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Issue 114

InPrint
The Newsletter of the Society of Young Publishers
Nam e: Mia Kilroy SY P Role( s) 2006: Speaker Meeting Coordinator and InPrint Proofreader Job Ti tle and C ompa ny: Freelance Proofreader and Copy-Editor, Allison & Busby Me mbe r of the SY P si nce: 2004 Lik es: Lentils Dis lik es: Fascism and dishonesty Hobbie s/ Inte res ts: Music and nature I joine d the SY P Com mi ttee 2006 b ecaus e I w ant t o: learn, meet people, have a challenge and give back. Favouri te b ook (s): Down all the Days by Christy Brown, Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller and Tenderwire by Claire Kilroy. My sister. Faber, June 2006. Buy or your offspring will have the charm of Les Dawson. Any othe r i nfo: Im stunned by how much booze folk in publishing can put away

SYP
March 2006

Society of Young
Est. 1949

Publishers

INTRODU CING MO RE O F THE 20 06 LONDON COMMITTEE!


Nam e: Nora Mahony SY P Role( s) 2006: Speaker Meeting Coordinator and Jobs Database Coordinator Degr ee & U ni vers ity: Italian and French Literature and Language, Trinity College, Dublin Job Ti tle & Compa ny: Graduate Trainee, Phaidon Press Me mbe r of the SY P si nce: 2005 Lik es: Most Italian things, cycling in London, Sri Lankan food and short stories Dis lik es: Rudeness in the workplace, the Family section of the Guardian, dogs and olives Hobbie s/ Inte res ts: Travel, photography, theatre, new Irish fiction, cooking I joine d the SY P Com mi ttee 2006 becaus e I w ant to: make it easier for others to get involved in publishing, as I found it difficult to relocate from Dublin to London and get a publishing job myself! Favouri te book (s) : Hmm at the moment, Ill go for Peter Careys Collected Short Stories, or Jhumpa Lahiris The Interpreter of Maladies. Any other i nf o: I grew up between Washington DC and Dublin, Dublin being my preferred home. Nam e: Rebecca Strong SY P Role( s) 2006: InPrint Editor De gree & Uni ver sity : BA (Hons) French and Spanish, University College London J ob Ti tle & Comp any: Contracts and Rights Assistant, Chorion Plc. Me mbe r of the SY P si nce: 2004 Lik es: Chocolate, mystery, and being totally absorbed in a book

Name : Gurdeep Mattu SY P Rol e(s ) 2 006: InPrint Production Manager Degre e & U nive rs ity: BA (Hons) English, St Hughs College, Oxford University Job T itl e & C om pany : Assistant Editor, SAGE Publications Mem ber of the S YP s ince : 2004 Like s: Conversation and passion Disl ike s: Mediocrity and dullness Hobbie s/ Inter est s: My band, Sons & Fascination, my writing, and various other things I joine d the SY P Com mi ttee 2006 b ecaus e I w ant t o: continue to make InPrint look better, and help the membership base grow as much as it did in 2005. Favouri te b ook (s): White Noise by Don DeLillo

Contents: More London Committee Profiles 1-2, Oxford Committee 2-3, Legend Press Competition 4, Online Book Groups 5-6, Nick McDonell 7, Oxford Speaker Meeting 8, Location 9-10, Dates For Your Diary 11, Ads and Events 12

InPrint - March 2006

TH E 2 006 LON DON COM MITTE E/ / THE OX FORD COMM ITTE E 20 06


Di sli kes : Disappointment, the cold, and missing my train stop because Im totally absorbed in a book Hobbi es/ Int eres ts: Discovering new cultures, wines, and learning new languages I joi ned t he S YP C omm ittee 2 006 beca use I wan t to: continue giving members a great monthly read and continue being part of a fantastic SYP team. Fa vourite book(s ): The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart, We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, If This is a Man by Primo Levi, and all the Wildlife Photographer of the Year books. Nam e: Tori Hunt S YP Role (s) 2006: Web-Editor and InPrint Proofreader De gree & U niver sit y: BA (Hons) English Literature, University College London J ob T itle & Com pany: Assistant to the MD and departmental administrator (editorial), Orion Paperback Division M emb er of the SY P s ince: 2005 Li kes : Reading anything, cheese (misinterpret how you will), good hair, being asked out for coffee, asking lots of questions (shouldve done journalism) and being selfreferentially ironically pretentious (moi?!) Di sli kes : Deadlines (reason for avoiding above career) Hobbi es/ Int eres ts: Reviewing books, card games, dogwalking, skiing safely, travelling with a suitcase on wheels I joi ned t he S YP C omm ittee 2 006 beca use: I thought it stood for the Society of Young Pub-Crawlers; turns out I wasnt far off. Also keen to hone my editorial skills always sharper once a few units have been put away! Fa vourite book(s ): East Lynne by Mrs Henry Wood: a sensational Victorian cornucopia of love, betrayal, murder, retribution, remorse and deceit utterly compelling, if a little dated. Na me: Na Ma S YP Role (s) 2006: Jobs Database Coordinator M em ber of t he S YP s ince: 2005 Li kes : Sending people books as gifts - even to boys who I know wont even glance at the pages before throwing the book amongst dirty socks, but I still send them books with the vague hope that they will eventually pick them up, find a wonderful world, and fall in love with reading Di sli kes : Dirty socks I joi ned t he S YP C omm ittee 2 006 beca use: the SYP is such an amazingly dynamic and productive organisation, and I have always wanted to get involved as much as I can.

