Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Feeling picky today, and as nothing’s off-limits I’ll go for the websites of small independent publishers. It’s nice to see The Celestial Omnibus, a little-known collection of stories by E. M. Forster, published by Snowbooks, but to categorise it as ‘Crafts’ is barmy and the sales blurb (‘Great for gift’) has been written by the person who translates manuals for cheap washing machines from the Japanese. Have they actually read the book? There’s a video on the site showing you how to create ‘a 20 page, 60 title catalogue in under a minute’, so you’d think they’d have time to. The same writer turns up on the website of Social Disease: ‘Established as an antidote to publishers who slavishly pander to so-called market forces and therefore rejecting great books as a corollary, Social Disease began as a monthly Literary Mini-zine publishing incredible short stories.’ This can only mean that it's the deliberate policy of Social Disease to reject great books. Which may be true, but it’s not the only thing odd about that sentence. Both the above publishers have received Arts Council funding.