A ruthless corporation which seemingly controls everything. The rise of the machines. The rebellion. Yes, it’s an exciting time for publishing, especially if your benchmark for excitement is Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Logically, then, it doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch to suggest that BookMachine’s forthcoming conference Publishing Now 2011: The Golden Age Of Innovation will be more thrilling than James Cameron’s entire filmography combined. At the very least, it’ll definitely be better than Avatar, which was rubbish. You can quote me on that.
Having already kneecapped bookshops the world over and walked away with a smirk on its face, oblivious to their cries for help as it gets into its car with tinted windows and waits, ever so patiently, for libraries to step out of their houses, just so it can get the perfect shot, Amazon has realised that the real problem lies with the supply side of things: as long as people who aren’t Amazon are publishing books, people who also aren’t Amazon can potentially make money, or at least stand in the way of Amazon making money, by selling those books.
You know the Kindle has become truly ubiquitous when even WH Smith has to acknowledge it in some manner. Startled out of its cosy seat in front of the fire with a nice hot chocolate and a copy of Louie Spence’s autobiography lying face down on its lap, and just as it was dozing off too, the venerable high street newsagent, stationer, James Corden-enabler (Cordenabler?) and yes, alright, technically bookshop, has begun selling e-books and compatible readers in partnership with Canadian e-reader manufacturers Kobo.
The reactionary hand-wringing greeting the news that this year’s Booker nominees have had a better sales boost post-nomination than any other shortlist in the prize’s history is unsurprising to anyone who regularly reads broadsheet literary columns, but credit the detractors thusly: they’re putting their prize money where their mouth is. Yesterday saw the announcement of a new, Booker-rivalling prize, simply called The Literature Prize.
The great divide. They are like peas in a pod or oceans apart; really depends on the day and the issue and the speaker.
Mike Murphy, Maeve Healy and Jane Rogers have all worked in both and give their opinion on each side of the great wall of publishing….