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'A lucky book'

9 July 2018

‘A bestseller might be read by hundreds of thousands of people, but Apple Tree Yard on TV reached 8 million people per episode - one of the few occasions when an author can become part of the national conversation.

But writing a good book on its own is not enough - it needs to be a lucky book. Apple Tree Yard was a lucky book, lucky on several levels. Lucky in being published by Faber & Faber, who did the most amazing job even before the glamour of TV. Then it was lucky again as the rights were optioned by Kudos TV and lucky a third time when they sold the adaptation in a brilliant version by Amanda Coe to BBC1. But the lynch pin of that whole process was being published [and] it's the publisher who takes the risks of the cost of publication. Without proper support for the publishing industry they will not be in a position where they can support authors - and of course the lynch pin of that support is copyright.'

Louise Doughty, author of Apple Tree Yard, Black Water and six other novels in a speech at the UK Publishers Association Summer Reception in the Terrace Pavilion in the House of Commons, London.