Posts Tagged ‘books’
This is a guest post from Helen Joanna Youngs. She is currently working for an independent niche genre publisher. Alongside her day job Helen is also on the Society of Young Publishers committee organising events to promote the industry, and furthermore freelancing as a fabulous marketeer.
At Halloween you should stand up for books. Not only has there been some terrific literature that has scared us senseless and sent shivers down our fragile mere mortal spines, but there is more tingling, menacing stuff being created and at Halloween, we should scream and be frightened out of our minds with some good writing.
A couple of months I wrote an article for the Futurebook blog in recognition of the site’s world-wide reach, and I thought it was time to share some of these thoughts with the BookMachine crowd and also re-visit some of the scenarios, which have now been published.
Working at a design agency that primarily works with educational publishers has given me an understanding of many requirements and considerations that need to be met for producing material (both print & digital) for many different markets. However, publishing for a global market is different to market specific publishing. The premise is that technology has made content (books, ebooks, websites, resources etc) accessible to a wider range of audiences across the world. This poses new challenges for publishers who need to meet the demands and requirements of a global market.
There aren’t many people I know who have come away from reading 50 Shades of Grey feeling they have experienced a well-written, deeply thoughtful piece of literature. In fact, I’d go so far as to wager there hasn’t been a single reaction to the book that has praised its ability to deal with serious relationship issues in a considered and useful manner. Most reviews I have read of the thing from various bloggers and critics think it’s trite bullshit.
Apparently, though, it’s such incredibly popular trite bullshit that a women’s rights group in the UK have taken it upon themselves to tell us we must under no circumstances read it, as the idea that a young, naive woman can have a relationship with an older, controlling man is ‘dangerous‘. To ensure we aren’t exposed to any unseemly ideas, they will be holding 50 Shades of Grey bonfire on November 5th.
While the government is busy telling us to tighten our belts and make our own sandwiches, publishers are honey-badgering these times of austerity and whipping out fliff like sultans for the next big novels. None moreso than Little, Brown US who are rumoured to have paid a massive seven figures for the debut novel of Australian author Hannah Kent (deputy editor of Kill Your Darlings). And they said telling stories will never pay. HA!
Single-handedly, this novel manages to debunk two myths about being a writer we’ve seen espoused lately:
1) Writers don’t and can’t make money just from having writing talent
2) You have to come with a ready-made following in order to cash in with a publisher
Oh, and I might add in 3) best manuscript awards and their associated prizes are total bollocks (though it’s arguable that the manuscript would have gotten representation without winning Writing Australia’s ‘best MS’ award).
If you don’t know about 50 Shades of Grey yet (ie: if you don’t have Twitter) then here’s a brief summary: it’s an erotic novel about a young girl who meets some older guy into BDSM. She works in a hardware shop and one seduces the other (my guess is he seduces her, because girls don’t typically do anything but swoon in romance novels), and I guess there are a lot of double entendres on the word ‘wood’. I hope there are.
That would make it readable. Wait, no. Funny.
It’s been said, that it’s the most fun you can have in publishing with your clothes on.*
It’s been said, that if you can talk books, digital publishing, politics, haircuts, music or… anything, then this is the place to be.**
You can sign up here:
BookMachine @ Porter’s Bar (The Green Man), 383 Euston Rd, London, NW1 3AU
23rd February 2012, 6.30pm
The relationship between an author and editor is a crucial one. If you get it right, it can help the whole publishing process. Here Becky Hearne interviews Nicola Morgan, author of around 90 books, to find out more.
Nick Coveney, Marketing maestro for the SYP, found himself at the BookMachine party last week, and has some mighty fine things to say about us. Aw shucks.
Last Thursday – whilst the media was busy prophesying doom and gloom (pretty accurately actually) in light of Britain’s perennial “surprise” freeze, a group of intrepid individuals decided to defying the elements by attending BookMachine.
But what is BookMachine? Well it’s quite possibly the best thing to happen to networking events in a very long time.
The mix of people was hugely diverse despite the terrible weather many brave souls had crossed several counties to attend this fun and funky event. Admittedly, I wasn’t among them as I only had a five-minute stroll down the fabled Euston Road wind tunnel to contend with.
The drinks and the conversation were free flowing but the best thing about the @Book_Machine was the brilliant atmosphere. It was relaxed, friendly and completely open and whilst there were people from all aspects of the publishing industry we spent most of our time nattering rather than necessarily “networking” in the conventional sense.
It was a great night to meet and chat with like-minded folk (it transpired that we were all into Books shockingly). I’d happily recommend the BookMachine to anyone looking for a fun evening and I am looking forward to attending their next event.