Honduran designer Carlos Campos debuted his autumn line this past weekend at New York Fashion Week, claiming that he took inspiration from Gabriel García Márquez’s Love In The Time Of Cholera. Experts (well, the New York Post) called it ‘as poetic and nuanced as the novel’. To the untrained eye, however, this has just resulted in a lot of orangey-reddy clothes, presumably because red has long been associated with passion and heat, an’ that. So we’re calling bullplop (that’s right – bullplop!) on the whole Márquez inspiration angle – if you’re going to claim a novel as inspiration, designers, at least get a bit more out there with it. Here are some suggestions for ways you could get started.
Sticking an ever so dignified and respectable two fingers up at Amazon, beloved London bookseller Foyles has this week launched an ebook store and accompanying apps. The venerable, iconic independent chain – with five branches in London and one in Bristol, for the more adventurous metropolitan – already has over 200,000 titles on offer, which is presumably more than are contained even in its flagship five-floored Charing Cross Road shop.
Legacy publishing is not a thing. Sorry, maybe it’s this thing. But in the context of the publishing industry, supplanting the word ‘house’ or ‘printed’ for ‘legacy’ is used as a tool only to insult mainstream publishing and assist the few who are benefiting from this false dichotomy (thanks, university degree) of publishing houses vs author.
This meaningless phrase is used as meaningless phrases are: to cover holes in our understanding of things. In this case it is being used to describe a gap in our understanding of digital publishing. In our rush to seem up-to-date and not go the way of the music industry, we create such labels and then throw them around in order to draw a line between ourselves and them. Those others. Those morons with old ideas. Those… Saruman-like dictators of culture.
On the digital front this week, there were Nine truths about e-book publishing, 5 Career Tips to Survive Publishing’s Digital Shift?, and there was good news for comic fans as Aquafadas Offers Self-Publishers Digital Publishing Tools for graphic novels.
But with the cascade of new epublishing tools, it’s best to remember the Tortured Language – Discerning Ebook Rights in Ancient Publishing Contracts.
This week’s big bout was Amazon vs. Big Publishing: 800 lbs vs. 798 lbs.?
The adaptation of a book into another medium is a deceptively tricky thing to do well. Make sure every last letter survives the transposition and you could be accused of lacking ambition or imagination. Condense too much and you risk alienating the readers who will no doubt make up a large portion of your audience. Two adaptations (of sorts) have made the news this week, however, that each occupy the extreme ends of this spectrum, and neither could be accused of lacking in ambition.
Further underlining that the publishing industry is currently in a similar position to that of the music industry a decade ago, this week brings news of the imminent creation of The Alliance of Independent Authors,
the lamest superhero squad of all time a self-explanatory society that aims to give a voice to those writers who bypass traditional publishers in favour of self-releasing their work online.
On National Libraries Day (February 4th) when we’re supposed to show our love for our local by visiting and getting out some books, I went to the pub and watched the Scotland vs England Six Nations match, which is pretty crap for someone who loves books and hates rugby. So I went all High Fidelity on the libraries – revisiting our old relationship and thinking about what I missed and what had changed.
The Guardian points to a post on the blog of Paulo Coelho – multi-million selling author of The Alchemist and beloved of that guy you went to uni with who got this poncho when he went travelling in Peru on his gap year, thanks for noticing – in which he advocates heading over to Pirate Bay and downloading all of his books for free. Didn’t think of that one, did you publishing industry?
Anyone paying even cursory attention to the Scottish literary scene at the moment knows that the most exciting publisher around is Cargo. From humble beginnings, the company has grown exponentially in influence over the past couple of years, having released some of the most vital and critically acclaimed Scottish books in a decade, including Allan Wilson’s rightly-hailed debut short story collection Wasted In Love and the landmark anthology The Year Of Open Doors. For the first time since the glory days of Rebel Inc., a publisher feels central to the cultural conversation in Scotland, or at least the countercultural conversation.
The Dramatic Unmask is something well-known in superhero or crime television shows where a villain or hero decides, or is forced, to reveal their true identity. The audience and the other characters all take in a sharp breath and someone on-screen usually says: ‘It was you/me all along!’ If it’s a good unmask, there’ll be some evil cackling involved or maybe a reference to ‘meddling kids’. And as petty as it might sound, I would take no small pleasure from doing this dramatic unmask to a sales rep for New Harvest in the USA at the moment – leaping from my chair mid-way through their pitch about a celebrity memoir and shouting: ‘Ah-HA! But these were AMAZON titles all along!’ And my smugness would be exceeded only by their embarrassment and the force with which they were tossed from the premises by my in-store security.