Monday 29 January 2007

Monday Morning

Good Morning,
The usual monday morning review search has turned up nothing this week. Not that we sent any books out to review recently of course but hope springs . . . occasionally someone will write a piece out of the blue. There were however some interesting happenings over the weekend, the lovely Dove Grey Reader says nice things about us. A link will be posted to her blog as soon as lets me. And also to our own website of course, bit of an oversight that.
Also the first reviews of Hermione Lee's exciting biography of Edith Wharton are coming out. Exciting because not only is Wharton a fascinating character and great writer, but also because we have two collections of ghost stories by Wharton, The Ghost Feeler out now and The Demanding Dead just about to arrive back from the printers. The stories are a lot of fun, there's plenty of Henry James and a little of Dickens about 'em but no doubting the originality of her voice - I don't know much about the subject but were many women writing ghost stories at the time? Anyway the stories by best be summed up by this bizarre and marvelous Wharton quote:
‘It is in the warm darkness of the pre-natal fluid far below our conscious reason that the faculty dwells with which we apprehend the ghosts we may not be endowed with the gift of seeing.’

Friday 26 January 2007


Long day today. We've left updating our ISBNs until the very last possible minute. Also making a new catalogue, which means finding a pithy description of each on of our books in print for the back list - harder than one might think. Nothing that a nice cold beer won't fix . . .

Celebrity Big Brother

The mail brought with it a couple of treats this morning. First was the new issue of Aesthetica magazine of whom we are big fans - a genuine, enthusiastic and successful regional arts magazine - who'd have thought it? and also another mention of us in Horace Bent's column in the Bookseller. This time a note from Gary Pulsifer, C.E.O. of Arcadia press and once of P.O.P.:
'So pleased about Peter Owen's luck in getting Ken Russell on to 'Celebrity Big Brother'. But many of Peter's fans in the trade, myself included, would far rather see the publisher himself on the show. I'm sure the old dog could still teach us all a few tricks'

A few things: we're glad to hear that Gary's a fan of Peter, he does some good books at Arcadia and the image of Peter on CBB is certainly an enticing one. I'm not sure, however, that he'd be able to do without his Radio 2, dictaphone and sales updates.

Also - I wouldn't describe Ken being on CBB as 'luck'. For a start it meant that we had to watch the ridiculous show (He did well, we thought) and although we now won't have a recognition problem, no 'who's Ken Russell?'s* for us, there is also the worry that at least in the short term fifty years of great, idiosyncratic film making will be put in the shade. Perhaps not, we shall see . . .

* Some sample 'Who's': 'Who's Mervyn Peake?', 'Who's Hermann Hesse?', 'I think I've heard of Paul Bowles', 'Who's David Mitchell' (this last from within P.O.P.) and my favourite 'Just ringing to confirm that Mervyn Peake himself is coming to do the signing?'

Thursday 25 January 2007

First Evening Post

Thank you so much to all those who have expressed interest in the blog. We'll endeavour to keep it!
Of course I responded by keeping silent all day. I was downstairs, (The office is run in the old, occasionally current, Owen family home. It's one of those tall but skinny West london houses with four floors, all rickety staircases and poky rooms* , the sales office is right at the top where heating dare not tread, apparently ) stuffing tacky envelopes with tackier launch invites, no thickly embossed cards for us, oh no. Photocopied foolscap!
Tomorrow we'll try to be more interesting . . .

*Except for the basement which is all darkly lush Victorian wallpaper and first editions, but that's a whole post to itself.


Good Morning,

This is the first ever blog post from Peter Owen Publishers. Our setting up of a new blog co-oincides with a new website design finally replacing one that, if it existed on a physical plane, would be likened to a malicious easyjet-orange labyrinth. It was as wide as it was long and gave up information, not always correct, seemingly at random. Our new one is much nicer. It's pink.

The aims of this blog are manyfold: To provide information, establish a dialogue with a burgeoning literary web community, the occasional necessary venting, to plug our books mercilessly but ALWAYS genuinely, and, of course, for attention . . .

It's a place to come and spend a couple of moments reading if you like any of our books or authors and want further info, are interested in anything forthcoming, or would just like an idea of the everyday goings on of 'The last of the highbrow publishers' (Daily Telegraph, not us).

My name is Kit Maude, Sales and Marketing Coordinator. This is a self given title, a step up, I felt, from 'The Boy'. If you'd like any further info please get in touch.