Friday, November 27, 2009

Conf 610: Stream of Total Lack of Consciousness

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Another book chain down the drain as Borders bookshops goes into liquidation. The bleak news from the world of publishing keeps on coming.

Meantime what's getting sold? Did you see the first chapter of Martine McCutcheon's novel?

The shock horror of it all is that it's so bad she must have written it herself. I read it with astonishment. Where in God's name was the editor? And then, in last week's Sunday Times bestseller lists there it is at number SEVEN, having sold a staggering 25,535 copies. It's common knowledge that commercial fiction has become all about the branding - title, author profile etc, but this, for me, really crystallizes it. I'm not moaning - I've been within a gnat of getting in on the game with my own catchy titles and high concept storylines. Publishers are going to publish what they think they can sell. End of. That's the game. I'm not an actress who can get on Woman's Hour, but that old Jordan argument is almost historic compared with the actual content that's being peddled here. How far do we have to go now before content becomes dead? Like most, I started off hating Jedward and ended up enjoying them, so what if they can't sing and dance. So what if Martine can't write and her editor can't edit. It sells and that's all that matters.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, I'm off back to the business enterprise show now. Changing tack - poacher to gamekeeper as the old saying goes.