Friday, 24 June 2011

JK Rowling, Pottermore and The Daily Telegraph

I thought that today I would share with you the conversation I had with JK Rowling and Pottermore concerning The Daily Telegraph’s* wrong-headed assertion that she was about to undermine the ability of publishers to fund new authors (which is done through advances enabled by the profits they make from established to-level authors such as JK).

OnundTreefoot Alan Gilliland
@jk_rowling @pottermore All pottermore profits going to foundation to support new writing as JK repays support she received in starting out?

OnundTreefoot Alan Gilliland
@jk_rowling @pottermore I am said struggling author in need of pottermore funding. 1st book sold 7,000 hb - nonsense story – Curd the Lion

OnundTreefoot Alan Gilliland
@jk_rowling @pottermore Can you tell me when I can expect 1st advance from generous fund set up to aid new authors?

OnundTreefoot Alan Gilliland
@jk_rowling @pottermore 2nd book gothic ghost tale The Flight of Birds sold 1,300 so far. Urgently need funding to reach next level.

OnundTreefoot Alan Gilliland
@jk_rowling @pottermore Bid in now as know how quickly pot-fund will grow to all-consuming monster denying publs ability to fund new authors

OnundTreefoot Alan Gilliland
@jk_rowling @pottermore We future recipients of your generosity salute you, JK. You can contact me via my blog ‘Pencilnotes’ or send cheque

OnundTreefoot Alan Gilliland
@jk_rowling @pottermore I wanted to add just how wrong The Telegraph article is in saying you are about to undermine future of new writers

As our correspondence shows, JK does not deny the correctness of my assumption that she is setting up Pottermore for the greater good of the community of writers who are struggling for recognition as she once did. We know that JK, far from being, as described by the Telegraph, like Voldemort, has the heart of Harry Potter, the looks of Hermione and the magical ability to transform the lives of aforementioned deserving authors. Will she use it for evil selfish ends as the the Telegraph claims or to save, like Harry, her fellow-writers from the Slush-monster?
Tune in for newsflashes on the burning issue of the day: books.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Father’s Day special.

(In response to the good wishes of my boys of assorted size and girl of a particular nature)
Thank you. Book signings going well.

Met an agent at my book signing yesterday in Woking. “I’m a Literary Agent,” she chirped, smiling at her little boy, “I’m the wrong audience.” [This before looking at either of my books.]
Really, the very idea of talking books with an agent!
[She promptly went off and bought a ‘Man Tin’ for Father’s Day, simultaneously demonstrating her own sophistication and a justification for the implementation of that product diversification in Waterstone’s book stores so beloved by literary types.]
However, I did sell 43 to non-agents who were open to new authors. Previous two Saturdays sold 49 and 47.
£1,765 worth of books of which £750 to me or £250 per day. Not bad, some may feel, for a lowly self-published amateur’s Saturday job?
[Thinks: I wonder how much that agent’s carefully selected but not A-list authors make at signings. Loads more, of course!]

As a special treat for Father’s Day Pauline (my wife) is letting me cook dinner for five: Ben & Charlie (eldest son and spouse) are joining young Jack (youngest son) for a pork & prawn Nam Prik type dish with Thai flat noodles with spiring onions and cucumber, together with an Indian mango curry and Kropoe (prawn crackers). For dessert we are having simply fresh strawberries and lashings of cream.

All is not as it seems: Pauline has a rare and steaming cold and bruised feet after she and Emily (my daughter of not-yet-Vintage-Pixie-fame) organised a very successful vintage clothing and craft fair at Shalford near Guildford yesterday at which Charlie’s Jumbly Crumbly Kitchen was a cakey-sellout. Despite the torrential showers all went well with a large turnout and tasty profits all round, repaying the three days they (P.E.C.) spent trudging the area dropping leaflets through 2,500 doors.