On 18 January 2006, members of the Oxford SYP met at Oxford University Press for their AGM and to elect the new Oxford Committee for 2006. Deb Sanders, last years Acting Chair, ran through the previous 12 months events, achievements and challenges, and a great evening was had by all. And now, introducing the new Oxford Committee for 2006 feel free to contact any of us with questions, suggestions or comments: Kat e Ki rkpatr i ck, Ox fo rd C hai r (o xfo r dc hai r @th esyp. or g. u k) Kate is an Editorial Assistant at Oneworld Publications, where she edits submissions, commissions covers and generally dabbles in everything from print orders to foreign rights. Originally from the USA, she did part of a Physics degree before ditching science to pursue a more practical course: Philosophy and Theology at Oxford. She lives in Oxford with her husband and enjoys, among other things: good food and good friends to share it with, drinking wine, reading books, watching movies, and last but certainly not least, eating copious amounts of chocolate. Jam ie Shaw , Web Edit or (o xfo rdw eb@t hesyp.o rg . uk) When not fiddling about with the SYP website, Jamie works at Oxford University Press in the ELT Dictionaries department, under the title of Pre-press Controller, which means nothing to most people but involves dealing with pictures, schedules and sending files to Production. Outside of work he sees bands quite frequently, including - last year - Arctic Monkeys, Editors, Hard-Fi, Ladytron, Kooks and The Subways.

InPrint - March 2006

THE OXFO RD C OMMITTEE 200 6


Emm a G r een , Sec ret ary ( ox for dsec@th esyp. or g .u k) A relative newcomer to the world of Publishing, Emma recently started work as an Editorial Assistant at Princeton University Press, having finished her degree in French and German at Oxford. In her spare time she enjoys reading, travelling, shopping, and meeting friends. Emi l y Mc Leo d, Bo ok Clu b Co or din ato r ( ox for dbookc lu b@th esyp. or g. u k) Emily fills a new role for 2006 that concentrates on making the Book Club bigger and better for 2006. See the back page for details of upcoming Book Club meetings! R ach ael Mu ir head, P ubli c it y Co or di n ator ( ox for dpubli c it y@t h esyp.o r g. uk) Rachael studied English and Publishing at Oxford Brookes before landing her first proper job at Princeton University Press in Woodstock, where she has been a Publicity Assistant for eighteen months. During her studies she worked part time at OUP, and did some work experience at Random House. Away from organising conferences and chasing journalists, she plays cricket, practises yoga, drinks wine, and struggles to learn the guitar. M im i Mo , Even t s Coo r di n ator ( ox for deven ts@t hesyp.o rg . uk) Mimi organises the speaker meetings by approaching potential speakers, setting dates, and making sure the evenings themselves run smoothly. Gu y H obbs, Soc ial Sec ret ary (o xfo r dso ci alsec@t hesyp.o rg . uk) After graduating in History at Cambridge, Guy fled to South America where he learned Spanish, bartended, busked, fell down mountains, dressed up as Santa Claus and generally made a nuisance of himself. When the money ran out, rather more quickly than he had anticipated, he was forced to return to the UK with nothing more than vague plans about becoming a travel writer. He now lives in Oxford where he is currently writing his fourth book and has recently been made Managing Editor of a new series encouraging other people to live abroad. He also harbours dreams of becoming a rock star. Jaso n Mi tc hel l, In P ri n t Li aiso n (i n pr i nt li ai son @th esyp. or g. u k) Born and educated in Manchester, Jason studied publishing at Stirling and has since worked for six years in academic publishing, currently at Taylor & Francis. He has a fondness for Indian food, world cinema, the John Rylands Library, first editions, the Super Furry Animals, Doves and repeats of Columbo. Nadeem Ah med, Tr easu r er (o xfo r dt reasu rer @th esyp. or g. u k) Nadeem is a student at Hertford College, Oxford, where he has been pursuing his various academic interests in Philosophy, having previously studied Oriental Studies at London University. His other interests include classical music and creative writing. His aim is to increase the Societys overall profile and enhance Oxfords position in the publishing and literary world. Th e fi nal wor d g oes to t he n ew Oxfo r d Ch air , Kate Ki r kpat ri ck: If the February Speaker Meeting was anything to go by, this year promises to be a roaring one for the Oxford SYP. In addition to a brilliant line-up of speaker meetings, we've got cracking social events on the books, a resurrected Book Club, and a committee full of enthusiastic and dynamic people. We're determined not only to keep the good times rolling, but to keep the SYP growing, too - here's to a great 2006 and we hope to see you soon!

