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.

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