Phil: Sat on the M1 yesterday, I had the chance to listen to Steven Berkoff plugging his new books.
I’m no expert on celebrity and a bit light on the sort of magazines that could fill in his background but fortunately, Practical Classics tells me that he appeared in an episode of The Professionals called “A Mann Called Quinn” so I know he’s an actor.
Anyway, Berkoff has embraced the world of self-publishing and you can buy the new books on Amazon. It seems that his publishers have quite unreasonably decided that as his previous literary efforts haven’t made any money, they don’t want to publish any more of them. The great author isn’t impressed by this – writers should be treated like rare fruit and delicately nurtured. Never mind your boring business considerations, once you are on the roster, the publishers role is to gently stroke the ego of their charge like a mad old lady fuses each of her collection of pussies.
I’d love to think this is the truth and, if any potential publishers are reading, team NolanParker very happy to be on the end of this sort of cosseting, but we know that’s not how it works.
Publishing is a business. You sell books or the harsh economic winds will be blowing around your ankles as you stand outside your boarded up offices holding a box containing the contents of your desk. No matter how much we rail against Tess Daly being skipping from writing “Once upon a time” to being published to Hollywood film in 6 weeks (Grrrr), it’s a harsh fact of life that she will shift more units than a pair of brilliant but largely unknown writers.
In a way, it’s great news for the world of self publishing that “names” are dipping their toes in the water. Maybe this will reduce the stigma associated with bypassing the traditional methods of getting in to print. How long will it be before someone with a massive media profile goes for it? After all, if your phone is full of the numbers for TV people and the editors of the national press, why not take ALL the money from your work? Maybe this is what Berkoff is doing…
One response to “It’s a business Berkoff”
Yes, but he’s bonkers!