Friday, 23 November 2007

Paperback Writer (& NICE being taken to court)

I was, if I'm honest, slightly disappointed when I first knew my book was going straight to paperback, not that I wanted trumpets and gold-edged pages or anything, just I had the misconception that it was a bit like going 'straight to video'. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised, no one really buys hardbacks - apart from being expensive, they are actually quite difficult to read, you can't slouch with a hardback, you need to sit up straight. So I quickly got over it - and who wants to wait a whole year til their book comes out in paperback?! Still, I was pleased to read in last weekend's Guardian (yup, only getting round to it now, it's still folded on the couch) that, from next year, Picador are going straight to £7.99 paperbacks with their literary novels. Scott Pack of the very lovely Friday Project was quoted as saying: "The vast majority of literary fiction is only published in hardback because otherwise the reviewers won't review it. It's mad. They should be reviewing on the basis of content rather than the binding."

And, while the news that, on Wednesday, One Click formally applied for Judicial Review of the NICE guidelines for ME is just brilliant with a capital B, it also makes my book that bit more zeitgeisty. (Never sure how to use Zeitgeist, it always seems a bit pretentious - I should ask my sister-in-law.)


Merkin said...


That's so pants said...


I said this on Fiction Bitch's blog the other day and I don't mind saying it again. I never buy hardbacks for all the same reasons you've talked about. They're very often HUGE and utterly unmanageable in bed or on public transport.

I can think of no other product where you would pay twice as much for slightly superior packaging. Let's go 'straight to paperback'. I'll be very glad I don't have to wait a year after its release to get your book NMJ.



NMJ said...

hey merk, yes, it's fabulous . . .

hey pants, i don't think i could wait a year either, it's been so long, the whole process! i will read comments over at FB's tomorrow, i must go to bed now x

Anonymous said...

Dictionaries and Encyclopaedias I don't mind buying in hardback.
Zadie Smith's The Autograph Man and Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age were the last two to bulge my biceps. :-)


NMJ said...

Yes, dictionaries are an exception, though my hefty Oxford English has a broken spine since i threw it at a spider a few yrs ago.

Anonymous said...

You didn't?!
To me a dictionary is like a bible or a koran, I feel I ought to go through an ablutionary process of sort before I touch any.

NMJ said...

emergency measures, i'm afraid, i've also spilled coffee on it, so it's a bit war-torn, but i use it all the time, it still does its job perfectly!

Merkin said...

'...Oxford English has a broken spine since i threw it at a spider a few yrs ago.'
The power of words.