I’ve been a No.5 bestseller in the past, I’ve been a No.4 bestseller – but it’s taken thirty years of being an author, ten published books and the advent of Kindle for me to hit the No.1 spot . Now I’ve finally scored – and with my first published novel.
With Bret Easton Ellis seeming at long last to have gotten the message that no, he will have absolutely nothing to do with the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, no matter how often he creepily insists that James Deen would be perfect to star whilst staring, unblinking, into your own eyes (again, please do not Google James Deen if you’re unfamiliar with the name and at work or around children), another long-time chronicler of the beautiful and vacant has proven a source of unexpected ardour for the project: Film-maker Gus Van Sant, director of American arthouse classics like Gerry, My Own Private Idaho and Drugstore Cowboy, is seemingly so eager to steer the book to the screen that he’s already filmed one of the sex scenes, entirely unsolicited and off his own back, if that phrasing isn’t too misleading given the circumstances.
Today, 23 April, is known across the world as the day when Harold Bloom traditionally lays a single red rose at the entrance to the Globe Theatre and sighs wistfully, i.e. the date of Shakespeare’s birth and death. As every literary murder truther knows, it is also the recorded date of Cervantes’ death, the very same year as Shakespeare’s (and you thought we had it rough when Princess Di and Mother Theresa died in the same week). In what is either a massively fortuitous coincidence or somehow deliberately planned to commemorate these events, 23 April is also the UNESCO-appointed international day of the book, upon which is celebrated World Book Night, the post-watershed equivalent to the more kid-oriented World Book Day.
If the internet has proven anything, it’s that if someone famous does something, normos (everyone who is non-famous) will also do it in a misjudged attempt to be famous. That, and the fact there’s no such thing as private messages. Both these lessons came to the fore last week in the aftermath of the London Book Fair, where the Bookseller Association announced the advent of the Books Are My Bag campaign (a high street campaign to make reading seem even cooler than it already is with branded merchandise), and Tom Tivnan from The Bookseller sent an incredibly acerbic email to a photographer that was subsequently forwarded to the inbox of pretty much everyone in the trade.
Tom Chalmers is Managing Director at IPR License.
If I’m honest the London Book Fair almost broke me (in a good way). 60 meetings in three days whilst battling the potentially deadly man-flu virus has left me a shadow of my former self but pull myself together I will. In fact have to in order to close a number of the deals as a result of these meetings.
A typical day at the Fair would see me arriving around 8.30, grabbing a coffee, popping a couple of paracetamol then quickly reading the latest fair news before dashing off for a mountain of meetings that had been lined up beforehand. If there was time to grab a sandwich at some point during the day then that would be a bonus, with copious amounts of coffee offering a helping hand along the way.
Having decided not to present an award after all in 2012 – with Karen Russell’s Swamplandia!, David Foster Wallace’s posthumous The Pale King and Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams collectively seen as a spit in the face to the prestige of the entire organisation, the first time such steps were taken since 1977 (or maybe the board just failed to agree on a clear winner) – the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction resumed its regular business this week, deeming Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son as worthy of taking its place alongside work by prior winners Cormac McCarthy, Edith Wharton, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Harper Lee, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, Philip Roth and pretty much every other major American author of the past century.
Nearly 200 people gathered at our drinks event at The London Book Fair on Monday – publishers, editors, designers, digital specialists – the bar in the digital zone was full of exciting conversations about the latest happenings at the fair.
This morning everyone who attended will receive an invite to BookMachine.me, the site which helps people working in publishing to find each other by allowing members to list themselves by their key skills.
We’ve been hard at work making sure that the site has been updated for this new release. You can now:
- Get BookMachine points (lots of plans for this) …. Check yours out!
- Find the best people first (complete profiles rank higher in search)
- Manage your account (easily change your details)
BookMachine host regular events in London, New York, Oxford, Barcelona, Toronto and Brighton and is THE place for the people who make publishing happen.