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Publishing goes to the dogs in early Christmas slate announcements

Remember those halcyon days of late 2011? When we were all getting so excited about Christmas, because of all the meerkat books Santa was going to bring us? Well, those days are so last year, and don’t even get me started on how old the phrase ‘so last year’ is. Meerkats? Pfft. Were we ever so young? No, the publishing world has apparently decided what it is the fickle Christmas shopping public want in 2012, and what they apparently want is titles tangentially related to dogs whose many and varied activities they’ve already enjoyed watching for free on the internet.

As The Bookseller reports, there are already six major dog-based releases lined up for the run-up to the Christmas market, two of which are being called memoirs, because we’re all cool now with Roy Keane’s dog and, say, Bob Dylan being considered peers. Alongside Orion’s volume of prose from Keane’s dog Triggs – which encompasses ’10 major trophy wins, drunken nights, and Player of the Year awards’, all of which anyone interested in Keane would naturally be best to hear about from the perspective of his dog – Harper Collins is releasing the autobiography of the eponymous Uggie The Dog, ‘star’ of Oscar-winning bauble The Artist, which will no doubt detail the hardships experienced by Uggie in undertaking six years of modern dance, seven years of tap.

On top of all that, Simon & Schuster is also describing its own Diva Dogs: Perfect Pampering for Your Pooch, by Louise Harris, as ‘part memoir, part fashion and beauty manual’, although given that Harris owns the Essex dog groomers around which the book centres, the memoir parts presumably relate to her, and not that French poodle regular of hers who once barked at a picture of Voltaire.

Most likely to give anyone who buys books outside of December paws (ohoho because that is a thing that dogs have and also sounds like something humans do) are two titles announced by Headline. Find Fenton reasons that hey, you loved that one YouTube video from last year about the mischievous dog chasing red deer, so you’re bound to love this Where’s Wally? knock-off featuring an illustrated dog who’s been given the same name, because money. Seth Casteel’s Underwater Dogs, meanwhile, compiles over 80 of his photographs of… well, take a guess. Headline’s Sarah Emsley tells The Bookseller that the 100 million hits the photos have had on Casteel’s own website for free give the book ‘an existing platform’ in ‘a crowded marketplace’, but seems to have overlooked that the internet generally doesn’t have a great market for paid content it already provides for free.

It says a lot that the most promising title out of this batch is Henrietta Munson’s Dinner For Dogs, a cookbook full of recipes for dogs (for, not with), which Ebury will publish in August. Also, some dog from Britain’s Got Talent is apparently ‘mooting’ a book deal. What can you do but leave the last word to Nas?

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Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris Ward writes and says things about books and music and films and what have you, even when no one is reading or listening.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.

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