Here are a few bits and pieces that have accumulated during the week.
For those who are interested in reading more about what the Archbishop of Canterbury had to say, Dylan Kinnett has a longish comment on his No Categories blog. Yes, I probably was a bit quick to criticise, as Dylan says, but I do think the Archbishop has enough to deal with without antagonising the media as well.
Cathy Wald, author of The Resilient Writer, was interviewed on the Leonard Lopate (radio) Show on 17 June. You can, if you wish, download an MP3 recording of this conversation, which included the novelist Edmund White.
The recording runs for about 16 minutes. If you have broadband this should be no problem, but at 6.3 MB it will take a while to download on steam radio so to speak. The conversation will tell you nothing startlingly new, but it is, I believe, what is known as a podcast, so you will be able to boast to your friends about being at the absolute cutting edge of technology. Or some such.
For those who care, and I hope I am not being too ungracious when I say that I am not one of them, there was a further instalment this week of the Aultbea publishing saga, about which I have already written twice, on 7 February and 18 February. When I say another instalment, what I mean is that the firm have issued another press release, which has been reprinted without any serious questioning by another newspaper, this time the Independent.
I repeat -- if Aultbea and their young authors can make any serious money or build a reputation out of all this, then good luck to them. But the newspaper stories about Aultbea and their various young authors are quite remarkable for a complete absence of verifiable facts. This latest one refers (again) to 'overseas print runs' (whatever they are) and translation deals (which languages, and which firms? No one says.). Dragon Tamers is referred to, on the basis of no information whatever, as an 'international bestseller'. What does that mean? Amazon sold three copies in the Isle of Man?
'Talks on a Hollywood film are in the pipeline,' we are told. But have they even sold an option? To whom? Or are these 'talks' just the publisher chatting to his wife about it over breakfast?
This is the second time that the Independent's Scottish correspondent, Paul Kelbie, has dealt with this matter, and he hasn't added any more facts than he had the first time.
Oh, I beg Kelbie's pardon. First time around, 18 February, Kelbie quoted the publisher as being confident that 'more than one million copies of the book will be sold worldwide before the end of the year.' Now, 21 June, the publisher is predicting that 'by the end of the year the number of copies sold will be well into six figures.'
I remain sceptical. And I am not the only one. See what the Alien Online has to say about it (both on 21 June, and in his February post, which he links to).
Now if you want to read an article which actually contains some useful information, nip over to the (US) Book Standard and read what the publisher Doug Seibold has to say about trade paperbacks. If you were exceptionally fussy you might say that the article is just a tad short on hard numbers. But hey -- let us not complain about finding, at last, a piece of writing which, if printed out, you could do more with than just wipe your bum.