InPrint - March 2006

INPRINT IS B ECO MING BIGGER AND BETTE R!


The SYP Committee has been reviewing InPrint over recent months and considering how we can make it better for our members while keeping it cost-effective. We are pl ann i n g a c om pl ete redesi gn , an d i ssu es w i ll n ow be bi -m on th ly: l oo k o ut fo r t he fir st fabul ou s n ew edit i on i n M ay . And remember, if you or anyone you know (whether a company, agency or individual) is interested in spo nso ri n g an i ssu e o f In Pr i nt , there are many options available from placing an advert or running a competition to sponsorship in return for an article/feature get in touch by emailing in pri n t@t hesyp. o rg . uk . All questions, comments and suggestions welcome.

InPrint - March 2006

ONLINE B OOK DISCU SSION


G le ncora Baile y de scribe s a g rowing in teres t tha t is be ing fu elled by the World Wid e Web . A decade ago, talking about books took place mostly in the classroom, in living rooms, in coffee shops any public place where people of similar interests could physically get together to talk. Other kinds of literary discussion that did not involve face-to-face human interaction took place between the pages of books, magazines and newspapers, predominantly in the form of essays and reviews, interviews with authors and letters to the editor. These continue to flourish, but there is now an additional forum of communication: the Internet. Of course, the Net is by no means a new phenomenon, but now, with online connection fees competitively lower than ever before and access to computers more easily available to a greater variety of people, usage is most certainly more widespread than it was ten years ago. The Internet holds great potential for those who want to talk about books and reading; its the perfect medium for it in fact, filling some kind of middle ground between the spark and immediacy of a public dialogue, and the privacy and impartiality of a printed discourse. Whether it be through message boards, book clubs, weblogs, chat rooms or forums, online book discussion manages to retain that sense of privacy and contemplation that is so much a part of the experience and act of reading, while at the same time containing a sense of dynamism and participation that might perhaps be lost in the printed forms of media. Online, webusers can type in their thoughts or idea, see it published instantly, and potentially get an immediate response. The implications of this are surely nothing but positive. Online book discussion is yet another way of celebrating the pleasure of reading and bringing books to life for a wider audience. Not everyone necessarily knows people with whom they can talk about books, nor has access to the printed materials that might be available to them so the Internet opens up a dialogue that simply might not have existed for many. And its not just these social factors but also the very nature of reading itself, the fact that it is such a solitary activity, that poses barriers for communication. Even for the people most connected with other people and materials associated with books, it can be hard to initiate discussion, often because peoples interests are so wide-ranging. Book-lovers may be members of a silent community, but it is by no means a dying or stagnating one ideas and passions do thrive and the Internet can help to nurture it. If youve read a book and want to talk about it, the chances are you will find a site that might facilitate the expression of your thoughts; its another channel through which to initiate active engagement with books. Plus, its highly democratic. Of course, online book discussion is like anything else on the Internet because there are no restrictions on what people can think or say, the types of conversation vary enormously from site to site, which does pose some problems for people looking for a particular level of communication. There are still a number of ways in which online book discussion could be improved. Many sites are used predominantly for swapping information connected with books, such as where to find certain editions of books, recommendations about other books and authors, and information about resources, organisations and events. This is often the case on author websites, where students and avid readers meet to search for information, making them invaluable tools for readers. Yet it is surprising how few author websites have really developed beyond the role of imparting information. The fiction writer and journalist Jeanette Winterson has a great w website (ww w.jea ne tte winte rson.com ), which not only contains information about her books, but also logs her journalism and includes a thriving message board. The latter seems exemplary of the kind of board that is successful, and its uniqueness perhaps reveals a gap that the web and its users might be

