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Comment from the book world in October 2008

October 2008

'A paltry 15% royalty'

27 October 2008

'At the end of the day, the writer herself is a more valuable brand than the publishing house and it's time for writers to wake up to this fact: why should we sign contracts giving us a paltry 15% royalty in an industry where actual costs are being massively reduced overnight? Why aren't writers jumping up and down over this?'

Kate Pullinger in the Guardian Online

'Inexpensive, enduring and relevant'

20 October 2008

'In such times it is much better to be selling books than higher ticket items. In the frequent periods of recession through until 1992, our industry was relatively immune from the worst effects. Results were disappointing but certainly not disastrous. As domestic budgets are squeezed, books benefit from being an inexpensive form of recreation and indeed a necessity for priorities like education. Above all, families will do all they can to still have a great Christmas. Our opportunity is to reinforce the strengths of the book as a gift: inexpensive, enduring and, if well-chosen, relevant to the needs of the recipient.'

Alan Giles, former CEO of HMV, in the Bookseller

What makes an agent say yes?

13 October 2008

'First, is the writing truly brilliant? Second, will the market be accepting of it? And, finally, am I the right person to make the connections for the book?... There is no school of agenting. All you need is to have an opinion and not be afraid to share it. You have to be tenacious, honest and straight-dealing - although being Machiavellian at times can be useful.

I am driven like everyone else in this industry by the art of possibility. We all hope with our next book that it is going to be our moment. There is nothing more exciting than reading something that really catches fire for you.'

Agent Simon Trewin, interviewed by Hannah Davies in the Bookseller