Monday, 19 January 2009

Funky President

In the week that Barack Obama becomes president, everyone's eyes will be on the inauguration in Washington. And quite rightly. But please look a little more closely as the president elect gives his speech, because in his left hand will be a book. Not the bible, but a copy of The art of being dead by Stepehn Clayton. The Moose has been busy all week trying to get some product placement on the go, and of course it's not true, but if it were, then sales would go nuclear. And here is the serious point about a small publisher getting their wares into the hands of the reading public. Review coverage is essential. With the advent of the tinterweb great sites like meandmybigmouth, dovegreyreader and readysteadybook are democratic platforms where you know at least your books will be looked at. However, when it comes to the national press who knows what criteria they use to review books. Its the writing stupid! Or is it a good editorial lunch? Perhaps their best friend has just written a book? Read Robert McCrum's interview on Scott's meandmybigmouth site for revelations. Then comment on Robert's Guardian/books. The question being posed is, because of the democratic nature of internet commentary, is the literary editor dead in the water? Discuss. Today however Stephen Clayton is being interviewed by The Yorkshire Post, and tells me he feels a little bit like Dick Whittington having to travel to London on foot with his book stopping off at all the towns on the way talking to the press before he gets to the Metropolis and hopefully an audience with those that hold the key. Well it is the end of the pantomime season.
Musical choice of the day is Funky President by James Brown. Not that Barack Obama will be donning a soul patch and throwing a few shapes on the dias in Washington but because it's a great tune, and it is today as revelatory about the madness of the economic markets and the post of the most powerful man on the planet as it ever was. And surely it's got to better than Bono saying prayers to himself. And more importantly it makes me smile.

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