Archive for the ‘Publishing’ Category

Putting paid to notions that it takes years to write a book (damn! There goes my excuse) is the 24 Hour Book Project, a groundbreaking new initiative that’s challenging a bunch of writers, editors and publishers to take a book from pie-in-the-sky concept to published material in JUST ONE DAY.
The 24 Hour Book Project
The brainchild of the folks over at Completely Novel , the 24 Hour Book Project will kick off with a group of experienced writers putting their heads together via online collaborative writing tools. The squad includes Kate Pullinger (who’ll be heading up the project as the lead writer), Sarah Butler and Chris Meade, with the narrative being based around a group of city centre allotments, the exploration of communal spaces and the literal and symbolic walls built and smashed by individuals within a community.

Pens hit paper tomorrow (3rd October) from 10am, with volunteer editors and publishers taking the baton on Sunday to take the story to publication. And the best bit is that not only can you follow it all live online, but you can get involved – throw suggestions into the mix via Twitter (follow @24hrbook and use the hashtag #24hrbook); upload media including videos, music and images here; or help edit the book online from 10am BST on Sunday (email 24hrbook@completelynovel.com for the skinny on that.)

If that all sounds too much like hard work but your not averse to quaffing free champers, you might still be able to bag yourself a ticket for the book’s launch on Monday 5th October, 6pm, at Soho’s House of St Barnabas, where you’ll also be able to buy a copy of the book and see highlight’s of the weekend’s frantic authoring activity.

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Amelias Magazine Logo
As if Amelia’s Magazine wasn’t damn fine enough already, what with its cultural insights, fashion fixes and ecological know-how, it’s just had a make-over – and its first contribution from The Bind!

The new face of Amelia's Magazine

The new face of Amelia's Magazine

 Check out The Bind’s bit on Margaret Atwood’s new novel, The Year of the Flood, and its accompanying tour, and watch out for future book-based goodness brought to you fresh from The Bind’s nib via those lovely people at Amelia’s Magazine.

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The enigmatic investigator: Mr Lemony Snicket

The enigmatic investigator: Mr Lemony Snicket

It’s a chilling warning: “As if the recession weren’t bad enough, now British readers have the threat of a new series from Mr Snicket hanging over them,” Cally Poplak, director of publisher Egmont, tells The Guardian this week. “As a responsible publisher, of course we shall put all our efforts into ensuring no child is exposed to yet more misery from Mr Snicket’s investigations.”

The Bad Beginning

Here comes trouble: Book one – The Bad Beginning

Lemony Snicket‘s reports into the harrowing lives of the Baudelaire siblings, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, began in 1999. Snicket (the pseudonym of American author Daniel Handler) brought the sorrowful plight of the trio – orphaned by their evil uncle, Count Olaf, in his attempts to get his claws into their family’s wealth – to the world over 13 books: A Series of Unfortunate Events.

And, once the series came to an end in 2006, and the trials and tribulations of the poor Baudelaires had been made public (helped in no small part by a 2004 film adaptation of the first three books, starring Jim Carrey as the crawling Count Olaf) that was the last we heard of tenacious young Violet, Klaus and Sunny. 

Count culture: Jim Carrey calls attention to the frightful plight of the Baudelaires in 2004's film adaptation

Count culture: Jim Carrey calls attention to the frightful plight of the Baudelaires in 2004's film adaptation

Will we pick up with them again? Has Snicket unearthed more devastating tales of dread and deathly disasters? The Bind, alas, remains in the dark, and Snicket’s investigations shrouded in secrecy. “I can neither confirm nor deny that I have begun research into a new case,” is all the elusive sleuth Snicket will reveal, “and I can neither confirm nor deny that the results are as dreadful and unnerving as A Series of Unfortunate Events.”

Reader, you have been warned.

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Photo: Steve Forrest/Rex Features

Photo: Steve Forrest/Rex Features

Britain’s best-loved bookish eccentric, techy Twitterer and fantasy uncle (imagine the Christmas party games!) Stephen Fry has long worn his Oscar Wilde-loving heart on his sleeve. Brian Gilbert’s 1997 film Wilde saw Fry cast as the exuberant author, and recently he noted the formative influence of Wilde’s work in his navigating that pot-hole riddled road between awkward adolescence and a more assured adulthood relatively unbruised.


