I'm just back from a longer than usual Christmas break. Plenty of opportunity for beachside reading. I loved Ford's The Lay of the Land and Raymond Carver's What We Mean When We Talk About Love. Re-read the gorgeous Dragon Moon in page proofs the last of the Dragonkeeper books - due out in April. The perfect end to a superb trilogy. My daughter was very sad to say goodbye to Ping. I read Simone Howell's Notes from a Teenage Underground and I loved it but I thought it fell away in the middle-end, though I was satisfied with the final few pages. I think Karen Tayleur's Chasing Boys (which I'm also re-reading in page proof) is even better - perfect voice and strong finish. Watch out for it - coming soon from black dog.
And picked up theBookseller.com e-new on my return::
I think times are good for independent publishers. Here in Oz they're good but I have to admire the way the scene is popping in the UK - Faber, Snowbooks and Profile are vying for the in the inaugural Independent Publishers Guild Trade Publisher of the Year award. A mighty list of independent names.
Good economic times mean independents can flourish (well everybody flourishes). Independents do have advantages of appropriate scale, flexibility and definitely a creative edge over the majors. We can take more and better risks. The big boys are much more focussed on the celebrity end of the market and books they believe they can make big through marketing muscle.
There's a place for everybody in the ecology of publishing - at least in the good times.