Oh look, a new Swift . . .

Eoin Purcell

Seen in passing
A new old book

But I really wanted to talk about two things
The first is this, the wonderful new editions of Alexander Dumas that harper Perennial have out. They are damn pretty and my pictures don’t do them justice so please go check them out*:
A Trio of Tomes
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Last Cavalier
The Three Musketeers

Two things strike me about them:
1) They take the current obsession with all things “Boy’s Own” and “Commando” and spin it on in a nicely sophisticated way, to rather special results.

2) The internals are beautifully clean and crisp, so much so that I’m pretty sure they spent some time considering how best to reset the texts. This is rare in new editions of popular classics and something I really like and admire. Go Them.

The other thing is Quercus
Reading The Bookseller article on their ambition I was struck squarely by two things (2 being the number of the day!), the first the enormous scope of their ambition:

“Management believe that we now have in place the strategy, the organisational structure and the publishing programmes to take the business to £20m over the next three years.”

That has to be admired.

The second thing was how unlike The Friday Project this operation is. I don’t mean that in a harsh critical way, more as an observation of what The Friday Project was and what Quercus is. Whereas in essence The Friday Project tried to parley its web based author base into a trade publishing environment with some success, Quercus is dominated by unabashedly commercial trade publishing and a twin track contract publishing business.

Now those who read this blog will remember that I have respect and admiration for what The Friday Project tried to do. Quercus is well funded, steady and building scale rapidly. Its books, especially in the non-fiction arena, are the kind of books that tend to be stacked high at discounts come Christmas and sell in large numbers.

Perhaps we all might learn something form watching their operations.

* The 342 offer was on in hughes & hughes airport stores!

The Big O in the USA

Declan Burke’s rather enjoyable book The Big O was recently acquired by Harcourt for publication in the US.

Declan has posted that its due out there on 22nd September. And that he will be going a nice little book tour:

In other news, the Grand Viz (right) would have it known that he will be callously abandoning his infant daughter Lilyput and the radiant Mrs Viz to attend the Bouchercon in Baltimore, and is planning to travel around the northeast for a week or so afterwards, for the most part in the company of the ever-lovely Kelli Stanley, doing readings and sundry other events designed to keep Princess Lilyput in the style of diaper to which she is accustomed. A number of venues have been good enough to confirm that they will be widening their doors to accommodate the Grand Vizier’s monstrous ego, but any and all suggestions as to interesting venues specialising in crime and mystery fiction would be gratefully accepted. We thank you for your cooperation. Peace, out.

Well good for him!

Google Docs Offline (with gears)

I’m trying to figure out how I missed this for 3 weeks
I’ll blame it on my obsession with this. In any case this is a killer feature for me:

As long as I have an Internet connection, every change I make is saved to the cloud. When I lose my connection, I sacrifice some features, but I can still access my documents (for this initial release, you can view and edit word processing documents; right now we don’t support offline access to presentations or spreadsheets – see our help center for details). Everything I need is saved locally. And I do everything through my web browser, even when I’m offline (the goodness that Google Gears provides). When my connection comes back, my documents sync up again with the server.

It’s all pretty seamless: I don’t have to remember to save my documents locally before packing my laptop for a trip. I don’t have to remember to save my changes as soon as I get back online. And I don’t have to switch applications based on network connectivity. With the extra peace of mind, I can more fully rely on this tool for my important documents.

Or at least I think it is. Google, being Google, have a nice little video to back the launch up too:

All fired up about The Apprentce but gutted that Claire is still in it

You could do worse

If you are into books, than read Personanondata
But if you don’t read it now, start with these two guest post from Mike “Beware the end of Trade Publishing” Shatskin*. Read them, Here and Here.

But why read stuff like this you ask?
Basically because our industry is more global than we often realize day to day. For instance, Penguin, Hachette and Random House all now have offices in Ireland. That means a French, a British and a German conglomerate operate units in our territory not to mention the other German influence through Gill & Macmillan.

It’s vital to know exactly what their other units and worldwide operations are doing and thinking in order to do my job properly**. I imagine it would help author’s too to stay abreast, but certainly for publishers, these trend and opinion pieces are important.

Watching too much number crunching,

* Links a bit funny but should work sometime.
** Alternatively I’m just a nerd, but I prefer the alternative explanation.

Authonomy not far away

Eoin Purcell

You read it in the comments here first (Here)
And now a blog post on Authonomy’s Development blog confirms it, we are close to a private beta launch:

The blog’s new and impressively yellow rebrand heralds the imminent arrival of authonomy’s private beta launch. While we’ve still a little way to go on the full development (there’s plenty of bells and whistles to be added), a site like authonomy is really nothing without its community. And on that basis, we’ll soon be delighted to invite the first few hundred names on our email list to set up residence, behind closed doors, in the very first incarnation of the site.

Let the fun begin!