Sunday, 14 March 2010

Still life with books

CBe needs a new website. Not because I don’t like the one we have, and not just because I get restless for distraction activity, but because there needs to be more information about each of the books, and excerpts you can download, and . . . Not too much, but a bit more. (Because I need, and the authors need, to sell more books. Sales in the current financial year are more than double last year’s figures; but that’s no more than saying 5 is more than 2 x 2, and it ain’t enough.)

I’ve been talking to web folk. Most want to dress me in a business suit, which doesn’t feel comfortable. So what I think I have to do, in my humdrum megalomaniac way, is work out exactly what I want and then find someone friendly, cheap and with know-how.

I hate stock photos. And books are not, in general, photogenic, unless they’re old and scruffy; new books tend to look like product; until they’re well thumbed and have coffee stains on them, they’re not properly worn in. A photograph like the one above does a job, but really it’s just a filler. So I’ve been talking with Martina Geccelli, who photographs books in the way Morandi painted jugs. And then thinking, how about, on this hypothetical new site, a gallery page? Showing photography, drawings, other visual work; which would change its content every few months, like an exhibition programme; and would be related to books, strongly or tenuously (and the artists would pay for their work to be displayed, or a commission on sales: but this bit’s in brackets, or the small print). It’s publishing, a continuation of. Comments welcome.

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