able to fill over the coming years. The site has space for readers to post their own writing as well as room for general discussion not solely on Wintersons books and seems to have cultivated a following from its users. Her website functions in a similar way to a weblog, in terms of the extent of the discussion amongst users (see also ww w.inwritin g.org/ web log, a personal weblog full of insightful discussion). Other sites that are also portals for debate can be found at www .online -litera tu re.com and ww w.book spot.com , which hold a lot of information and discussion, but somehow lack the sense of community and permanency that the more personal weblogs and author websites boast. Nevertheless, they remain valid as places where people can go to express their enthusiasm and criticism of certain books and ideas. Book clubs and forums seem to exist somewhere in the middle, between the specialisation of weblogs and author websites and the general sites dedicated broadly to books and literature. Here readers can gather to discuss any variety of books, but can participate in a prolonged exchange of ideas, rather than just a one-off posting. One problem with the many online book clubs and forums is that they require a fee to join, which seems to defeat the whole purpose of Internet communication in the first place. The crucial benefit of the Internet, and the quality that gives it its edge over other forms of communication, surely, is its inclusive nature; without that, it ceases to have the same impact. Newspaper sites such as the Guardian and The Times, both wealthy organisations, have, by contrast, developed online book clubs that are free and accessible to many more people (w ww.talk.g uard ian.co. uk and w ww w.time sbook s.type pa d.com ). It seems then that different kinds of discussion are out there, albeit in a fragmentary way. Most of the good sites Ive chanced upon havent been through search engines or sites like ww w.rea ding group s.co.uk , which simply refer you to other sites on the Net. There is definitely a market for more book discussion

sites to be developed, and for more effective ways of sifting through the resources that are already available. Doing a basic Google search, for example, does not always lead to some of the most interesting, thriving sites. Perhaps over the next decade, web-users themselves might develop an online network for book-readers, helping to fulfil the potential for electronic book discussion that is currently demonstrated in little pockets across the web.

InPrint - March 2006

A DV AN CE NOTICE: LON DON SPEA KE R M EETIN G & BOOK S IGN ING : A DE BUT AU TH ORS PE RSPECTIVE Wed nes da y 26 A pril 20 06 How does a debut author get their book commissioned? Do editors and agents feel they are taking a risk when they enlist a first-time novelist? How easy is it to market, publicise and sell a first book when the author is unknown? Or are there distinct advantages to dealing with a brand new author and project, rather than an established name? Join us for this exclusive event on debut authors where we will be discussing these questions and many more. S pea ke rs includ e Joh n Ben nett, au th or of S ea Otte rs Ga mbolling in the Wild, Wild S urf (V intag e) an d his a ge nts D avid G odwin and Ca thryn S umm erha yes from D avid God win A ssocia te s; a nd D ea n Carte r, author of Ha nd of th e De vil (Ra nd om Hou se Childre ns Books ) with h is ed itor Cha rlie Sh ep pard . Books by both authors will be available for sale at a discounted price with the chance to get your copy signed. Please join us for a drink and a chat from 8pm in the Pitcher & Piano, Dean Street, Soho. We dne sda y 26 April 2 006, 6.3 0 for 6.45p m in the Ga lle ry, Se cond Floor, Foy le s, Cha ring Cross Roa d.

InPrint - March 2006

A BRIGHT YOU NG THING RETU RNS TO THE STAGE


Al exi s Clem en t s r epo rt s back fro m an ev eni n g wi t h a tal ent ed n ew au th or . Nick McDonells first novel Twelve was a phenomenal success, particularly in light of the fact that he was only seventeen years old when he wrote it. Ample hype and numerous wellpedigreed quotes appeared in magazines and newspapers across the US, Europe and further afield. The quote that follows his name in just about every review and on both of his book covers (his most recent, The Third Brother, has just been released in the UK) is one taken from the late Hunter S. Thompson: Nick McDonell is the real thing Im afraid that he will do for his generation what I did for mine. Those are pretty big shoes for a seventeen-year-old kid to fill. When I asked McDonell, who just turned twenty-two this February, about that quote, he told me and the audience attending his reading in North London, that the rest of it (presumably the bit hidden by the ellipsis) was too obscene to print. The reading took place at a small pub in Kentish Town called The Pineapple. Hidden among a swathe of tiny townhouses, the pub hardly seems the kind of place a future Hunter S. Thompson would be caught dead. Big Words At The Pineapple has been hosting readings of poetry and literature for almost two years now. Christopher Fowler, who organises the readings along with Richard Thomas, told me that he wanted to keep the tradition of the famed readings that used to go on at Filthy McNastys in Islington alive in the city. Of course, Filthy McNastys sounds a lot closer to Hunter S. Thompson than The Pineapple, but times change. Its hard to talk about McDonell without referencing his literary pedigree. When it comes to English language literary fiction, you cant do much better than Grove/Atlantic Press, the publisher of McDonells two novels. Grove/Atlantic was formed in February 1993 with the merger of Grove Press and Atlantic Monthly Press; it now publishes about eighty new titles per year. The two presses, as well as their merger, have a long history of publishing Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning authors. Morgan Entrekin, McDonells editor and the man behind the merger, has also worked with the likes of Bret Easton Ellis and Will Self; McDonell is often compared to the former. Its also hard not to mention the influence of McDonells father on his career. Terry McDonell, Managing Editor of Sports Illustrated and good friend to the likes of Hunter S. Thompson and George Plimpton, is a powerful figure in publishing. Though I didnt bring this up at the reading, it came out on its own after the question about the Thompson quote, when he spent a few minutes laughing about his fathers connection to crazy uncle Hunter. As the questions went on, McDonell spoke about his idea of completing what he saw as a trilogy surrounding the character Mike, who appears, though in different forms, in both his novels. In the first, hes a rich-kid turned drug dealer who caters to the children of New York Citys wealthiest families. In the second novel, The Third Brother, hes an intern at the Asia bureau of a major magazine and gets sent to Bangkok to find the story behind the governments crackdown on drug tourism. The second novel shifts gear about halfway through as Mike returns to New York in 2001 just in time for the events of September 11, and finds his brother suffering a mental breakdown. McDonell expressed a strong desire to kill the character off, in either guise perhaps revealing his own desire to shed the themes of privilege and youth that fill both stories. Its difficult to say whether or not McDonell will join the ranks of the literary figures to which he is so often compared he is only twenty-two years old after all. Hes spent a couple of summers working as an intern with major US magazines both in the US and in Asia (and happily admits to using that experience in the second novel, though the first is not autobiographical), trying to gain some more life experience. But with ample charm and two novels already finished, its difficult not to believe that this young man may yet live up to all those expectations.

Picture taken by Terry McDonell

InPrint - March 2006

THE MEDIA AND THE MAC HINE


Jas on Mi tchell tells u s w h at h appen ed w hen the O xf ord SY P go t Lu ck y. The Oxford branch of the SYP kicked off its speaker meetings for 2006 with a talk by Lucky Dissanayake to a packed meeting room at Oxford University Press on 8 February. Lucky, Founder of London publisher Dakini Books, gave an entertaining and highly personal insight into the importance of the media in publicising, promoting and marketing books from the perspective of a small, very media-driven business. Lucky began by taking a number of questions from the floor, which ranged from the most cost-effective use of an authors time, how to get books reviewed and the best ways to get national press attention to maximising publicity on a farming title. After outlining her colourful career history to date formerly magazine publisher, running a TV station overseas, working for BSkyB, and working for the Telegraph in the 1980s before setting up on her own she based her presentation on the issues these questions raised. Beginning with the best ways to attract national press coverage, Lucky stated the book must be topical. She published a book on Formula 1 that has been highly successful due to a combination of the sports popularity (some 350 million F1 fans worldwide) and hiring the best F1 journalist in Mark Hughes (buying into the writers contacts and address book). All this has attracted around 1.5 million of free publicity. She stressed that Dakini Books has a business model unlike the majority of publishers. In an industry where there is a general oversupply of titles, her strategy is to publish only two to three titles per year, and to put an immense amount of focus and time on promoting each one. With regard to getting book reviews, Lucky stressed that thousands of books get sent out to reviewers only for them to finish up on their shelves. To get a review, a book must physically stand out: it should be a good product in terms of quality paper and design of the cover. The publisher should research the names of each reviewer of each relevant title, pick up the phone, pitch the book to them and get it into their hands. All of this time is well spent and has paid dividends in her company. Several of the key points Lucky made are as follows: Avoid using PR firms: she used to hire them at a cost of 3,0004,000 a month and she found they had no passion for the product. Press releases written by PR firms are a hard way to get noticed, and are far too generic. Bookshop events are generally a waste of time for the author. Amazon is a great bookselling machine and the Internet is a great leveller it should be utilised if possible. All media outlets TV, radio, and newspapers have short attention spans. If a book is topical or controversial it will do well (the flurry of books on Islam post 9/11, for example). Independent bookshops will always be more receptive to new ideas than the chains. Useful partnerships can often be lucrative: with Luckys knowledge and experience of TV, she approached a channel involved in F1 broadcasting and negotiated a deal for publicity of the book in return for a split of the sales revenue. Lucky rounded off a highly informative evening by outlining several misconceptions within the media (the first being that publicity guarantees sales) and gave us the benefit of her wide experience on the nature and relationship of the media and publishing industries.

