Alison Woodford

  • 195

I wanted to write because I've spend a much of my life dreaming and my fantasies are a significant part of who I am.  They're fundamental, right at the core of my personality and it seemed a shame that I might one day become dust and no one would know who I really was.  Simply writing was outrageous fun and I felt alive, as if I was indulging my wickedness, not in real life of course, but on some level in between the hedonistic anarchy I ached to experience and the social responsibility we all need to be nailed to the floor by.

For years I've been inventing little scenes and challenges and I even posted some once on a couple of websites but they were never intended to be commercial.  I enjoyed that so much I didn't care.  Lately however I've measured myself against the others I read there and I'm suffering from a nagging doubt that I might be a worthy writer, and so begins a new adventure.  

My heart's pounding, there's a lump in my throat and I feel nervous, apprehensive and thrilled by the sport in having a go at some sort of real literary achievement.  I have no idea where I'm going, how far I'm going to get or any idea of my place in the universe of writing but I'm intrigued to see what happens.

To fear the unknown is to be frightened of nothing!

My Forums
  •  ·  98
  •  · 
I'm going to do it.  I hadn't really thought about it seriously but this Jericho vibe of community a…
  •  · 
  •  · 
  •  · I think this is vital rather than just helpful!  I wrote these stories as a sort of test piece to ex…
  •  ·  197
  •  · 
I love Townhouse.  Sometimes I log on and pick forums at random and read comments for hours.  Are we…
  •  · 
  •  · 
  •  · Hello Danny,I don't seek particular books.  I browse car boot sales and charity shops and take a pun…
  •  ·  152
  •  · 
In the guidelines on correct and proper behaviour here it says "It is a safe space open to ALL write…
  •  · 
  •  · 
  •  · I think Ieuan might be fishing for approval here!  Goodness knows what for.  I've asked him.
  •  ·  116
  •  · 
"Oh you're writing a novel?" they ask, then "What genre is it?"  Blimey, I don't know!  What do you …
  •  · 
  •  · 
  •  · Children?  No not really, I think we all have to be adults for any of the implications to make sense…

I'm going to do it.  I hadn't really thought about it seriously but this Jericho vibe of community achievement is encouraging me so badly I can't resist! I have a trilogy of three short stories which I have no real excuse not to throw into the bear pit.  It's only 36,000 words, a thin book, but not thin enough to prevent me trying it.  

We have a new agent here in East Anglia, so close it's shot another of my excuses out of the water. I'm unavoidably local.  I can email my first three chapters and a letter introducing myself but I also need to write a synopsis.  There's a link on Laxfield Literary Associates website to a Writer & Artists article which tells me a synopsis should be one A4 page but also insists I must include the whole plot.  All of it?  My plot depends on an intricate web of detail and the closest I can get is two A4 pages.  I've attached it if anyone fancies a look.  

So, Mr or Mrs Published Author, what did yours look like?  

I've never done anything like this before and had originally intended to finish my major project first before I considered what to do about publishing.  However, I'm just aching to see what happens if I go playing with the idea.  

I love Townhouse.  Sometimes I log on and pick forums at random and read comments for hours.  Are we all in it together or what?  Recently I read "Savaged by a bear" about how brutal honesty stings.  Reported in a more recent post on rejection one of our number, confident that her investment in creative writing would help, was told by her agent to "hone" her writing!  

I've taken a vow of poverty.  What this means is I have no real income and scratch a living recycling things to give me time to write.  I've said elsewhere that creative writing courses and professional editors, in fact professional anything, are luxuries denied to me.  Therefore I've adopted the attitude, deluded in my blissful naivety, that "creative" writing actually isn't.  It's counter creative and the professional opinions of those we seem to need to impress to qualify for the title of Writer, are simply that, opinions.  They differ so widely they have no real credibility at all.

All I can do is cling on to the belief that the universe will reward some mysterious, incalculable blessing of talent, should I be so blessed, and as long as I keep writing, whatever I'm doing it for will find me.  I'm not nuts, you'd be astonished how many times I've let go of the struggle to achieve and been amazed as it all slipped into place before me.  

Are we writing the same things over and over again?  Are we writing drops in an ocean of the established and familiar?  I wonder if creative writing and the rules and techniques of doing it as it's always been done might make us all level, unremarkable and indistinguishable?  How would the agents and publishers we depend on chose which one of us to try if we're all so similar to those they've tried before.  

Do some of us want to be writers, take a punt on a course or two to find out how then look for something to write?  I didn't.  I scribbled down my rampant thoughts on scraps of paper in moments stolen during my working day because I had to, desperate to record them before they dissipated in the ether.  I lost most of them in the washing machine.  I'm an ill disciplined shambles, a frantic and confused mess.  I'm raw, unbridled and at present sadly unpublishable.  Sadly?  Perhaps not.  

Since I've been on Townhouse I've learnt that I need to conform (Thanks Rick!).  The sheer weight of sound advice has crushed some sense into me and I know I have to behave, but there's art in rebellion.  It's fun!  I'm hoping that might be creative enough.

What on earth is she on about?  Attached is a scary little, naughty Alison horror story.  Don't read it!

I read Holly's notification about 10% discount on editorial services and clicked on the link to find out more.  I have two novels so far so I punched 140,000 words (each) in the box to find out an exact price for manuscript assessment.  £1,000, each!

I'm poor.  I don't mean I'm down to my last million, I mean I have no money, at all.  Editors, agents, professional artwork or generating my own website ain't gonna happen any time soon.

At present it doesn't matter because I need to finish the third novel in the series and I'm not going anywhere until I have, not even to work, because I haven't the time.

Later, when the time comes, somewhere, somehow a door will open and if it's for the greater good, the universe will guide me through it.  I so enjoy delusion!

It looked like near full moon last night, all Samhain and spooky. I went out in the dark alone to feel the spirits stalk me!

My resolve to write has armoured my tender heart against the merciless lash of criticism.  I'm thankful for it because I feel I've been put in my place, deservedly so. I feel humbled.  I feel like I'm kneeling before my peers, gazing up through my fallen hair, all soft pleading eyes as I beg them to understand I'm grateful.  I'm not sorry I put up a fight, irrepressible brat that I am!

"Crikey Alison!  What ever's happened?"  Nothing, it's all good.  Just kidding!

I now have a corrected version of the piece I offered for appraisal which is I hope different but not different in that the feel of it, that which is me, is more not less apparent.

I'm thinking it might be fun to edit the wisdom of my learned friends into the piece itself so anyone who cares could read the process.  I've only recently discovered common sense and it's all a wonder to me.  Would anyone like to read that?

Thank you everyone who read my little test piece.  I feel a lot less anxious now.  I’m particularly grateful for the introduction to psychic distance.  At first I thought it might be something I’d need to light up the incense and meditate to achieve but I see it’s a nightmare of conflicting requirements.

I read the The Itch of Writing article, particularly the telling or showing part.  I think I’m definitely a teller rather than a shower!  As far as I can see showing is bogging the story down in a swamp of inconsequential details.  I’ve put books down instantly rather than be bothered with too much of that.  OK, I can see how writing from the character’s point of view is necessary but I do that by visualising what’s happening.  I often find myself excited by the the action, as in breathing harder and noticing my hands trembling as I type, even if I’m typing telling.  

Maybe be the trick is to allow readers to please themselves?  I don’t bother with what anyone looks like for example.  I think “Fancy whoever you like!”  Evoking isn’t giving your reader an imagination, it’s inspiring the one they have to work.

Now I’m going to re-read everything I’ve written with psychic distancing in mind and think about how adjusting it would improve me.  At the moment I’m wondering if pouncing on most I+verb uses as a failure might be missing the point. As it says in the article, it’s not that simple.

I walk to the car, I open the door, I sit in the seat then I think.  I’m only half dressed, I’m still going to drive, because that’s a part of the kink!

In the guidelines on correct and proper behaviour here it says "It is a safe space open to ALL writers, no matter where you are from, how many words you have written before, or what genre you are choosing to write in."  Then in the "read this first" terns and conditions it says thou shalt not post anything offensive and less well defined, appropriate.  

The thing is, much of my content is a little bit spicy and autobiographical to some extent in that my reason for writing in the first place is self expression.  In the past I've been guilty of sacrificing literary competence for the sake of packing in the content but these days, driven by the realisation that less is more when it comes to mature writing, that won't do.  

I joined this site because you are a wealth of knowledge and experience, I feel humbled in your presence and inclined to respect your opinions absolutely.  I feel you reflect the market, that is you are something of an overview of writing in general.  I'll admit here that I'm worried I have no place in the world of writing outside the little bubble that is my kinky hard drive!  What should I do?

I'm sure you all know how it is to offer yourself to agents, publishers and even your contemporaries on sites like this and face that terrible moment of withering self consciousness before you hit "submit".  That's terrifying for me because I'm still wondering if I should be doing this at all.  I let my dad read my first novel and he said "Please don't be offended but............"  "You didn't let Mum read it did you?" I asked.  I can't go home for a while now!   

Really, it isn't that bad.  It's not erotic in the accepted sense at all and someone looking for gratification that way would find me sadly lacking I'm sure.  The trouble is I need to learn to write in order to achieve readability, because the emotion involved means nothing if I can't express it.

Dare I slip a little sample in a private message or two?  

Alison Woodford
 changed a profile cover 
Alison Woodford
 changed a profile picture 

"Oh you're writing a novel?" they ask, then "What genre is it?"  Blimey, I don't know!  What do you reckon?  In a nutshell...............

Ben and Jake are mates, so are their partners Polly and Kate.  It's Saturday night in the pub before going on to a party and Jake complains to Ben that their youth is ebbing away and his relationship with his wife doesn't quite sparkle like it used to.  The women are seated elsewhere, that's what happens these days.  Ben tries to say the right thing but if someone's determined to be miserable there's not a lot you can do.

Kate's planned ahead and after a couple of drinks Polly's grip on her common sense is loose enough for Kate to persuade her to secretly snort a line of Colombian marching powder.  How stupid is that?  You have no idea!  At the party, having drunk yet more, the women sneak out the back of the house to a small shed in the garden to top up their rocket fuel where Kate coerces Polly to take part in an experiment to spice up her marriage.  The plan is to strip her almost naked then send her husband in to discover her, driving him wild with passion.  Never mind how Kate achieves this, we haven't time to worry about that here.  Predictably plan A goes tits up and poor Polly is left to freeze in the shed on her own.  Parties are so chaotic aren't they?  Jake, her husband, is off his head with rage.  

One month later the dust has settled enough for everyone to become friends again but Polly can't forget what a thrill Kate's plan was, at first at least.  She asks Kate to think of something else to try, just to see how it feels, telling Kate that, because the shed debacle was all her fault, she somehow owes the favour.  This time all goes well and Polly enjoys being tied up for ten minutes in Kate's car.

For the first half of the story, Polly and Kate become more adventurous in exploring Polly's dark side, something she's lived with all her life but now realises that Kate could be the mechanism through which she can bring her fantasies to life.  It's a personal, fragile and delicate network of ideas that they learn to exploit through trial and error.  They attempt to hide this from Polly's husband who believes in the absolute sanctity of marriage and for whom the word "kinky" evokes a world of perversion and horror.

Kate's a bit of a wild ride in bed and Ben, her boyfriend, is privy to the deceit but blokes aren't that intimate, they think about stuff like cars and motorcycle racing.  This leaves Jake guessing, wrongly, what's going on because Ben's reluctant to talk about such things with him.  

Neither is there time here to enjoy the rollercoaster that is the game Kate and Polly play.  It's enough to know that poor Jake is condemned to his lonely, excluded place outside the game.  He hits the internet and researches the universe of BDSM which is what he thinks his wife is up to.  Obviously that's all porn and business opportunities for those who prey on the sexual fantasies of men and he forms a wildly inaccurate view of his wife's idea of fun.  He then resolves to prise a wedge between his wife and Kate, Miss Bad Influence, and through a masterful piece of guile, cunning and spectacular misjudgement, traps her for the weekend in he expects to be the ride of her life.

It isn't and she's traumatised, not so much by the degradation she suffers but because Kate's old wreck of a car explodes into flames in the drive as Polly is restrained in the garage.  Oh my goodness what a drama that is!  If I had time you'd know why Kate's car blew up, that's a sub plot but still essential to the tale.

Bored yet?  Well, in the other book..............  "Oh bloody hell,  there's two?"  Yep, sorry.  

The other story is Jake's working life as a biochemist and he's cooked up a drug intended for psychotherapy but he's poisoned his young college with it.  I'll tell you all about that if you really want to know. One book at a time eh?  She had such a lovely time it's attracted the attention of organised crime who've imposed on him to make it for them.  His colleague, the unfortunate Catherine, turns up from the other book begging for sanctuary, at the worst possible moment, just when Jake is attempting to save his marriage from the catalogue of mistakes he's made.

