Sunday, 2 August 2009


The event went very well at Brighouse Library yesterday. Stephen Clayton, author of The art of being dead and I gave a talk on independent publishing. We have morphed into a double act, which seems to go down well. I'm always surprised, I shouldn't be I know, when I explain to people how getting books into the high street booksellers works. In the 3 for 2 section, as a publisher, to get one of your titles in this 'front of house area,' you have to give Wats £1500 and exra discount. You pay for your spot. No democracy here, just hard cash. They want to make you believe you are getting choice, but you're not. The titles are chosen at their HQ in Brentford and money talks. Its a Shamocracy of titles. There are always gasps of disbelief when I tell the attendant audience these facts. Now Waterstones is a business and they are trying to make as much money as possible, I don't have a problem with that, I just wish they would make it abundantly clear that publishers buy space and that the titles there are not there on merit alone. As it's Sunday, I'm Off to mow the cat.

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