InPrint - March 2006

NOVEL IDENTITY: LOC ATION, LO CALITY, PLACE


O ur Nort he rn C orrespondent , Lucie Barnes, shows us where it s a t in the world of books. Similar to discussing good wine, there are many variations, opinions and mixtures when expressing the passion of a story, but alas, it all gulps down to personal taste or does it? Theres the all-important plot to consider, as well as the emotionally-charged character development, and not forgetting the taste of palpable suspense in writing. Before one can scream HOUSE! I mean BESTSELLER!, we must address the issue of location in the novel. The humble situation of location in novelwriting is an entity which, in my opinion, is most important of all, for the simple reason that it pulls the reader to a point of familiarity and a point of bearing, literally. Ah, but surely it is the way in which the story is written, and the plot, that emphasise the location, I hear someone protest. Of course; but if the analogy of good wine is adhered to, one could say it is the way the grape has been grown and its location, as opposed to the physical grape used, that matters; and this also is true in a broader sense. What is my point? Simply this: all ingredients are needed to make a story good and this article is a rally-cry in defence of a settings contribution to a novels success. So, I shall don an A-line black skirt, some hooker-heels, dye my hair black, and slap on the flaming red lipstick, then shout from the roof-tops LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! My inspiration for this article came from a recent interview opportunity I had with Maureen Lee, a fiction novel writer from Liverpool who in previous years has written sagas about families living in wartime Liverpool. A beautifully interesting woman, whose emphasis on location in her novels actually turned it into the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for the books, which, when one gets to thinking, is not atypical, and is evident in many, many famous books. Christ Church College is the most visited landmark in Oxford, due to the sheer use of location in the Harry Potter films. I would definitely give weight to the argument that cries this is down to the location of filming as opposed to location emphasis actually in the novel. However, in my view, Rowlings stories scream Oxford and nowhere else. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee has an inspirational plot, with heart-wrenching, emotive characters. Its emphasis, importance and relevance, however, is drawn from the political climate of its location the Deep South of America and the melting pot of racism facilitated by it. A lot of people can relate to, or imagine, this era, and immediately in their minds pictures are painted and images conjured up about what the story could be. The same applies to Maureen Lee, writing about a typical Liverpudlian family at the time of the war, in the grim-up-north terrain of Bootle; the readers mind is taken directly to the heart of the matter and the plot, which centres around its location. When you interview an author, knowing that their stories are set in a city you also hold dear, its impossible not to laugh and giggle about its quirky characteristics, as there is a common ground to work with and reference point to come from. Maureen Lees latest stories are set in contemporary times, with the heroines coming from both Liverpool and New York. Chatting about the bars they frequent and the streets they walk up and down was just so warming, welcoming and familiar. To talk about getting warm and fuzzy over a city is simply bizarre, and may have something to do with the craziness of northerners and their homingpigeon attitude; another article, for another time perhaps. The reason for getting overemotional about ones home is completely psychological. Because what makes us receptive to the location in a novel is what we know about the locality or place and what the social and cultural norms surrounding it are. For example, Maureen Lee knows that Liverpool in the war was grim (in the broadest sense of the word) because she grew up in it. You and I may know its grimness, because of what we understand of the industrial north and Liverpools impact as a port and trading city. We know what its cultural identity is through history books, and social descriptions of it abound throughout theatre, literature and education. Humble apologies if my argument stipulates that all novels must have a familiar location in order to succeed if that were the case, the

