Between the Covers: Jay McInerney, Man Booker Prize, publishingperspectives.com, Slightly Foxed
Your weekly guide to whats really going on inside the world of books
Sunday 07 August 2011
Just about every well-known Murdoch employee has been pestered for a view on the phone-hacking scandal, so how about Jay McInerney, who writes a wine column for Murdoch's The Wall Street Journal? He made a recent appearance at the Beauchamp Club in London to read from his short story collection, How It Ended, and talk about his research on Dominique Strauss-Kahn. "Maybe his phone will be hacked and we'll find out exactly what happened," he joked, before remembering himself and adding: "[Murdoch] is my boss, and I love him." News International execs will be hoping – in a way – that McInerney's prediction comes true about how the scandal will play out. "A story's like a coke binge," he says. "It can only last so long."
Congratulations again to the writers and publishers of the 13 novels longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. They can break open the champagne again now that the results of the week's sales boost are in. According to The Bookseller, the bookies' favourite Alan Hollinghurst is also the best seller, having sold 2,143 copies of The Stranger's Child in the week that the longlist was announced. That makes a sizeable dent in the total 5,126 books sold by all 13 longlisters combined – which total was obviously still less than the sales of Katie Price's The Comeback Girl. But let's not be downhearted: sales of the longlisted books are up 111 per cent on the week before, with one novel, Jane Rogers' The Testament of Jessie Lamb, selling 16,300 per cent more copies than the week before its longlisting. (That's because last week it sold 164 copies, whereas the week before it sold just one.) Meanwhile, Esi Edugyan's "assured, vivid, persuasive" and "redemptive" Half-Blood Blues (Profile) has added 2,500 to an initial print run of 6,000.
Thanks also to publishingperspectives.com, which brings us news of how the small indie publishers on the list have been coping with the spotlight. At Sandstone Press in Dingwall, near Inverness, there are only two members of staff: the MD and a part-timer. Seren Books, which publishes Patrick McGuinness' The Last Hundred Days, is the first Welsh publishing house ever to make the list. Oneworld, which publishes Yvvette Edwards' A Cupboard Full of Coats, has published only five novels before this one. Incidentally, Sandstone's founder and MD, Robert Davidson, trained as a civil engineer and spent 33 years working in the water industry. His own novel, Site Works, is informed by his experience of crawling through raw sewage beneath the streets of Glasgow. So, he'll have been well able to deal with the literary press, then.
The autumn issue of Slightly Foxed is not published until late September, so for any authors appearing at book festivals over the summer, here is some invaluable advice from its columnist Oliver Pritchett, who writes about the etiquette of the signing queue. The article includes Queue Envy; Ball Point vs Fountain Pen; dedications and signing for friends. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is: "Good manners demand that you produce a decent signature for the customer; some scrawl which looks like an overwrought caterpillar may be good enough for the postman but it won't do for the person who has just forked out £29.99. (Also, dashing off a signature too fast will shorten your queue and won't allow you to compete with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, signing at the next table and still laboriously heading towards his hyphen.)"
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Jeremy Clarkson courted by Russian Ministry of Defence TV station to present motoring show
One Direction fans campaign to buy the band after Zayn Malik quits
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest