Thursday, 31 July 2008

Cin Cin

To the Italian Bookshop, just off Charing Cross Road, and the launch of 'How to Live Like An Italian' by Annalisa Coppoloro-Nowell. I've always had a soft spot for Italy, ever since I put some money on them at 7-1 to win the last World Cup, and this was a suitably Italian celebration, with much strong family support, warm weather and gorgeous food.

As a publicity exercise, launch parties are a bit hit and miss these days -- which is why publishers throw far fewer than they used to. But they're not without purpose the warmth of a family and friends affair, such as here, is always a welcome reminder as to why you're in publishing in the first place.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Another Day, Another Title...

Having written a couple of days ago about how our Can't Be Arsed rival, Life's Too Short, had changed its name in response to F**k That!, it now transpires that the book has changed its name again, this time to Sod That! How many titles does one book need? At the time of writing, the book's poor old amazon page can't keep up -- the synopsis calls it Life's Too Short, the cover image still says F**k That! and the title says Sod That!

As a smaller publisher, one has to get used to being blown out of the water by the conglomerates. That may well still happen here, but it's nice, for today at least, to feel as if we have one of the corporate publishers on the run.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Going On the Offensive

There's nothing worse in publishing than the sinking feeling you get when you discover that someone else has had the same idea as you. This autumn, we're publishing a book by the Have I Got News For You producer Richard Wilson, called Can't Be Arsed: 101 Things Not To Do Before You Die -- an extremely funny take on those books telling you things you absolutely must hear, see, listen and well, do, if your life isn't to be absolutely worthless. However, it transpires that Orion are publishing a near identical book by Sam Jordison called Life's Too Short... However however, upon discovering our book, they've decided to up the swearing ante by rechristening their book F**K That! (You can almost hear the cogs in the marketing meeting grinding that one out). As a publisher, this leaves me with a quandry -- the poker player in me wants to up the ante and outswear them back (C*n't Be Arsed?) -- but the more sensible side thinks a. no one will stock the book if we did, b. we've got by far the better title anyway, and c. as our title suggests, I can't quite be arsed.