Wednesday, 30 September 2009

A great author and fine chap

One of the Bluemoose family came up North on Sunday. Mark Radcliffe, author of Gabriel's Angel, which we will publish in July 2010, came to Hebden Bridge. We had coffee and cake and chatted about the book, publishing, why Sting always takes his top off in photo shoots, music and football. He cut a rakish figure and half way through our conversation a bloke came up to us and commented positively on Mark's hat. Bluemoose not only has great writers, we also have style.
The artwork for Falling Through Clouds is now done. The typesetters will send all the artwork and the typesetted manuscript to the printers and by mid December we will have the books ready for publication on Saturday 9th January 2010. The book launch will be at 5.00pm at The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge on 9th Jan . At 8.00pm there will be a free party organised by Anna to celebrate the publication of her first novel. DJ's and such things. I believe it is all on Facebook and no doubt Mr Fry on Twitter will soon be accepting the invite.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

In Absentia

Apologise for the absence.....The Moose has been away. Lots to tell. Will catch up later, off to Lincolnshire now. Toodlepip

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Rabbit, Rabbit

There was many a tear shed yesterday at Moose Towers when the news filtered through that one of popular music's most famous combos, Chas and Dave are to split. Their musical take on a Philip Roth character, Rabbit, is a classic. farewell you cockeneyed boys you, lay down your spoons and please, do, go gently into the night

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

New Titles

I have been contacting all the reader development officers at the 208 library authorities in the UK about our next publication, Falling through clouds by Anna Chilvers. Libraries choose their new titles and stock in various ways. The main avenue for selection is to be sent new title information on CD from the two main library suppliers, Bertrams and Gardners. They make the selection and then order the titles. Some library authoriites are now linked to 'Supply Selection,' whereby the library supplier chooses what titles the authority should order. This saves time and money for the authority but could mean that the larger publishers, through greater discounts, influence the library suppliers selection to the local authority. I'm sure this doesn't happen, but given the constraints of the industry, if you can make more money out of promoting a new author, then the library supplier will probably do so. Again, money may be dictating what new titles are in your library and not simply the quality of the writing itself.. Toodlepip.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Gabriel's Angel

I've just read 'Gabriel's Angel ,' again. It's written by Mark Radcliffe and it is still fantastic. I'm meeting Mark next Sunday when he comes up from Hove to stay with some family up here in the North. I'm really looking forward to it. Coffee and cake and chat about jacket covers and marketing. We will be publishing July 2010.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Final proof reading

The final, final proof reading is being done to Falling through clouds by Anna Chilvers this week and then it will be sent off to the typesetters. For the hardback, we have to do the copy for the front fly sheet and the back cover, which will consist of a short synopsis of the story and the full quote from Lesley Glaister, ISBN and price. On the paperback we have to do a brief synopsis of the story and Lesley's quote plus ISBN and price. All the artwork will then be sent over from our designers in Canada and the book will arrive at Moose Towers in mid December for the publication date of 9th January 2010. By that time it will be in the two main British wholesalers Gardners and Bertrams ready for distribution. Before then of course all the marketing and review coverage will be set up to give the title all the momentum possible. Red pen at the ready.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

King Crow

Bluemoose Books has signed up award winning author Michael Stewart. We will be publishing his new book, King Crow in January 2011. Michael is a playwright, screenwriter and has been commisioned to write plays for BBC Radio 4. We are delighted to be publishing his first novel. It is a stunning piece of work. A brilliant story, beautifully written and crafted. I'm very excited and proud to be publishing his book. I met Michael yesterday in Hebden and I had one of the most expensive pieces of cake ever. We went to Organic House, where the world is safe but smiles come as extra. Michael is also creative director of the Huddersfield Literature Festival and I will be posting up future events. Off to drive a van today. Helping a friend move to Horsforth, Leeds. Bluemoose Van Man.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Lidl by Lidl

I woke up this morning singing an Oasis song, which in itself isn't that bad. However, the song in question, Little by little, has been affected by the state of the economy, the split up of the band and reduced royalties. I woke up singing, Lidl by Lidl. Worrying. As I career headlong towards the big 50, well in two years time, will I find that rock and roll is totally consumed by my obsession with getting the best prices for my groceries? Worrying times indeed.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The spell of Americana.