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whole genre of Science Fiction and Fantasy would have to be abolished. Location, and its relevance, is simply a place whereby the story brings the reader to a point of reference, be that Liverpool, Oxford, New York, or the Planet Zelda, and it may still draw the reader to a point of familiarity. The writers of Sci-Fi have a battle on their hands, in that their location has no current bearing for people, so location must be emphasised more in order to bring the readers referencing into focus. How many of us have ever been to a deserted island? Well, William Golding only needed to use the immortal words of deserted and island, to make us tingle at the thought of it and convince us that we were in for a thrilling time; therefore, centrally there would be suspense. How different the story would have been if the plane crashed in, say, Everton football ground at Stanley Park! I was intrigued to hear Maureen Lee comment on the enthusiasm of her publisher and their desire for a saga about Liverpool. We could speculate that, at the time, the marketplace was such that local stories were prevalent and in peoples mindsets. In addition, the publishers themselves were keen on local authors writing about the local areas: write what you know, warts and all. This is incredibly telling and strengthens my argument, because it ticks the box for evidence that location, no matter where, can be the branding of a book and appeal to all areas, all people, and all cultures. World Peace anyone? If only. I could not stake claim to the title of Northern Correspondent if I did not get in somewhere a reference to the ever-faithful derogatory jovial banter, concerning shandydrinking-southern-pansies versus themnorthern-nancies. Unfortunately, Maureen Lee failed to indulge my curiosity when I asked about her now living in the south and writing about the north with questions such as Do you know who reads your books? and Would you say there was a north/south literary divide? What can I say? I find humour in provocation. She agreed on the north/south divide, but more socially and in attitude people apologise far too much in the south; people call each other affectionate names like love and duck in the north. Imagine the scene: 6ft 3 builder boards the bus to Moss Side, Manchester, and the equally huge bus driver takes his fare and offers the nicety thanks, duck. I swear, I have heard

it! Maureen Lee was quick to emphasise that her followers reside the world over and no literary divide existed. Although mildly disappointing, it is reassuring to know, otherwise the marketing teams in publishing houses would be up the Thames (note the southern reference) without a paddle. Taking the reference a bit further, the Mintel Report of July 2005 into Where the British go on Holiday makes for some interesting reading, and highlights how important location actually is to us. When abroad, 40% of people are likely to visit museums, churches and old buildings, while 62 % take in a local delicacy. This is an anecdotal reference, but what it throws up in terms of peoples perceptions of the importance of location highlights location importance highlights the social aspect of that importance. People go on holiday because of the location, and while it may appear that we never purchase a book solely because of its setting, of course in reality we do because location is important to us, whether is be in a novel, or in our holidaying. Predominantly, most authors find solace in using a familiar location as the courtyard of their story, which gives them a window through which to view the plot and characters. As for why authors elect to write about their hometowns, Maureen Lee put it well when I posed the question: 'In one sentence, define what Liverpool means to you?' 'Well, it's home, isn't it.' No matter which way one turns, it is location, location and then some more location that defines and gives life to a story. Returning full circle to the cheesy wine analogy, it is the key fermenting ingredient in plot and character development, and the catalyst for its worth is found in the writing of the author. In fact, as with a bottle of wine, let's label all novels with their location, and distinguish bookstore sections not by fiction and nonfiction, but by their governing location - what fun! It would probably help actually - anyone been to Blackwell's in Oxford recently?

InPrint - March 2006

InPrint - March 2006

DATES FO R YOU R D IARY 2006 SYP EVENTS IN LONDON AND OXFORD THIS YEAR

LONDON
Wednesday 29 March 2006 L ondo n Speaker Meeting Behind t he Scenes Wednesday 26 April 2006 L ondo n Speaker Meeting A Debut Aut ho r' s Per specti ve Wednesday 31 May 2006 L ondo n Speaker Meeting Manga Wednesday 28 June 2006 L ondo n Speaker Meeting D ick and Jane Go to Wo rk: On Gender Ro les and Payro lls Evening Tuesday 4 July 2006 BTBS Walkies Wednesday 26 July 2006 L ondo n Speaker Meeting L iter ature i n Tr anslati on Wednesday 27 September 2006 L ondo n Speaker Meeting T he Fr eedom of F reelanc ing Wednesday 25 October 2006 L ondo n Speaker Meeting And the award go es to Saturday 11 November 2006 AN NUAL CA REERS CONF EREN CE L ON DON Wednesday 29 November 2006 L ondo n Speaker Meeting A Bestselli ng Autho r' s P erspec tive

