Sunday, 18 October 2009
To the Graucho, and don't spare the horses!
My old mucker Robert McCrum, aka Bobby McRumble, is waxing lyrical about the risk averse nature of 'London publishers,' in The Observer today. He is getting aeriated because a female friend of his 'on the sunny side of 30,' has had an offer of publication turned down because the sales and marketing team didn't think the numbers added up and so didn't sign her. Bob me old mucker, this has been going on for ever. I was wined and dined and contract pushed under my nose, and then had it withdrawn because chief stripy shirt and sales manager didn't think he could shift 20,000 units and that was ten years ago. It's illuminating that he's only recently getting exorcised because his friend has suffered at the hands of those nasty sales people. Perhaps if some of his friends like dear old Martin 'love forty' Amis didn't demand exorbitant advances and then sell so few books, publishers may have a few groats left in the new writers pile to publish books by friends of Bobby. Bobbus does wear his old literary prejudices on his tweeded sleeve when he witters on about London publishing houses. He appears like a character from a Jeeves and Wooster novel, but then again he is the great man's biographer.