the writing inside; how instantly alienating it would be to so many people, especially men, but I didn't hear any of it. It was me! In print! Now I'm embarassed to say I find it embarassing. And the title, which wasn't mine either. It flags up something that the main character is against. I did point that out but.... There I go again moan moan, but no. I'm saying this is because Danuta Kean has just brought this New York Times piece to our attention:

Simon & Schuster Set a Worrying Precedent:

...Until now, Simon & Schuster, like all other major trade publishers, has followed the traditional practice in which rights to a work revert to the author if the book falls out of print or if its sales are low....

I didn't know that.
I thought it belonged to the publisher for 80 years or whatever it is. And if it were ever to be revived that would be a publisher to publisher deal thingy. So I'm quite pleased. I worried for a moment for my S&S author friend, but she's been done proud by them already. Going out of print isn't going to be her problem. So I am pleased about that. It's out of date now, of course, novel 1, & the politicings in it have been overtaken by time, but it's not out of the realms of possibility that one day it'll see daylight under its original title (At The End Of the Summer) with a decent cover.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

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