I don't know whether the whole Dan Brown farrago has gone to the heads of Marketing bods at the high street bookseller Waterstones, but they've gone all Americana. I was in their Liverpool One store yesterday. All glass and steel and very bright, that is apart from a banner that was proclaiming their 'Favorite Books.' Thats right, FAVORITE. Yes, we're in a book shop. One promoting reading and literature. To compound the problem, on top of a bookshelf nearby was the correct spelling. It irritated me to such an extent I had to tell someone. I don't like doing such things. I don't read The Daily Mail or write in Green Ink or live in Royal Tonbridge Wells. But it was such an error, I needed to alert someone to the glaring glitch. They didn't seem overly concerned, which worried me even more. I phoned their HQ in Brentford and I was told that all the senior managers were at the Christmas conference, so nobody could help me. That told me a lot. Perhaps they were practising their spelling. I hope so.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Book signing.

Bluemoose Books has secured its first book signing for, FALLING THROUGH CLOUDS by Anna Chilvers at Waterstones Bradford on Saturday 16th January 2010. We have yet to sort out the time, but as soon as we do, I'll let you know. Wats Bradford is in the old Wool exchange building and is the finest building that sells books in the country. It is without doubt an architectural jewel. Columns and vaulted ceilings. Pevsner would have been very excited. If you're ever down that way, pop in, say hello to Ian, the assisitant manager and have a coffee upstairs and marvel at the place. It is in stark contrast to the architectural brutalism that blights the centre of Bradford and those bow tied, fat corderoyed architects of the 60's and 70's should be shot. I will shoot them .Not that I want to hark back to what the apprentice king wants, classical columns and all that schemozzle, Poundsbury is just awful, but brutalism as a concept was fatally floored. I went to school in Manchester and they tried to recreate the Crescent in Bath in concrete in Hulme. It won lots of awards but as a place to live it was a social disaster. Ruined thousands of lives and after twenty years was demolished. Lego's fine for the playgroup, but not for real people.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Twas the masons.

Twas the Masons that did it. Yes, millions of people world wide have read the new Dan Brown book The Lost Symbol and have found out that all the world's wrongs have been instigated by those apron wearing ,knuckle touching holders of secrets, the masons. Now, lets move on. The other Mr Brown will be at the TUC conference in Liverpool today blaming the workers for the world's financial troubles. Yes, You and I are the instigators of the global meltdown and so we will have to pay the price. I heard a banker yesterday say that 'the banking business model is still robust.' Deluded Abacus wielding purveyor of half truths and lies. Off to Leeds today to tell them the good news about Falling through clouds.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Viva Dan

Its hard hat time. Wherever you are this week, Dan Brown will get you at some point. The publishing world think he's their saviour and in terms of sales he certainly is. Anybody that can sell 81 Million copies of their last book is worth their weight in gold. Forget the Fryisms about it'being stool water,' that's mere commercial jealousy. The fact is simple. He's bringing new readers into bookshops, supermarkets wherever, and they're buying books. That's good news. What the publisher does with the vast profits is another issue. If they invest in new writers and don't simply go out and buy another sleb biography, we're all quids in. If they simply reinvest in Dan Brown like novels then that is hardly visionary. If bookshops are full for whatever reason, apart from a riot, then we have to celebrate, especialy in these straightened times. I will buy a copy and read it and if it's a good story I will let you know. Remember he doesn't pretend to be a literary giant. He won't be gladhanding at Fey on Whey. He's telling a story and hopefully he's got a good editor.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Happy anniversary

Happy anniversary to my wife and I. We have been married for twenty years. Moose Towers will be full of cake today and perhaps the odd balloon. The key to our success? Best mates. Simple.

Friday, 11 September 2009

High street mugging

I have to send all the bibliographical information about Falling through clouds to the wholesalers. Gardners and Bertrams are now the two biggest players. They also, between them own the three major library suppliers in the UK. Big potatoes. In a previous existence, I sent a very angry email with the odd expletive by default to an executive at one of the wholesalers. The email should have gone to my wife. I was upset, I thought they were demanding a rapacious level of discount. I had to phone the chap concerned and apologies for the content of the email. Discounts are now a huge issue to such an extent that one publishers, Marion Boyars have decided to cease trading next year because of the level of discounts on the high street and internet. They can't turn a profit and when you see what the major booksellers are demanding I can see why. Authors advances in some cases have fallen by 80%. The business model of huge advances to authors is now in question, apart from the slebs who are being given football like payoffs for their pearls of wisdom. We're all going to hell in a handcart. See you there.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Bluemoose Facebook site

Bluemoose Books is now all tooled up on the tinternet. We have a Bluemoose Facebook site and I now have lots of friends. Every ten minutes or so there is someone emailing me to have them as a friend. No wonder people of a certain age never go out and see the daylight. You could be on these things for years before you realised it. I've come late to this sort of thing but I can obviously see the benefits. Next we're going to set up a Bluemoose Books Group, and before you know it we'll be on The Today programme talking to Jim Naughtie, chairman of The Booker panel about our books. Might even be in the three for two's at Waterstones but then I'm not going to pay for the privilege, thank you very much. I might have to eat my words somewhere down the line but I'm sure you can succeed without selling your soul. Famous last words. Eekamouse.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


The Longlist is out and The Shortlist is in. No surprises. Hilary Mantel will win with her Historinovel about Thomas Cromwell, Henry V111's mate. As I've stated previously anything with a family tree in the front plus a chronology of events means I won't buy. It means the book may contain Elfish peoples from otherworlds. A definite no no at Moose towers. The Booker marketing people will now kick in and the world of books will be Bookered up to the max. More stickers. A longlist sticker, now a shortlist sticker, a Booker sticker plus a 3for 2 sticker and perhaps a winning sticker. Who needs a jacket?

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Anthills and Stars

There was a great review in The Telegraph and Argus yesterday. Here it is.

Anthills and Stars by Kevin Duffy.

Set in 1968, the year of political revolutions after the Summer of Love, an unmarried hippy couple, Solomon and Cas, arrive with Leo, their son of 18 months, in this Calderdale backwater to set up house in Prospect Street.
Their next-door neighbour, Ethel Hebblethwaite, is a cross between Nora Batty and Hyacinth Bucket; the difference being she is a righteous Roman Catholic – not a hypocrite, as the novel reveals, but ardent.
Their arrival causes uproar. But after Solomon deflowers Ethel’s 19-year-old grand-daughter Margaret, the local war against the flower children gathers hysterical momentum, culminating in a petition to Bishop Bone to exorcise the flared-jean spawn of Satan before the entire town is corrupted.
Stir into the mix a couple of insane zealots, a comic policeman and a Roman Catholic priest, Father O’Dowd, troubled about his sexuality, and you have all the ingredients of an English Father Ted seen through the eyes of Joe Orton or Peter Tinniswood, with perhaps just a dash of David Nobbs.

Go buy a copy or The Moose gets it.

Monday, 7 September 2009


Its Dan Brown Week. His new book, The Lost Symbol will be published on the 12th to much hullaballoo. Waterstones are now the official Dan Brown Franchise. Whole stores are given over to selling his oeuvre. Now I'm not going to say like Stephen Fry that his work is like 'stool water,'because he gets people into bookshops and supermarkets buying books which is surely a good thing. Dan Brownites may even buy other books while they are getting his latest, but when the whole bookstore is given over to shifting zillions of books, at jaw dropping discounts, new writers suffer because they haven't got a prayer in seeing their work on the shelves. After Dan we then have the race for the Christmas Number one with a whole host of Slebs being given huge advances for their lif stories. I am writing a Zygote Writes, which should challenge all the Z Sleb books that will clutter up bookstores. Watch out, it will be number one.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Priscilla The Driller Killer

I'd put aside the day to write. Children away, large mug of coffee and quill at the ready. Unfortunately, Tapping Tex, a neighbour has decided that today is the day to christen his Christmas present. A drill. A Hammer Action Drill. I am trying to be all Zen Buddhist about it and block the sound out but my Zen Buddhist skills desert me and I want to kill him. Not content with the filming of Driller Killer on our street I get a phone call from Barclaycard South Africa, saying I owe them a few quid.' It's Sunday I say, or you related to the Driller Man on our street,' This confuses the Afrikaans sales rep,' I'm only doing my job.' She says. I refrain from saying that the Nuremburg defence doesn't hold any water these days but stop myself for fear of an international incident. Instead I walk out of the house and knock over the ladder holding Driller Man. I will take him to hospital if he asks nicely.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

The Pie Line

The selection criteria debate for The Northern Book Award continues. Where does the North start? Stuart Maconie, in his bestseller, Pies and Prejudice, states that the north starts at Crewe, because it is the first place that sells decent meat pies. Possibly. Another geographical point I heard yesterday is that the north starts in Doncaster, becuase that's where the Nightingale stops flying North, it is a southern bird that refuses to go further than Donny. Sounds good to me. So there you have it, it's either a pie line or an ornithological stop. We will decide in due course and let you know. Anthills and Stars is being reviewed in the T&A, or to those from the south, The Telegraph and Argus, and the reviewer is Jim Greenhalf, award winning journalist, one of the good guys, well he is until I read the review, poet and short story writer. I'll post the review sometime next week. Toodlepip.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Mr Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett has communed with The Moose. Yes, the great man of letters has sent a postcard. I had written to him last week inviting him to Huddersfield to attend the launch of the Northern Book Award at the literature festival. Unfortunately he can't come, which is a shame, poor health and a diary that means he's already attending Ilkley Festival in October. But I think he's in agreement with the idea of The NBA and its aims. I hope it doesn't sound too sad that I'm bellowing such news from Moose Towers but Mr Bennett is a bit of a star in these parts, and he makes me laugh, essential when we're fighting our corner. We need all the help we can get and even a postcard of support helps in the fight against the evil forces that are gathering.
Off to write to several other stars of stage and screen and I will let you know those that do the decent thing and those that don't.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Library supply

Off to see the library suppliers today in Preston. Libraries are one of the few organisations that are benefiting from the economic meltdown. The numbers of people using libraries has gone through the roof, with more and more people using their facilities and borrowing books. Long may that continue and if you hear of any blinkered politicians looking at proposals to save money for the local authority by cutting the library budget, have them sectioned. Libraries are essential for our communities. Library suppliers are now choosing titles for authorities. It cuts down on the expense of librarians choosing books once a month at the central library on a Tuesday afternoon. However, it does mean all control passes to the supplier which in the long run doesn't seem to me to be the most democratic way of choosing books for library customers. Heaven forefend that a publisher would offer bigger discounts to the library supplier to promote one of their authors, who then in turn could get their new author into every library on discount and not quality terms alone. I know I'm a cynical old Hector, but I'm sure some sales director sat in his leather chair has not thought the same things. Toodlepip.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


It's a general rule of thumb of mine that when buying a book of fiction I will think twice if, at the start of the book, there is a family tree or a chronology of events. I automatically think of gnomes and warlocks and kings and queens and I put the book down. The books are called Faction titles and Hilary Mantel's Booker favourite is called Wolf Hall. Its about Henry V111's court and the political machinations . Now I like Hilary Mantel, Fludd, is one of my favouite books but I start grinding my teeth at Wolf Hall and their like. If I want to find out about history I'll read an historical tome. Fiction is just that, fiction and non fiction, yes you got it, factual. I like my fiction to be just that, fiction. Made up, a story, artifice. I feel cheated by Faction. There you have it, a confession.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Falling through clouds

It's all now been sorted. The advance information sheet for Anna Chilver's book, Falling through clouds , has now been edited and produced. The books' image is on the front plus all the bibliographical information required to order the title. There is also a diluted synopsis of the story, the price and the all important ISBN number which means the title can be ordered by the high street booksellers. It is an essential tool in selling the book to the bookselling profession. Of course withought passion for the story, this means little. It is the story and the beautiful way it has been crafted that is everything. Now we just have to get the marketing right, get the book seen and read by reviewers, the odd Latte and piece of cake as bribery and hopefully the public will get to see what a fantastic read it is. We will of course start with the local journalists and newspapers, build the excitemnet locally and regionally and then who knows, those literary titans in the metropolis may pick it up. If they have the time of course.The marketing process
starts today. All very exciting.