OXFORD
Friday 17 March 2006 Oxfor d L iter ary Pub C rawl Wednesday 5 April 2006 Oxfor d Boo k C lub Wednesday 12 April 2006 Oxfor d Speaker M eeting Wednesday 10 May 2006 Oxfor d Speaker M eeting Wednesday 14 June 2006 Oxfor d Speaker M eeting Wednesday 12 July 2006 Oxfor d Speaker M eeting Wednesday 13 September 2006 Oxfor d Speaker M eeting Wednesday 11 October 2006 Oxfor d Speaker M eeting Wednesday 8 November 2006 Oxfor d Speaker M eeting

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InPrint - March 2006

ADS AND EVENTS


LO NDON S PE AKER MEE TI NG Wedne sday 29 Mar ch 2006 BEHI ND T HE SC ENES : GE TT ING BOOKS T O RE ADERS Marchs meeting will investigate the companies that keep the sales and distribution of books ticking over. Where are books and ISBNs stored, and how does the info get to the shops/web/library for the reader? To enlighten us, we will have a sales rep telling us about selling in, a distributor to inform us about storage and distribution, and a representative from Nielsen Bookdata to tell us what they do with those millions of ISBNs! We dnes day 2 9 M arch i n the Me eti ng Room, 3rd Fl oor, Foyl es Book shop, Cha ring Cross Road. 6. 30pm for 6.4 5pm wi ne provide d. 3 .50 f or non- me mbe rs, f ree f or SY P m em bers . J oin us a fte rw ards f or dri nks , 8 pm onwa rds in the Pit cher a nd P ia no, De an S tree t, Soho.

LO ND ON B OO K C L UB - M on day 13 M arc h 200 6 Join us to discuss Long Way Down by Nick Hornby in the basement caf of Waterstones, Piccadilly on Monday 13 March 2006 at 7pm.

OXFO RD BOO K C LUB Wedne sday 5 A pril 2006 The next book for discussion will be The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Everyone is welcome to attend what is a great opportunity to meet and socialise with fellow Book Club members, both those who work within publishing and those that do not. J oin us on We dnes day 5 Ap ril, at 6.30pm i n Border s b ook shop ca f , O xf or d.

O XFORD SP EAKE R ME ETI NG We dnes day 12 Apri l 2 006 J OU RNEY OF A P UBL ICA TI ON - WHAT I S P RODU CT I ON? When you pick up a publication in the bookstand, do you ever wonder how it gets produced? It takes time to get a manuscript ready for printing and many steps are involved. This meeting aims to give jobseekers a glimpse of what career opportunities there are in production, as well as give writers an idea of how long it takes to get published! Whether an author, editor, or marketer - or someone aspirant thereto - this meeting will offer you insight into just what makes books happen. T he spe ake r w ill be Ca rme l T il desl ey fr om T he I ma go Group. We dnes day 12 Apri l, 6:30pm dr inks a nd ni bbles , 7pm ta lk, Gal ler y Room, Oxf ord

OXFORD SY P LIT ERARY P U B CRA WL Frida y 1 7 Ma rch 2 006


Help us celebrate Oxfords rich literary history in the very place that inspired many of the citys greatest authors the pub! Oxfords dreaming spires are steeped in literary tradition. A bewildering array of authors from Wilde to Waugh, Shelley to Self, and Lewis to Larkin, have stumbled between the citys latenight haunts in search of inspiration. The SYP intends to spend an evening following in their meandering footsteps and upholding the fine traditions established by these giants of British literature, and it also happens to be St. Patricks Day so theres no excuse! Join us on Frid ay 17 March for an ev enin g of carousin g, com plet e w ith a QUIZ an d P RIZE S ! A ll mem bers and non mem bers w elc om e. 7p m f or 7.3 0p m, st artin g at Far from t he Madd ing C ro wd , 10- 12 Friars En t ry . L ook ou t f or furt her det ails at w w w .th esyp .org.u k . Rebecca Strong Gurdeep Mattu Mia Kilroy Tori Hunt Claire Shanahan Louise Rhind-Tutt Toby Rhind-Tutt

Editorial Board

SYP

Society of Young
Est. 1949

Publishers

Society of Young Publishers


c/o The Bookseller Endeavour House 189 Shaftesbury Avenue London WC2H 8TJ E-mail : mail@thesyp.org.uk Website: www.thesyp.org.uk

Issue 114

Printed by: Abbey Green, Old Woking, Surrey

Editor Rebecca Strong Production Ma na ger Gurdeep Mattu Co ntribut ors


Alexis Clements Glencora Bailey Jason Mitchell Lucie Barnes Tom Chalmers

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Disclaimer: The Society of Young Publishers would like readers to note that any views expressed herein do not represent the opinions of the society as a whole and only reflect the opinions of the individuals who have submitted material.