How Suggs' missing memoir left a publisher out of pocket

Delay in 'key Christmas title' blamed for Quercus' disappointing profits

It was the small publishing house that brought Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy to Britain, turning the deceased Swedish crime author into a household name and earning millions off the booming sales. Yet Quercus, after making its name from Scandinavian mystery novels, created another mystery today at the announcement of its interim results.

A delay to one unnamed “key Christmas title” meant profits in the year to the end of last December would be “significantly below  market expectations”, the management revealed.

It would not give any clues to the title of the offending work, saying the information was “commercially sensitive”. But The Independent understands that book is a memoir written by Madness frontman Suggs.

It is unclear why its release has been delayed, or whether it is now finished. The singer’s autobiography That Close was pencilled in for release at the end of October but has now been pushed back to this Christmas.

Suggs last comment on the matter was on Twitter in March saying: “I am staying on in mehico to finish writing the book what I wrote, its coming on, and should be out, in oct.” [sic] His representatives declined to comment today.

Quercus announced it had snapped up the memoir in July 2011. Richard Milner, Quercus’ non-fiction publishing director said: “Popular music is littered with short-lived successes, but part of the reason Madness endures is Suggs’ literate, heartfelt and cheeky dissection of British life.”

He added: “His voice leaps off the page, taking the reader on an extraordinary journey in the company of one of our genuine national treasures.”

Previously, Suggs, real name Graham McPherson, wrote Suggs and The City: My Journeys Through Disappearing London in 2009. He also embarked on a solo tour, telling stories about his life, which is expected to make up the backbone of the autobiography.

On the website for the book, he said: “To be honest it’s not all there, maybe I’m not all there, and factually it may not be completely correct, but I do hope that these snapshots give you some sense of how Graham McPherson became Suggs.”

He had spoken hopefully of the book being a bestseller but even before yesterday there had been rumours in the industry that the title had hit delays.

Many were surprised one book could have such an impact. One publisher at a rival company said: “This is an example of a super-lead title that the company hopes will lift everything up. It’s not the be all and end all but it’s a large part of the jigsaw and its absence is felt.”

London based Quercus began life modestly in a small office on Baker Street in 2004, set up Mark Smith and Wayne Davies after the pair defected from the Orion Publishing Group.

But the massive sales of the Millennium trilogy, whose word of mouth success was started when staff left copies of the books on park benches and the tube, turned it into a significant publisher in the UK. In the first six months of 2010 alone revenues at the independent publishers, now based in plush offices in Bloomsbury Square, trebled to £15m in one year.

An English language film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Larsson’s first book, directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig was released in December 2011.

Smith, the company’s chief executive, said 2012 would be a “year of transition” as sales of Larsson’s books have peaked with Quercus facing a battle to find other titles to replace the lost revenue.  Smith stressed that Quercus continues to trade profitably and had net cash of £1.8m at the year end.

Delivery failures

Allison Pearson

Film studio Miramax sued English author and journalist Pearson for the $700,000 (£443,000) advance it paid in 2003 for the movie rights to her novel I Think I Love You after she failed to deliver the book on time. Due in 2005, the book was published in 2010.

Victoria Gotti

The daughter of New York mob boss John Gotti was taken to court by HarperCollins to retrieve $70,000 (£44,000) it paid her for a memoir. The publishing house asked for the money back after an “unacceptable” book outline.

Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
books
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
film
Arts and Entertainment
Go figure: Matt Parker, wearing the binary code scarf knitted by his mother
comedy Mathematician is using comedy nights to teach and preach sums
Arts and Entertainment
Ryan Gosling in 'Drive'
filmReview: Ryan Gosling is still there, but it's a very different film
Arts and Entertainment
Urban explorer: Rose Rouse has documented her walks around Harlesden, and the people that she’s encountered along the way
books Rouse's new book discusses her four-year tour of Harlesden
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Franco Zeffirelli's production of 'Aida' at Milan's famed La Scala opera house
operaLegendary opera director in battle with theatre over sale of one of his 'greatest' productions
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Juergen Wolf won the Young Masters Art Prize 2014 with his mixed media painting on wood, 'Untitled'
art
Arts and Entertainment
Iron Man and Captain America in a scene from
filmThe upcoming 'Black Panther' film will feature a solo black male lead, while a female superhero will take centre stage in 'Captain Marvel'
Arts and Entertainment
The Imperial War Museum, pictured, has campaigned to display copyrighted works during the First World War centenary
art
Arts and Entertainment
American Horror Story veteran Sarah Paulson plays conjoined twins Dot and Bette Tattler
tvReview: Yes, it’s depraved for the most part but strangely enough it has heart to it
Arts and Entertainment
The mind behind Game of Thrones George R. R. Martin
books

Will explain back story to fictional kingdom Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Dorothy in Return to Oz

film Unintentionally terrifying children's movies to get you howling (in fear, tears or laughter)
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Robert James-Collier as under-butler Thomas

TVLady Edith and Thomas show sad signs of the time
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Dad's Army cast hit the big screen

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge

books
Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning?
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
music review
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
    The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

    Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

    Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
    Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

    What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

    Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
    A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

    Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

    Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
    Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

    'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

    A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

    Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

    The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
    Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

    Paul Scholes column

    Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
    Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

    Frank Warren column

    Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
    Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

    Adrian Heath's American dream...

    Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
    Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes