Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Ploughing down through the sedimentary piles of paper on my desk in my regular Thursday clean up I came across an article I'd ripped out of the paper about Scribe that I'd put aside for later reading. I love Henry's passion for books and publishing and found him very quotable so here goes

About the start of Scribe in 1976: "I really wanted to publish books about important developments in politics and society and culture, that weren't flippant or trivial or sensational. At that stage, the idea of a genre called serious non-fiction didn't exist [in Australia. It's an old story about the nature of Australian publishing being essentially a distribution market for foreign based publishers. The overseas-based publishers actively inhibited the local subsidiaries from a publishing program, and there wasn't a lot of interest anyway."

"You will get a bestseller every now and again. Most of the time you publish books that are middling successes or middling failures. They might be books that live for decades, but commercially they don't go a huge way to paying the overheads."

Our list is very different from Scribes but I always find what Henry says fascinating, and much of it resonates with me.


Karen said...

Hi Andrew, not really a response to your bloggings but a thank you for the chance to come to Lili's blogging workshop at CYL - it's been fun and informative, even if I have had to put up with Kate who is breaking things next to me...

Andrew's black dog blog said...

No worries, KT. I'm glad it was a success. Kate would like to have a go at your computer on Monday.