Monday, 26 March 2007

On a sunny day and delayed tube

BNO1 is moved to ask why so many people read Jodi Picoult on the train? Three different Picoult books on the same carriage. Not that there's anything wrong with that, just wondering what the secret to getting one's books read on the tube is? I always read the book that we've most recently published very prominently, but so far no-one has stopped me: 'excuse me but what is that you're reading?' they would say, and I'd turn and smile and . . . well, that's how it goes.

An Argentinian writer, Olivero Girondo, once wrote a book 'poems to be read on the tram' , perhaps it's time to compile a list of P.O.P. books to be read on the tube. This ties in rather well with a debate currently bouncing around in the office and indeed between us and friendly booksellers (all booksellers are, of course, friendly) - what size in which to publish our fiction? Now we've traditionally been a hardback publisher, we'd publish the hardback and then give the paperback rights to a paperback publisher. Of course, those days are over and since we moved into publishing primarily paperbacks we've tended to publish original fiction in a large paperback format. Recently it's been pointed out to us that this may not be the best way to go, for a reader's point of view a large paperback WILL NOT FIT INTO YOUR POCKET and from a bookselling point of view WON'T FIT ON A TABLE or occasionally, a shelf. So we're looking at doing all new fiction in a smaller size. But then we worry that they're less likely to be reviewed. The results of the debate will become clear fairly soon.

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