Tis the season of bright lights, red carpets, tears and hubris cubed. Quentin Crisp called it 'the peanut trail.' All those parties and events organised to promote, glad hand or announce a film, a book or a new work by an up and coming artist. A good friend of mine went down to London recently to attend a national award for 'First time novelists' it was the type of doo that turns its nose up at a sausage on a stick. Well much drink was had and my mate found himself talking to the editor of the national newspaper that was hosting the event. Mr R, the editor, asked him what he thought about the book that won etc and 008, my friend, gave him both barrells. He said that the winner was indeed a good book but went on to say that , 'why was it that his newspaper did not review the cutting edge books being published by the independents. Continuing he said, 'that it was the small independents out there that were taking all the risks and publishing fantastic novels.' 008 has been a bookseller for over 15 years and knows his stuff.
It was music to my ears. No money has changed hands.
Although the big publishing houses have published some great books from new writers , it's the independents like Canongate, Tindall Street, Route, Salt, Snowbooks and Myrmidon that are really publishing new and innovative fiction. I read yesterday that $10 Million dollars had been paid to Britney Spears for her story. A thousand new writers could get a $10,000 advance and I bet your bottom dollar that at least thirty would make more money in the long run for publishing and booksellers than dear old Britney. The future, Nah lets hoover up as much cash now and sod the literary consequences.
Song of the day is for Gordon Brown and I won't say the obvious one but my choice is 'Wade in the water,' by Ramsey Lewis. I have some armbands Gordon, but they come at a price.