Killing the slushpile: one manuscript at a time.

Peter Cox

Shiny, Happy, Publishing People

There Are Happy Beautiful People Working In Publishing, Too

Shiny, Happy, Publishing People

As the great circus of publishing delights that is the annual London Book Fair disappears from view for another year, this week’s The Naked Book finally found out what it was all about.

Just Be Positive. And Happy, of course.

It might seem difficult: the Department of Justice has banned dinners. James Bond has defected to Amazon in the US. Barnes & Noble still hasn’t launched its Nook in the UK. Mummy-porn is number one.

Seems like hard-times for all. But as the Creative Penn’s Joanna Penn, told us, this is a fantastic time for writers: particularly those authors who are happy doing it by themselves. Or perhaps to themselves.

Despite fears that this Amazon-sponsored drink might soon turn sour: the self-publishing Kool-Aid show no signs of running out. There was never a better time for the launch of the Alliance of Independent Authors, explained its founder Orna Ross, or a better place for that launch than the London Book Fair. Ouch!

According to show regular Sam Missingham the London Book Fair also featured Amazon Publishing, and in particular a shiny, happy, man wowing the crowds with his open embrace of the slush-pile and the generosity of his royalty rates.

Not sure if I feel empowered, or dis-empowered, admitted the agent Piers Blofeld. But at least he has his second job as Head of Spectre to fall back on.

Speaking of evil empires, the author Nick Harkaway warned against doing more to help Amazon build its dominance. Beside, he said, there are happy beautiful people working in publishing too. Just don’t tell the DoJ.

Presented by Philip Jones, deputy editor of The Bookseller aided and abetted by Sam Missingham and Catherine Neilan corralling the chat room.

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