Hey girl, let Dan Brown sing to you about phone sex

In what is either one of the more leftfield viral marketing ploys in recent memory or a typically shameless Buzzfeed attempt to ride the zeitgeist to maximum page views, evidence of Dan Brown’s mythical pre-literary career as a bestselling author soft rock musician has surfaced online in concordance with today’s release of his first novel in four years, Inferno. Since there’s no way of not talking about it, we’ll get it out of the way upfront: Said evidence includes a song from 1993 about phone sex, which is exactly as subtly, insinuatingly seductive as you’d expect of a song from 1993 about phone sex written and performed by the author of The Da Vinci Code, i.e. yes, there is a blaring sax solo. Is everybody naked yet?

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The advent of online global platforms

Tom Chalmers Tom Chalmers is Managing Director at IPR License.

Believe it or not it is 40 years, give or take a week, since the first mobile telephone call was made. Martin Cooper, a former Motorola employee, is said to have rang the boss of a rival manufacturer to inform him that he’d lost the race to develop the first portable, hand–held device. I imagine it was a short call. The weight of the phone used to make that call was about the same as a bag of sugar (2lb) and the brick–like battery required, which allowed a talk time of just 30 minutes, took 10 hours to charge.

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Big announcement: Juliet Mushens at BookMachine Unplugged

Juliet MushensBig announcement today. Juliet Mushens will be joining us as our fourth speaker at BookMachine Unplugged on May 23rd.If you use the discount code ‘Juliet’ you can get 15% off your ticket today (ends midnight).

Eventbrite - BookMachine Unplugged in London

Juliet was named as a ‘Rising Star’ in the Bookseller’s 2012 listing of the industry’s next generation of leaders and innovators. This year she’s also been shortlisted for the Kim Scott Walwyn prize, which recognises the professional achievements and promise of women publishers. We interviewed her to find out more.

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5 Questions for Anna Lewis [INTERVIEW]

Anna LewisAnna Lewis is our host at BookMachine Unplugged on the 23rd May– having successfully created Completely Novel (a publishing community) she is now co-founder of Valobox, a pay-as-you-go eBook platform. Through launching Valobox, Anna has lots of experience collaborating with publishers and is in an ideal position to host our Unplugged event in London, which celebrates the culture of collaboration in publishing.

We wanted to know a little bit more about Anna, so here are 5 questions…


Eventbrite - BookMachine Unplugged in London

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International Collaboration In Publishing: Why Being Old is a Good Thing

Note from the editor: If you’re free on Thursday 23rd May, please do join us at BookMachine Unplugged, as our top speakers discuss collaboration and what they have learned from the projects they have worked on in publishing. Tickets are here.

Publishing gets a lot of stick about being an incredibly old industry, being fusty and insular and old fashioned. Maybe the young up-and-coming tech companies are about a million times cooler than we are, with their boardrooms that double as pool tables, desk garnish that looks like a rainforest, and cocktail Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays. But in our heritage and lives something incredibly powerful – international relationships. While I feel it would be wrong to compare publishing to the mafia, fact is we are a network of likeminded people, a lot of whom know each other perhaps a little too well, with a common goal. I say we should tap that network a little more often.

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Haruki Murakami emerges to speak at public event in Japan

In what is proving to be quite the week for spotting otherwise reclusive authors in the wild, the cultishly adored Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has appeared in public in his native land for the first time in eighteen years. Turns out all you have to do to tempt him into plain sight is to be a noted Jungian psychologist with whom Murakami can empathise from the very depths of his heart, die at 79, then hope that a few years later someone will name a literary prize after you and that Murakami will turn up to aid its launch. Bully for Hayao Kawai then, who did just that, having died in 2007 as a professor emiritus at Kyoto University and a former head of Japan’s Cultural Affairs Agency.

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5 Questions for Robert Paul Weston (children’s and YA author)


With BookMachine Unplugged, our event which celebrates the culture of collaboration in publishing, kicking off in a couple of weeks, we’ve been thinking about the collaborative process and how this works from an author’s perspective. Maggie Eckel interviewed Rob Weston (children’s and YA author) about publishing trends back in March; and we thought we’d interview him again, to find out why he says that ‘collaboration has been a great experience’.

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Harper Lee re-enters public life to sue guy who sounds awful

In wholly unpleasant news that, on the bright side, has returned Harper Lee to public life, the beloved author of To Kill A Mockingbird and only a further handful of essays is suing her agent in a bid to regain copyright over her sole novel. 87 year old Lee claims that one Samuel Pinkus – president of the Pinkus plumbing company literary agent and son-in-law of Eugene Winick, formerly Lee’s agent of many years – took advantage of her declining health to trick her into signing over the rights to the bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning book.

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Cargo announces raft of new signings

Fresh off its successful launch of stand-up turned historical novelist Rob Newman’s The Trade Secret, indie publishing house Cargo has announced a few of its acquisitions for 2013 and 2014, with the promise of more forthcoming along with the soon to be released details of the first leg of its Margins Book and Music Festival to venture outside of Glasgow. It’s a typically eclectic mix, both in terms of subject matter and in pedigree of author.

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