Friday, April 28, 2006


I'm in LAX and enjoying filling this blog in on the run. In the US reading a British bookselling magazine - room for some lateral thinking. Reading that publishing is becoming more conservative. Meaning invest in more sales of fewer titles or, meaning, stick with the authors u know. Except British publishing seems to be a hive of new authors and independent publishers. It's just most of the biggies that are "conservative", looking for those big runs and not always willing to wait for the break-through seventh book from a once-new author. It was a reminder to us at black dog to have patience. Interesting to see how long Dan Brown was around before the trajectory took off. As a publisher it pays to be nimble. As an independent publisher we're sensitive to poaching, to people using us a springboard to what they imagine are the riches of big publishing. Often I don't think it lives up to the hype. And as an independent publisher you don't want your authors to leave - to quote another "it's like a punch in the gut". Which leaves us pondering how we can do things better so authors don't contemplate another (inferior) publisher.

Chatting to Denise is always interesting - she was on the same flight out of Melbourne. She confirmed that her sense of the market was that educational publishing is struggling while trade seems to be on an upward trajectory. I was following Jeremy Fisher's ASA comments. The conversation was also a reminder that the guts of what we do at black dog is editorial, and that quality is editorial. It's tough to contemplating holding a book back and missing that pub date to give the book that final editorial polish.

Off to Chicago shortly.

No comments: