Thursday, September 13, 2007

Books for APEC leaders

It seems sometimes only a book will do. The lost business caused by the recent APEC meeting clearly made quite a few of Sydney's CBD booksellers grumpy, but ironically the APEC leaders seemed intent on promoting books. Kevin Rudd gave George W Bush a copy of David Day's John Curtin: A Life, while Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made Kinokuniya's day by buying up most of their nonfiction section including, encouragingly, Helen Caldicott's Nuclear Power is not the Answer. After their hilarious celebrity catalogue, no doubt the entreprenuerial Steve Jones and his team are even now working on a 'recommend reads for APEC leaders' catalogue for next year's meeting, to be held in Darkest Peru.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Controversy proves a hit

Due to international publicity surrounding a certain Sydney book distributor in August, I hear hits to their website jumped from 1,000 to 11,000 in just a few days. The inundation of public interest - which flowed on to their publisher clients' websites as well - overwhelmed their servers, forcing them to spend extra money on upgrading their site. As far as I know, there are no plans to recoup the unforeseen costs by invoicing a certain national bookselling chain ...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Anyone for tennis?

David Cohen has a special attachment to ISBN 978-1-876044-55-8. After processing many thousands of ISBN numbers as a worker in the ISBN Agency, Cohen was recently finally able to allocate one to a book of his own - a comic novel entitled Fear of Tennis (Black Pepper). Rarely have 13 digits held such fascination, I'm sure. The novel, launched at Readings Carlton last month, examines that particularly Australian phenomennon: the impossibility of avoiding sport. I should have known it was only a matter of time before the ISBN Agency decided to cut out the middle man and produce books itself.