Heard the other week my book ‘Barbarian’ has beenshort-listed for the Yeovil literary prize. It’s one of 13 out of about a thousand entries. I was really quite chuffed about that. I can’t see it winning though. I’ve been trying to get it published for more than a year and several literary agents have seen it but not taken it on. I suppose I could suggest it’s pearls before swine but I suspect it isn’t that. The book industry seems to be a contracting world and people working in it are understandably cautious.
Much is written about the popularity of e-books and how they will take over from hard-copies from book shops, but I don’t believe it. I have a feeling that the lack of variety on book-shop shelves is thrusting a lot of readers towards Kindle and the e-market in general. Big publishers like their 'A' list authors who have a regular following and that seems to earn them enough money to stay afloat. Why would they invest in unknown authors who might not get them big enough sales to make the marketing process cost-effective? Maybe Kindle is so popular because of the variety therefore. My own view is, there is nothing as readable as a paper book held in one’s hand to thumb through and insert a bookmark into.
But the point? Point is, that I really don’t think bookshops will die out. There is already a way of choosing a book and having it printed in-store, so you can see the e-book of your dreams being made. Sounds like Sci-fi but it isn’t. I can predict that Kindle will always be with us but that the strength of the solid, paper book will return. Human beings have had books to look at since before Roman times – I can’t see it changing in the distant future. Like all dinosaurs, I still like to browse in my favourite patch I suppose.
You can catch the first part of the book Barbarian free on this site. If you think it’s rubbish, please let me know, but you’ll be arguingwith the judges at Yeovil if you do!