In 1973, a 16-year-old Stephen Fry penned a letter to his middle-aged self (published in 1997’s autobiography Moab is my Washpot) and in response to his teenage self Fry recently wrote, via The Guardian:

“I know what you are doing now, young Stephen. It’s early 1973. You are in the library, cross-referencing bibliographies so that you can find more and more examples of queer people in history, art and literature against whom you can hope to validate yourself. Leonardo, Tchaikovsky, Wilde, Barons Corvo and von Gloeden… So many great spirits really do confirm that hope! It emboldens you to know that such a number of brilliant (if often doomed) souls shared the same impulse and desires as you.”

And now Fry’s calling the rest of us over to the Wilde side with him, having just selected his favourite Oscar Wilde stories for a new collection acquired by Harper Collins. The collection’s as yet untitled, but The Bind gathers that it’s due to be published in October, in hardback (yum) and in addition to 33 mouth-watering illustrations by Nicole Stewart. Fry will also be penning a general introduction to the collection, and foreword to each of the stories.

Oh, and as if we needed any more reason to launch efforts to trace our lineage to the Fry family tree, today saw the kick-off of the second series of Fry’s English Delight on Radio 4. The programme title? ‘So Wrong it’s Right’. In reference to my level of excitability over your new show, Stephen, how very correct you are.

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Family cover
Props to anyone who can keep tabs on Devendra Banhart, never mind secure the wayward folkster in their viewfinder for long enough to snatch anything more discernible than a blurred wash of sequins, face paint and hair. But that’s exactly what photographer Lauren Dukoff has done repeatedly over years of hanging out with Banhart, and the results – along with stunning shots of musicians including Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan, Joanna Newsom, Vetiver and Vashti Bunyan – are laid bare in her new book Family, published by Chronicle Books. And here’s a sniff:

Family trio
Family group shot
Family Banhart
Family theatre 
Sand dune romps, spontaneous jam sessions and the make-up boxes of drag queen dreams – it’s enough to make you want to put yourself up for adoption. Failing that, though, get thee to (the book, obviously. And) the brilliant Chronicle Books Family site for behind-the-shoots videos and scrawled negatives set to a soundtrack from the Family folks.

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Loops Logo

Right now, the news of the birth of the literary love child of Faber & Faber and Domino Records has made me happier than if that stalk were to drop a swimming pool onto the toasting tarmac outside my flat. Yes, two of the UK’s most exciting independent creative names have got it together, and the fruit of their toils is Loops, a twice-yearly journal of music-related textual gubbins available in the form of 224 glorious pages.


“Free from the shackles of release schedules,” say the journal’s creators, “Loops provides a space for artists to publish tour diaries, non-sequiturs and think-pieces and an opportunity for writers to stretch out and go off-map to share their thoughts and ideas.”

Issue 1’s release-unleashed contributors include Nick Cave (who presents his article ‘The Death of Bunny Munro’), Nick Kent (on Nick Drake) and some people not called Nick, including, of course, the culture-corpse vulture of the blogosphere, one Maggoty Lamb.

And (in case you aren’t already wiping the flecks of excitement-/heatwave-induced sweat from your keyboard…) readers also receive their own code with which to crack into the free Domino Records sampler. Loops, welcome to the world.

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My addiction to the musty whiff of a well-loved book and the hiss of a turning page means that I detest – de-test – being sensually swindled by having to read more than about 250 words through a screen. If you’re anything like me, you’ll share my horror at this downright catastrophe:


The iLiad: The literary equivalent of a microwave burger

The iLiad: The microwave burger of the book world

50 pre-programmed ‘books’, A5(ish) format, at £399 – behold the (*ahem*) iLiad Electronic Reader. So many questions: can I get it in paperback? Can I offer it up for BookCrossing? When I’m shipwrecked on a desert island, can I read/build a fire with/eat my 50 books? These, of course, are the everyday concerns of your average dog-earing culprit. And the answer to each is a pixelated NO. What a letdown. And it appears that the customers of Borders feel the same, according to The Independent.

Round 1 to the paper pushers, then. Round 2 – the struggle to save the nation’s libraries, as reported in The Guardian – is currently being hard-fought in the modern-day trenches that masquerade as library isles and local government corridors, most publicly by journalist Rachel Cooke, who wrote a great article for yesterday’s Observer. A damn good read, even if it does clock in on the wrong side of 250 words for my screenphobic peepers to contend with. Best get practising my library card quick-draw, then…

(Word count: 234. Phew)

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