Polly goes off to hospital in an ambulance declaring that she never wants to see Jake again but he realises he can subvert the hospital's authority and get to Polly by using Catherine as a foil, which he does.  Tidying her up afterwards by betraying her to the underworld.  This first book ends with Polly eventually wanting her husband back but on her own terms and Catherine taken away by the heavies.  The second book, with that story running parallel in time with the first, is the tale of how Catherine came to be so valuable.  Both plots are intertwined and each story surfaces in the other several times.

To be continued in the third and final story, still fermenting in Alison's futile imagination...............

Oh and I have to point out that Polly, inspired by her real life adventure with Kate, embarks on a furtive writing career by extrapolating her experiences into pure, unbridled fantasy in the form of stories she posts on line.  This is instrumental in forming Jake's misconceptions when he discovers the rough drafts on her hard drive.   I'll confess this bit's mildly autobiographical!

So, if you had to, what genre would you say that was then?

Of all the writing habits I have, one of the worst – the worst from good financial sense point of view – is that I like writing LONG books.

My first novel was a spine-breaking 180,000 words. Not one of my novels has ever been less than 110,000 words. The first “short story” I wrote was 8,000 words, which is to say miles too long to be an actual short story. Heck, even this email is likely to be far longer than any other email you get in your inbox today.

Ah well. There are some things you can’t fight, and my addiction to length is one of them.

But that also means that when it comes to short-form copy, I’m at a loss.

I’m not especially good at book blurbs, which want to be about 100-120 words (depending a bit on layouts and where you’re expecting them to appear.) Since titles need to be short and punchy, I’m not especially good at those either.

In a word: I’m pretty damn rubbish when it comes to coming up with titles … and this email is going to tell you how to write them.

Which means if you want to ignore the entire contents of what follows, on the basis that I obviously, obviously, obviously don’t know what I’m talking about, then I have to say that the evidence is very much in your favour.

That said, I think it’s clear enough what a title needs to do. It wants to:

  1. Be highly consistent with your genre
  2. Offer some intrigue – for example, launch a question in the mind of the reader
  3. Ideally, it’ll encapsulate “the promise of the premise” in a few very short words, distilling the essence of your idea down to its very purest form.

The genre-consistency is the most essential, and the easiest to achieve. It matters a lot now that so many books are being bought on Amazon, because book covers – at the title selection stage – are no more than thumbnails. A bit bigger than a phone icon, but really not much. So yes, the cover has to work hard and successfully in thumbnail form, but the title has more work to do now than it did before.

Genre consistency is therefore key. Your title has to say to your target readers, “this is the sort of book that readers like you like”. It has to invite the click through to your book page itself. That’s its task.

The intrigue is harder to do, but also kinda obvious. “Gone Girl” works because of the Go Girl / Gone Girl pun, and those double Gs, and the brevity. But it also works because it launches a question in the mind of the reader: Who is this girl and why has she gone? By contrast, “The Girl on the Train” feels a little flat to me. There are lots of women on lots of trains. There’s nothing particularly evocative or intriguing in the image. I don’t as it happens think that book was much good, but I don’t think the title stood out either. (I think the book sold well because of some pale resemblances between the excellent Gone Girl and its lacklustre sister. The trade, desperate for a follow-up hit to Gone Girl, pounced on whatever it had.)

The third element in a successful title – the “promise of the premise” one – is really hard to do. I’ve not often managed it, and I’ve probably had a slightly less successful career as a result.

So what works? Well, here are some examples of titles that do absolutely nail it:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Brilliant! That title didn’t translate the rather dour and serious Swedish original (Man Som Hatar Kvinnor / Men Who Hate Women). Rather it took the brilliance of the central character and captured her in six words. She was a girl (vulnerable), and she had a tattoo (tough and subversive), and the tattoo was of a dragon (exotic and dangerous). That mixture of terms put the promise of the book’s premise right onto the front cover and propelled the book’s explosive success.

Incidentally, you’ll notice that the title also completely excludes mention of Mikael Blomkvist, who is as central to that first book as Salander is. But no one bought the book for Blomkvist and no one remembers the book for Blomkvist either. So the title cut him out, and did the right thing in doing so.

The Da Vinci Code

Brilliant. Dan Brown is fairly limited as a writer, but it was a stroke of genius to glue together the idea of ancient cultural artefacts with some kind of secret code. Stir those two things up with a bit of Holy Grail myth-making and the result (for his audience) was commercial dynamite.

