Archive for August, 2011

Gray-ed Expectations: When genius meets book festivals

If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to relate a story about Alasdair Gray. Kind of. Maybe ‘a story that’s emblematic of Alasdair Gray’ would be more accurate.

BookMachine Weekly BookWrap: publishing stories from around the web

In arguably the week’s biggest piece of publishing news, Amazon registers and, but why? (hint: they’re probably not launching a new line of cookware). That revelation came as two equally persuasive cases were made for and against digital publishing: self-published American thriller writer Michael Prescott’s three 99-cent e-books hit the Best-Selling Books list, suggesting a healthy future for authors in the electronic age, whilst Ewan Morrison brewed a storm of controversy in Edinburgh by asking Are books dead, and can authors survive?

Have your say on standards in publishing

The National Occupational Standards for Publishing were last updated in 2005 by the Publishing Training Centre. Needless to say, the industry’s gone through what might delicately be termed ‘changes’ since then. If you have a 211-page hole in your life, feel free to fire through that batch of Standards, annotating and amending as you go. For everyone else, Skillset is proposing a simpler solution.

Flash Mob Marketing from HarperCollins

HarperCollins Flash Mob


While rain bucketed down across London earlier in the month, the HarperCollins Marketing team took to Brent Cross with a troop of professional dancers who performed a Flash Mob Tango Dance to shoppers throughout the afternoon.

The event was so successful that the dancers, usually seen treading the boards in the West End rather than in shopping centres, performed two extra times to keep the crowds happy.

The occasion marked the launch of Daisy Waugh’s  new novel Last Dance with Valentino, based on the life of the screen legend and heartthrob. Waugh spent more than a decade researching Valentino’s life.

This ain’t no Mudd Club: CBGB in the age of eBooks


Ideally, all books about CBGB would be tattered, dog-eared and covered in mysterious stains. They’d be found in the dankest recesses of the most disreputable second-hand bookshops (or, better yet, “bookshops”). They’d be falling apart at the spine. There might be some pages missing, and, given some of the clientele, that might actually improve matters. Of course, ideally CBGB itself would still exist. It’s no longer an ideal world for sordid screeds or ramshackle rock clubs.

8 questions for Judy Piatkus [INTERVIEW]

Judy Piatkus


First things first, why did you start up a publishing company?

In the 1960s there wasn’t much careers guidance but I was told I would be good at selling and I always wanted to work with books. I worked as a secretary (the forerunner to a P.A) for several publishers and a literary agent and when the chance came to start my own business, I took it.

BookMachine Weekly BookWrap: publishing stories from around the web (#kindleweek)

So folks, that was BookMachine’s #kindleweek. Taking this week as a snapshot of web-words around the subject of Amazon, it’s clear that Booksellers are wary as Amazon tries to have it all, and Is Amazon Short-Changing Authors? Kate Pulliger meanwhile thinks Digital companies “have a stranglehold on publishing”.

#kindleweek: What now for the Kindle? 5 Things Amazon might do next

Amazon have done well from the Kindle – a contraption that, for some, seems to look like a relic from 10 years ago, running books produced in a format from 20 years ago. For others though, it’s the peak of human achievement in the field of plastic, e-ink and clumsy button-based technology, justifiably colonising handbags (yes, mostly handbags) across the planet.

But what now for the Kindle? Here are 5 things Amazon might do next.


This post is part of BookMachine’s #kindleweek. Join the debate on Twitter.

#kindleweek: Did we mention we’re talking about Kindles this week? We totally are.

If you’ve been on this site or checked out our Twitter feed at any time since Monday, you may have noticed that we’re in the midst of #kindleweek. I say ‘may’, as you could have missed such subtle come-ons as ‘why do you love your Kindles guys?’, ‘why is the Kindle best?’ and that video we put on YouTube where we took the scene from Being John Malkovich where Malkovich goes inside his own head and overdubbed all the Malkoviches with the word ‘Kindle’ (disclaimer: we only actually did two of those).

Anyway, what Kindle week has entailed in large part is soliciting the views of you and your ilk, gentle reader, upon the subject of the suddenly ubiquitous e-reader, and you have been nothing if not forthcoming, with a range of opinions expressed both for and against the device that is quickly challenging this canvas print of Paul Ross for the title of Amazon’s most beloved product.

This post is part of BookMachine’s #kindleweek. Join the debate on Twitter.

#kindleweek: Top 5 Tips for Kindle Publishers

I’ve been producing Kindle-ready ebooks for a while now. Through a process of trial and error (sometimes it’s been a trial, and I’ve made lots of errors…) I’ve realised that the whole experience needn’t need tooooo difficult, provided you keep a few basic do’s and don’ts in mind…

This post is part of BookMachine’s #kindleweek. Join the debate on Twitter.

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