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Comment from the book world in January 2023

January 2023

'Go for broke'

30 January 2023

'Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things - childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves-that go on slipping, like sand, through our fingers.'

Salman Rushdie, author of 13 novels, including Quichottte, The Satanic Verses, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, The Moor's Last Sigh and the Booker-winning Midnight's Children.


Agents offering authors emotional support

16 January 2023

‘It's a big part of the job. Being able to put yourself in their shoes is really important. I'm not a writer, but I watch a lot of author content online and I read a lot of stuff from authors. Having that perspective is really important for me to be able to give my authors context. Their emotions are important. If they're disappointed we didn't sell, so am I. Being able to sit in that space is important, but my job as an agent is to move the author from despair to strategy, asking questions like: what are we doing to do next? What do we learn from this? It's a skill to sit in the darkness with them, and to get ourselves out into what's next...

Although it's common sense, when you're a young agent and every deal feels like make or break for your career, it's important to be aware that there will always be more avenues, and there will be always more opportunities. You can't just say yes or get into something that is not actually going to serve the author.'

Hannah Schofield, literary agent at LBA in London in Bookbrunch


The most interesting trends in publishing

2 January 2023

'Marrying the Victorian tradition of serialisation with the best of modern interactive technology has been one. In terms of the actual content of the books that are being published, it is keeping some sort of equilibrium between the virtues of free speech and protecting sensitivities. The descendants of those who inscribed words in forest clearings or the catacombs in Rome, or wrote clandestinely in Siberian gulags, now have an unprecedented scope for freedom of expression, a limitless potential audience. Yet most of us would accept that the global village green is not a vision of paradise but more of a Tower of Babel - undisciplined and polyglot. But because people's need to understand the world is undiminished, and so is their curiosity about entering a new world, created or re-created by both fiction and non-fiction, there remains no greater medium than books to explain it.'

Alan Samson, Non-fiction Publisher at Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin Random House UKPenguin Random House have more than 50 creative and autonomous imprints, publishing the very best books for all audiences, covering fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s books, autobiographies and much more. Click for Random House UK Publishers References listing, in Bookbrunch