Thursday, June 07, 2007

Bestseller, The Good Reading Magazine

Also in today's blog
"Glaring glitches" in crime novels?

As I mentioned yesterday, the other book magazine, of which I unearthed six copies, was Bestseller, The Good Reading Magazine, price £1.95. Publisher Nick Snow. Editor Peter Grose. Published by 21st Century Publishing Ltd of 531-533 King's Road, London SW10.

The Letter From the Editor in the June 1992 issue [Over 250 Books Previewed, we're told on the cover] begins –

"Until today, you've been part of a neglected majority. More than half the women of Britain, and almost half the men, have read a book in the last week. Yet until today you've had no easy way of keeping up with the latest books. There are magazines for satellite television watchers, opera buffs, gardeners and people who like to knit. Now Bestseller has arrived for half the population – including you – who like to read books."

On the cover of the launch issue is a still brown-haired Jilly Cooper and topping the Features listed is an article "Jilly Cooper on Rider's rude bits…a television mini-series is looming, based on Jilly Cooper's sex-in-the-saddle blockbuster Riders. But the script riders have been forced to avoid some of the raunchier bits. Jilly reveals all to Roz Owen."

The third item on the list asks "Do you have £1,000 in your attic?…we investigate the world of first editions and help you to find out if your ancient Girls Annual is worth anything."

However the article which interested me was by Bestseller's editor, Peter Grose, headed "Who gets my tenner?" It was an explanation of who gets the largest cut from the price of a book and, not surprisingly, they were Bookseller, Publisher, Printer, Author in that order.

Curious to know how long Bestseller survived and what Peter Grose is doing now, I tracked him to the Orion website where I found that he has a book coming out later this year called A Very Rude Awakening : The night the Japanese midget subs came to Sydney Harbour.

He is described as a former publisher at Secker & Warburg, founder of Curtis Brown Australia and former chairman of ACP (UK).

Orion's publicity department has not yet responded to my request to be put in touch with him.

"Glaring glitches" in crime novels?

I was delighted to read in his comment yesterday that Adrian Weston thinks "Ann Bridge's Peking Picnic is a novel directly comparable with books like A Passage to India - well worth serious consideration. Some of her later books tapered off but her first handful were outstanding."

I would rate Peking Picnic more highly than E M Forster's A Passage to India, but it's several decades since I read the latter. Must re-read.

At his Books That Matter site, Adrian writes – "It also made me reflect upon the places where I most often encounter really bad typos, sloppy editing, inconsistencies, etc .... yes, crime novels. Am I imagining this or is there a lower standard of desk editing in that sector of the industry? Surely the sort of audience that is poring over hints, clues and innuendo is going to be enraged by glaring glitches? Or am I unusual. I don't think so."

Is he right, or is sloppy editing the norm now? The website of a leading literary agent has "due to" instead of "owing to" on her submissions page, but probably no one under 60 would notice it.


At 07 June, 2007, Blogger Richard Havers said...

Bad editing the norm? I'm certain that money is being saved in this important area.

I've had several interesting experiences with editors. On a non-fiction book I was co-writing a few years back I was reading through an early proof when I cam across an incorrect fact, reading on I found several more. At first I thought, did I make a mistake? On checking my manuscript I found I had it correctly put in the original. When I tackled the editor he said. "Oh I read that something different had happened from what you had written and assumed what I had read was correct and you were wrong."

Two things. He didn't run those 'corrections' by me and my source was the diary of someone who was at the events that I was describing - and it was his book that we were collaborating on.

At 08 June, 2007, Anonymous Treva said...

Well Anne, I must admit I have never read any books by Ann Bridge, but since you last mentioned her several months ago I have been actively searching for her books locally. To no avail - where have they gone? They use to bob up in secondhand book shops & libraries, but recently seem to have disappeared. So after your comments yesterday, I bought a parcel of eight of them from the internet. I am looking forward to their arrival, as I have read so many disappointing books lately, that I am grateful to find older authors I may have missed in years past.

At 11 June, 2007, Blogger Adrian Weston said...

I was thinking about your comment Ann and I think Peking Picnic is probably a more successful novel than A Passage to India, because it has slightly less ambition (I don't mean that negatively). A Passage to India is a deeply flawed book, that fails/falls on several key points - but is also an enduring one. The points of similarity are quite simple - both Forster and Ann Bridge cast a central western woman in a role of quiet visionary, exemplifying the Forsterian mantra of 'only connect'. I think it is interesting in that I would hazard (and I have not read either book inside of a decade so I might be misremembering) that both have broadly humanist agendas. Also thinking back, I suspect I'd more readily re-read Bridge now than Forster....

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