Thursday, March 18, 2010

Falling trees

Do you think it’s unreasonable to want people to buy a book but not actually read it? I don’t think it’s too much to ask but my publishers just can’t get on board on this one. Simon & Schuster seem adamant that people reading the book is pretty much a mandatory part of the author-reader dynamic.

I’ve got to say that they are being unnecessarily difficult in this regard. I don’t see why people can’t just buy Random (available in all good bookshops from April 1) then leave it in a prominent place on their bookshelves with a mental note to read it one day because it is probably really good.

They could also tell their friends about it, on the understanding, of course, that they wouldn’t read it either. I’m thinking of it as a “must buy” book rather than a “must read”. It could be a whole new genre. Like trees falling in the forest without making a sound or whisky being bought by collectors who will never drink it.

Or else maybe I could just limit it to friends who could be trusted to say nice things about it even if they aren’t true. Hm, not sure my publishers would be happy with that option. And come to think of it, most of my friends will tell me if they think it is crap. That’s it settled, they aren’t getting to read it either.

As if things weren’t bad enough, I’ve now got to get out from behind my keyboard and go into the real world to meet real people. I’ve been told that there are five book signings lined up for the middle of April at various Waterstones stores. With my luck, some of those that the books are being signed for will want to read the thing. Can’t they just look at the signature? Some people are never happy.

Cold feet? Who, me? Nooooo.

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