Friday, April 02, 2004

The morning roundup 

As spring arrives for the book market, Publishing News takes a look back at last year's output and sales. The verdict? With Harry Potter, an increase. Take it out of the equation, and sales dipped by 3% overall. What it means for this year? I'll say, hmm....a further decline?

I tried to read Maslin's review of BERGDORF BLONDES but honestly, I keep staring at Plum Sykes' author photo. It's kind of creepy looking somehow. Too thin, too angular, she looks so bored like she'd rather be anywhere else. And what's up with the weird looking cleavage, that's moving downward at an odd angle? Was that trip really necessary?

Sheila Quigley's debut novel, RUN FOR HOME, is just out, but she's been in the book news for a while ever since her agent, Darley Anderson, scored her a 300,000 pound book deal with Century in a hotly contested auction. Evidently Quigley's style and subject matter is extremely reminscent of the work of Martina Cole, but set in Sunderland instead of Essex. And Boyd Tonkin at the Independent pretty much rips Quigley a new one. Oy, such vitriol for a debut novelist. Maybe she'll crack the bestseller list too...

Elizabeth George, who alternates between living in London and America, is building a new home in the Seattle area, where she'll be promoting her newest book, a non-fiction tome about the writing life.

The family of Vladimir Nabokov reject the idea that he plagiarized a 1916 novel in order to write LOLITA. When it comes to plagiarism, unless you can prove that passages are copied verbatim from another work (or pretty damned close) I just don't get why people think there's a case. Could Nabokov have read the book and unconsciously used stuff from it? That seems a hell of a lot more likely to me.

With the publication of her newest novel, THE SEA HOUSE, Esther Freud (of HIDEOUS KINKY fame) is interviewed by Newsday about it and the upcoming birth of her third child.

Are book clubs, like the BCA or Book-of-the-Month, the cheapest way to buy books? A new survey suggests that readers don't think so. Well no wonder, not when Asda or Tesco sell books at 1/3 the RRP.....

Veteran writer William Tapply's new Coyne novel, SHADOW OF DEATH, is given a nice treatment at the Haddon (NJ) Journal.

And finally, Ian McEwan did make it into the US after all, although as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer points out, this may have ramifications for visiting writers for years to come. Methinks this whole visa mess might be fodder for a novel McEwan will write in the future at some point.

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