And – boom! – that dynamite was right there in the title too. The Da Vinci part namechecks the world’s most famous artist. The Code part promises that there are secret codes to be unravelled.

Four words delivering the promise of the premise in full.

I let You Go

This was Clare Mackintosh’s breakout hit, about a mother whose young son was killed in a hit-and-run car accident. The promise of the premise is right there in four very short words … and given a first person twist, which just adds a extra bite to the hook in question. A brilliant bit of title-making.


So that’s what a title wants to do. A few last comments to finish off.

One, I think it’s fair to say that it’s quite rare a title alone does much to propel sale success.

Because there are a lot of books out there, and because everyone’s trying to do the same thing, there’s not much chance to be genuinely distinctive. My fifth Fiona Griffiths novel was called The Dead House, but there are at least three other books on Amazon with that title, or something very like it. That didn’t make my title bad, in fact – it did the promise of the premise thing just fine – but I certainly couldn’t say my title was so distinctive it did anything much for sales.

Two, if you’re going for trad publishing, it’s worth remembering that absolutely any title you have in mind at the moment is effectively provisional. If your publishers don’t like it, they’ll ask you to change it. And if they don’t like your title #2, they’ll ask you to come up with some others. In short, if, like me, you’re bad at titles, you just don’t need to worry too much (if you’re going the trad publishing route, that is.) There’s be plenty of opportunity to hone your choice well prior to publication.

Three, you don’t want to think about title in isolation. There should, ideally, be a kind of reverberation between your title and the cover. That reverberation should be oblique rather than direct. Clare Mackintosh’s I Let You Go had for its cover image a butterfly trapped against a window – a metaphorical reference to the anguish of the book’s premise. If instead it had shown a mother obviously distraught as a car struck her son, the cover – and title – would have seemed painfully clunky and ridiculous.

If you get a great cover image that doesn’t work with your chosen title, then change the title. If you have a superb title and your cover designer’s image is too directly an illustration of it, then change the image. That title/cover pairing is crucial to your sales success, so you can afford no half-measures in getting it right.

That’s all from me.

My kids are making elderflower cordial and singing as they do so. They are also wearing helmets for no reason that I can possibly understand.

Till soon


PS: Want to know what I think of your title? Then I’ll tell you. Just pop your title (plus short description of your book) in the comments below. I’ll tell you what I think.

Usually, on Thursday afternoon or so, I start pondering what I’m going to write about on Friday.

This week: no pondering. There’s only one thing I could possibly write about.

The biggest book-related newsflash this week – or this year – is that Barnes and Noble is changing ownership. The ins and outs are a little complex (and everything is not quite settled), but if all goes according to plan:

  • An investment firm, Elliott Advisers, is to buy Barnes and Noble, in a deal which values that business (including its debts) at about $700 million.
  • That sounds like a lot of money, but given that B&N’s sales are $3.6 billion, the pricing actually feels pretty cheap – reflecting the dismal state of B&N.
  • Elliott is also the 100% owner of Waterstones, the British equivalent of B&N. Both those chains are proper bookshops, appealing to proper book lovers. In that sense, the chains are distinct from the supermarkets, who just sell a lot of books but don’t care about them, or the British High Street & travel operator, WH Smith, which is as much a stationer and a newsagent as an actual book store.
  • Waterstones was rescued from impending financial disaster by CEO James Daunt. It was Daunt who negotiated the sale of the firm to Elliott.
  • Daunt will now act as CEO to both firms – B&N and Waterstones – and will divide his time between London and New York.

As it happens, Daunt also owns and runs his own mini-chain of high-end London bookstores. It was his experience at those stores which won him the position at Waterstones.

So, assuming that all goes according to plan, James Daunt will be the book world’s second most powerful human, after Jeff Bezos.

So what does that mean – for readers? For writers? For publishers? For anyone?


It’s a big and important move. James Daunt has a huge reputation in the UK and it’s probably deserved. His secret sauce for success? Quite simply this:

There is no secret sauce.

In the UK, Daunt simply took everything back to basics.

He turned bookselling into a proper career. (Albeit, inevitably, a badly paid one.) He retained staff who cared passionately about books and waved good-bye to the rest, perhaps a third of them. He cut costs. He made his stores prettier.

And, in a move so radical that it shook British publishing to its core, he let each store manager select their own inventory. So, yes of course, every store was expected to stock major bestsellers of the moment. But beyond that, what stores sold was guided by local passion and local knowledge. From a reader’s point of view, stores got better. There was more energy, more passion, more commitment.

But publishers, for a while, didn’t know what to do. In the past, publishing worked like this:

  1. Publishers paid Waterstones a big chunk of cash to get into a 3-for-2 front-of-store promotion. So Waterstones was actually retailing its shelf-space. It wasn’t really curating its own retail offering.
  2. Some of those 3-for-2s did really well, and became huge bestsellers.
  3. Others didn’t, and the volume of returns was enormous (often 20% of total stock.)
  4. Publishers pulped those returns, ditched those authors and just made money from their mega-successes

That was check-book publishing and check-book retail.

Daunt killed that, and terrified publishers. How could they market books if the key step wasn’t just throwing bundles of money at retailers? [and if you want a reminder of the different publishing options, you can get that here.]

Well, they solved that problem … kinda. But all they really did was turn their attentions (even more than before) to the supermarkets and other mass retailers. Waterstones’ local stores are great and feel like real bookshops … but they can’t build a bestseller as they did in the old days, because each store chooses its stock according to its own tastes.

Daunt’s path in the US is likely to follow the exact same route.

He’s commented that one of the issues he feels on entering a typical B&N store is quite simply “too many books.” Too much stock. Too little curation and guidance. Not enough knowledge from the booksellers. An atmosphere so flat, you could swap it for cigarette paper.

He’ll cut stock. Reduce staff, but retain the best and most passionate members. Eliminate central promotions. Get better terms from publishers. Sharply reduce stock returns.

Do the basics, but do them right.

The impacts, positive and negative?

The positive:

Elliott’s cash plus Daunt’s knowhow should save specialist physical book retail in the US. That’s massive. It’s the difference between a US publishing industry that operates much as it does now and one that would be almost wholly slave to Amazon. That also means that trad publishing is likely to survive in roughly its current shape and size, rather than being sidelined by the growth of digital-first publishers (notably self-pubbers and Amazon itself.)

The negative:

US publishers will have to learn the lessons already absorbed by the Brits. If B&N no longer operates national promotion systems as in the past, publishers can’t make a bestseller just by buying space. Yes, they’ll go on seeing what they can do on social media and all that stuff. But, as in the UK, they’ll be even more dependent on supermarkets. The make-or-break of a book will be not “Is this wonderful writing?” but “did we get enough retail space in enough supermarkets at a sufficiently attractive price?”

I know any number of authors where Book A did incredibly well, Book B did poorly … and Book B was better than Book A. The difference, in every case, was that the supermarkets backed A and not B, and there’s damn all a trad publisher can do once the supermarkets have said no.

Oh yes, and supermarkets don’t really give a damn about the quality of writing. They don’t know about the quality of the writing. They just buy on the basis of past sales (if you’re John Grisham) or a pretty cover (if you’re a debut.)

Of course, they’d say their selection is a damn sight more careful than that, and it probably is. But that’s still “careful by the standards of people who mostly sell tinned beans and dog food for a living.” That’s not the same thing as actually being careful.

That sounds like a fairly downbeat conclusion, but the Elliott-saves-B&N news is still a real big plus for anyone who loves traditional stores, print books and traditional publishing. It’s the single biggest win I can remember over the past few years.

What that win won’t do, however, is weaken the hold of supermarkets and Amazon over book retail. Those two forces are still huge. They’re still central.

And of course, talking about print books has its slightly quaint side. Me, I prefer print. I hardly ever read ebooks. I just spend enough time on screens as it is.

But print books constitute less than 30% of all adult fiction sales, and online print sales accounts for a big chunk of that 30%.

In other words, all those B&N stores up and down the US are still only attacking 23% or so of the total adult fiction market. However well Daunt does, that 23% figure isn’t about to change radically. (Or not in the direction he wants, anyway.)

But, just for now, to hell with realism. Let’s remember the magic of a beautiful bookstore.

Daunt does. Here are some comments of his from 2017:

“[there is a sense that] a book bought from a bookshop is a better book.... When a book comes through a letter box or when a book is bought in a supermarket, it's not vested with the authority and the excitement that comes from buying it in a bookshop. …Price is irrelevant if the customer likes the shop. The book is never an expensive item, [particularly for the many customers who] we know are quite happy to go into a café and spend dramatically more on a cup of coffee."

Quite right, buddy. Now go sell some books. The readers need you.

Till soon


Full Name:
Alison Woodford
Friends count:
Followers count: