Friday, 13 December 2013

Two blue burger vans

There’s a symmetry here: the first van (run by two women) is along the road from the printer in Acton, west London; the second (run by two men) is along the road from Central Books, the distributor, in Hackney Wick, east London. I sampled both today. From west to east, if I’m taking no more than two boxes of books – which slot into the blue case in the second photo – I go by Overground rail.

One of the reasons that CBe has kept going for six years is my stubborn, quite possibly childish insistence on doing myself everything that I can do, including the trekking of boxes – which may not be the most efficient way of doing things, and is also one of the reasons why I’m tiring, and need to step back and have a think about this.

Meanwhile, a rather boring update on the blog post dated 25 November, about permissions. (Which had three times as many viewings as any other post on the blog, which itself is depressing: it suggests that the only surefire way to get attention is to be shouty and aggressive). Faber have confirmed they’ll make corrections in any reprint, and have paid the invoice, so back to sweetness and light. Bath Festivals: two weeks after my email to them, which I posted here, their Chief Executive replied to say that I had given a ‘misleading picture’; that their staff salaries have reduced ‘in real terms, as we have not been able to pay cost of living increases for most of the last five years’; and that ‘The reason we are not paying fees on this poetry reading project is that it is a free event so we make no money from it at all’. To which I replied that I still believe that arts organisations in receipt of large amounts of public funding, and with a large budget for admin staff costs, should not be asking writers, artists, performers, publishers, to ‘waive any fees usually applicable’; and mentioned a recent poetry festival that offered a dozen events free to the public but did not see this as a valid reason for not paying the writers involved; and said that although I’d like the material in question to be included in their project I can’t agree to this if Bath Festivals is unwilling to offer an appropriate fee. And there, I assume, the story ends.

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