Off the shelf and behind the cupboard…
If it wasn’t enough trying to write a book and/or getting it onto peoples bookshelves, now we’re being told how we might need to cull certain titles from such shelves, especially if we’re looking to sell our home.
According to TV homes expert Sarah Beeny, homeowners trying to sell their property should hide self-help manuals and novels like 50 Shades of Grey and display cookery books and Dickens instead.
In an article in the Telegraphy she comments that booklovers with teeming shelves should consider packing the majority away and only leave out the best titles. Hardback classics such as Dickens, Austen and Bronte were said to look particularly good on shelves and add character to a home.
The article also concluded that children’s books also create a good impression of a family home but only if they stacked neatly on shelves rather than left lying around on the floor or surfaces. But titles detailing unusual hobbies like taxidermy or witchcraft may deter visitors, as would self-help books and risqué titles that might hint at the owners’ private interests.
Conversely local history and large nature books or even picture led tomes about fashion or music were said to look good on a coffee table and be useful talking points for visitors. Beeny went on to add that books are an unsung hero of home décor and also say a massive amount about you and the home they sit in.
So the question is what do the books you own, write or publish really say about you? If you’re a writer would you rather have a critically acclaimed piece of work that only appealed to a niche audience or a more commercially focused book largely panned by the critics but then went on to sell by the bucket-load all over the world? The same question could be asked of publishers; although I’m pretty sure I know what the answer might be. And for book buyers, what are the guilty secrets from your bookshelves? What might you want to hide, or even flaunt if your house was on the market, if anything?
The fact is that the book market, quite rightly in my opinion, remains hugely subjective and personal. Who’s to say what you should and shouldn’t be ashamed of? Then again I’m not trying to sell a house. There’s always room to explore new genres, new territories and new authors whether writing, reading or publishing so let’s all champion the books we love and don’t forget to tell your friends, neighbors, potential buyers about them. The book industry needs all the help it can get.
Tom Chalmers set-up Legend Press in 2005, a book publisher focused predominantly on mainstream literary and commercial fiction, as well as publishing a small number of non-fiction titles. Chalmers has been shortlisted for UK Young Entrepreneur of the Year, UK Young Publisher of the Year, UK Young Publishing Entrepreneur of the Year, and longlisted for the Enterprising Young Brit Awards.
In 2008, Chalmers acquired a further publishing company, Paperbooks Publishing, run from the same office, and at the start of 2010 launched Legend Business, a business book imprint. Legend Press has also launched successful self-publishing and writer workshops ventures, now separate companies New Generation Publishing and Write-Connections respectively. In 2011, Legend Press was shortlisted for Independent Publisher of the Year.
In 2012, he launched new venture IPR License, the first global and digital a platform on which to list and license literary rights. Chalmers also speaks regularly on publishing and business and is an Enterprise Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust.