Saturday, January 1, 2011


There's something enormously liberating at the thought of standing on the threshold of a whole new year - with the endless opportunities, all sorts of possibilities, a chance to realise long-hoped-for dreams that if offers. I wish everyone who is reading this the best.

This year with its palindromic dates is a special year - a lucky year, I believe. For instance, today is 1/1/2011. Palindrome? you query. According to the dictionary 'Palindrome' is a word, verse or sentence that reads alike backwards and forwards. This information comes courtesy of our friend Richard.

Two changes in the book/publishing world over the past months: the first is the welcome news that sales are falling for life stories of celebrities: Carol Voderman, mathematical whizz, received an advance of £100,000 but to date has only sold 4000 copies; Jerry Hall's My Life in Pictures has sold only 1300 copies; and as for Christopher Plummer (Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music) his autobiography sold a mere 800. Proving the fickleness of publishing - the surprise hit of 2010 was A Simple Life by Aleksandr Orlov - a fictional memoir ghosted by a former publisher and inspired by a television commercial featuring a meercat which sold 281,000.

Secondly the proliferation of ebook readers bought over the Christmas season prompts a resurgence of the classics. Research indicates that the new owners of Apple iPads and Amazon Kindles are expected to turn to the huge number of free classics available in electronic libraries rather than paying for the latest potboiler from an online source. So far the most popular ebooks are Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Good luck with all your endeavours for this year, particularly those of you writing.


1 comment:

  1. Definitely true about going for the free classics rather than paying for a newly published book on the iPad. The only book in my iPad library is Romeo & Juliet! I might buy a few new books before I go on holidays, though - the Ryanair weight restrictions have been a limiting factor on the number of books I've read on holidays in the last few years. The iPad will be ideal, as long as I don't sit too close to the pool!