March 2009


Scott Pack’s blog put me onto an excellent BBC2 Money Programme special investigation into the Media Revolution, with programmes on TV, Newspapers, and, of course, Publishing.  You can download or stream it from BBC iPlayer here until next week; I’d definitely recommend watching it.  It provides a very useful and informative insight into the current state of publishing in an easily accessible way, but doesn’t shy from asking some of the more interesting questions:  the impact of the collapse of the Net Book Agreement and the subsequent discounting price wars; how books get onto the promotional tables in big booksellers; the impact of Richard and Judy’s bookclub; the rise of the celebrity biography; the problems facing independent bookshops and publishers, and more.  Plus you get fascinating (or at least, I think so!) glimpses into Amazon’s distribution warehouse, with awe-inspiring conveyor belts of books hurtling past; and into the fast-paced negotiations at Frankfurt Book Fair.  Defininitely a must-watch for anyone with the slightest interest in books or publishing!

Today I found a really excellent article giving a thorough and thought-provoking overview of the state of the publishing industry today, from the credit crunch, deep discounting and returns to digital publishing and e-books, with lots of other stuff in between.  I highly recommend it, it’s very informative and well written.

Colin Robinson writing at the London Review of Books

A really special thing happened to me this morning.  I went to check the post, not expecting anything exciting, and, completely unexpectedly, a parcel was waiting for me!

The sender address was German, and whilst one of my best friends is German, this wasn’t his address.

So, very puzzled and excited, I opened up the parcel to find, with no accompanying note, these:

Bowls 1

Bowls 1

Bowls 2

Bowls 2

Bowls 3

Bowls 3

Bowls 4

Bowls 4

Bowls 5

Bowls 5

Beautiful porcelain bowls, personalised with two of my favourite words, made by the German ceramicist Angela Johe.

So I was absolutely amazed and delighted, and of course straight away I realised that this was indeed my belated Christmas present from that best friend, who is, in fact, the same person who designed and photographed the image I previously had as my banner.  Well worth the wait, I think – a really special, beautiful and personal present, so thank you very much!