Michael Dean, author of THORN, will be signing copies of his new book at Waterstones’s in Chelmsford on Saturday between 11am – 1pm. Award winning writer, David Nobbs, creator of Reggie Perrin, amongst others, has called it an, ‘astonishing and powerful novel.’ Come and meet Michael, myself and Hetha as we bring news of Bluemoose to the southern climes and educate those that have been in darkness for so many years.
The head of big words at Leeds Metropolitan University contacted me yesterday and said that one of our titles, THE ART OF BEING DEAD, was now being studied as the main text on their MA in Contemporary Literature. The hallowed walls of academia are trembling. A bit. Great news for Stephen Clayton, the author and Bluemoose of course.
Toodlepip, off to dust down the ermine and mitre board.
I have baked a cake for everyone at Moose Towers today because the Moose is five years old. It is five years since we started publishing here in Hebden Bridge and we have come a long way. Moose titles have been translated into Russian, Hollywood production companies have got excited and readers from Australia to the US have read our titles.
Great stories have legs and find their natural homes amongst readers who are ready to engage and get inspired. I have ranted and raged and waved a clenched fist at the fiefdom of publishing that is run by the posh people in the Metropolis. We have had national reviews, sold rights abroad, been on local and national radio and last weekend, international radio. But the most important aspect of it all is that we have found great stories that have been beautifully written that otherwise wouldn’t have been published because men with graphs and red pens didn’t think they would sell.
How wrong they were. Long live the Moose!
Reading manuscripts today. Sshhh.
There was a great piece in The Guardian yesterday by Jane Rogers. Her latest book, The Testament of Jessie Lamb has been longlisted for The Man Booker. She has written many books for established ‘London’ houses , as they like to call themselves but her recent sales have not been heading in the right direction on the sales graph. So they didn’t offer her a new contract. She went to an independent called Sandstone Press based in Inverness. They loved the story and guess what? So did The Man Booker judges and now her sales are going through the proverbial.
I bet there is one keeper of the sales graph at a very famous ‘London’ publishing house who is crying into his spreadsheet. And so he should. As Jane said, people want stories to read. Simple really, just a shame the suits get in the way sometimes.
Team Moose off to Leeds Waterstone’s this morning for a book signing by Leonora Rustamova. She will be talking to the book buying public about her book ‘STOP DON’T READ THIS – THE STORY’.
Yesterday we received THORN by Michael Dean from the printers and it looks fantastic. THORN is a Rabelasian tour round Amsterdam in the middle of the Great Dutch Golden era of the mid 17th Centruy. Spinoza and Rembrandt are exiled, one for his philosophical treatise and the other for his pictoral depiction of the great and the good. A great read and very funny. David Nobbs, who created Reggie Perrin says, ‘An astonishing and powerful novel.’ Top man.
It is published on September 1st.
I’m off to Londinium to see the queen this morning. Let us hope she has bathed and scrubbed up in preparation to meet the Moose.
The talk at the society of young authors went really well. I spoke on how independent publishers are taking up the creative slack in publishing today. The big six are merely trying to replicate the successes they have already had, to keep the schekels coming in to satisfy their shareholders. This of course means they are publishing very little that is different to what you see on the 3 for 2 tables in our high street stores. Cast your weary eye, dear reader across the bookshelves and the covers of the books look remarkably similar. It is called genre publishing. Here at Moose towers we like to offer the reader something different to read. Not your average supermarket fare, there is no Scandawegian crime here, more like a delicatessan has to offer the discerning literary palette. Original fiction at its best.
Now if I can get Mrs Windsor to read a couple of Bluemoose Books as she wiles away the hours playing backgammon with the corgis, the future will indeed be bright.
I am speaking at the Society of Young Publishers tonight in Leeds. They have never left London before and they might be a little trepidatious of our northern manners and customs. I’ll be gentle. I will be talking about independent publishing and Bluemoose Books. It may be the first and last time I will be able to give a valedictory address to bright young things who have come to listen to pearls of wisdom. Well, that might be pushing it a bit. I won’t be thanking my mum, or crying.
The audience may by the end of the night after a thirty minute tirade against the evils of Amazon and Google. But these are great times for indie publishers. The big houses are too big to move to the constant changes within publishing and we’re filling the creative gaps with great stories that engage and inspire the reader. We have come a great distance since we started five years ago. Hollywood directors are reading our books. Penguin in the States is also reading a couple of our titles and the Russians can’t get enough of Bluemoose. All is well and long may that continue in the good ship Moose.