Friday, 11 November 2011

Posh-Publishing Embraces Self-Publishing

Faber and Faber, poshest of the posh old guard publishers, (T.S. Eliot, Peter Carey, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Sylvia Plath - you get the picture), run a thing called The Faber Academy - - and are launching a three-day course on self-publishing in February 2012 entitled "Bring Your Book to Market". The tutors are Ben Johncock and Catherine Ryan Howard .

I met Mr Johncock, who runs a thing called The Twitter Consultancy, in a BBC radio studio in Oxford a year or two ago. I was still somewhat in a funk about social media at the time, but already uneasily aware that the things this extraordinarily bouncy young man was talking about were probably the future and sooner or later I was going to have to get my head round them. (The programme was being mediated by the fabulous Sue Cook - - who was also proselytising on the joys of social media, making me even more aware that I might be cowering a little further from the cutting edge than was wise).

Catherine Ryan Howard I have not met, but she is a successful self published author and comes across on her website/blog etc as being very jolly, truthful, self-aware and endearing.

Not only are Faber and Faber an extremely bright bunch of people, (their editors re-wrote "Lord of the Flies" for William Golding for heaven's sake), they are also not afraid of things cutting edge - a point proven by their recent adoption of Jarvis Cocker as Editor-at-Large, which followed a similar appointment for Peter Townshend some time ago, when the old boy was still pretty cutting edge himself. If they are embracing the idea of self-publishing and the need for us to learn how to use social media properly, then I think we can safely assume that there is now no going back.

I find this is all enormously encouraging having just launched an ebook of my own, "The Fabulous Dreams of Maggie de Beer", ( and opened a Twitter account.

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