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Booker Prizewinner Auctions Backlist

15 March 2002

Booker Prizewinner Auctions Backlist

From an excellent Review front page article on British publishing in the Observer, commenting on the effect and reasons for Graham Swift's agent's plans to auction the author's backlist along with his new book:

'Whatever the outcome of this domestic squabble in the world of books, Swift's decision to tear up the contract of good faith with his regular publisher in search of a better deal will probably be seen in years to come as a crucial turning point in the slow, but irreversible, transformation of the British book trade by the pressures of the global English-language marketplace, the revolution in print technology and the extraordinary boom in hardback and paperback book production....In retrospect, the Swift affair will be, for the literary world, one of those defining moments, a kind of cultural freeze-frame in which the state of things comes momentarily into focus.'

Robert McCrum in the Observer

From the same article:

'In the digital age, there is this deep hunger for new material, an appetite that can scarcely be satisfied. Content is everything. This means that the writer is king.'

Michael Sissons, chairman of literary agency Peters, Fraser and Dunlop