Archive for December, 2010

Not many happy Waterstone returns

December 4, 2010

I was at the IPG meeting with Waterstone’s and was amazed at the problems they have with returning unsold books to unlucky publishers. One publisher complained of an 80% damaged rate for his books; seems this is caused by returned books from stores going through W’s centralised hub system and  dropped down into chutes. Recycling to other stores that are ordering the same title as has been returned and damaged  would be better than destruction and W are seemingly working on this. Not that they seem worried by big sellers sitting around in stores – only 20% -50% of bestseller stock sells in their first month in W stores. 

I am  more puzzled by W buying books in fewer quantities  that would sell ok  but they are getting  ruthless about slow movers.  This is a real frustration. W  categorise and rate books – a “super tier” for bestwellers and then grade titles 1-6.  I don’t like to think where we stand.

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Ruth’s story

December 4, 2010

Ruth Barnett’s Kindertransport story is highlighted by the Holocaust Educational Trust – see the following link

 http://www.het.org.uk/content.php?page_id=70

How many reviews do you need before you can say a book is good?

December 1, 2010

These impressive reviews of This Room in the Sunlight: Collected Poems are  a reflection of the love and affection for Bernard Kops and reveal the high esteem in which he is held.  But will it be enough to convince the book trade and draw in readers? I’d be interested in some feedback.

“I know of few writer-prophets as undeservedly unhonoured in their country as the extraordinarily prolific playwright, novelist, autobiographer, poet and teacher Bernard Kops. This new collection is a salutary reminder for fans and a substantial showcase for new readers of his originality, sincerity, lyric rages and good humours, and unblinking confrontations with the shadow side as well as unfettered celebrations of the counterweight, humankind’s potential for good.”  Michael Horovitz Jewish Chronicle

“The publication of this selection of poems by Bernard Kops, the doyen of contemporary European verse, counts as one of the greatest literary events of the Anglo-Jewish world this decade. This is Kops’ eighth collection of verse. The poems are mostly deceptively simple, insightful, dark-and-joyful and poignant. Many are already classics, having assumed lives of their own. The book includes more than 40 hitherto unpublished pieces among the old favourites”Kops‘s poetry, combining touching simplicity with naked passion stems from an 18th century English literary tradition revived in the 20th century by Rosenberg. The poems project great empathy and deep emotional commitment, their power driven by a desperate, unconcealed awareness of the vulnerability of all living things. ” Jerusalem Post

“This Room in the Sunlight displays what one always knew, that Bernard Kops is a poet of the highest order. And what a cornucopia it is – poems about working class Jewish family in the poverty stricken East End of London of his youth, an introduction to the treasures of The Whitechapel Library (a haven and escape where he ‘met’ the literary icons of the age), poems about home, his large and vocal family; about war and the holocaust (in which most of his family perished); about good friends, and deadly enemies; poems full of love for children, grandchildren and a great grandchild and for his wife Erica, Muse and mainstay for over 50 years and to whom this collection is rightly dedicated. “ Markings magazine July 2010

“This excellent collection gives a panorama of Bernard’s creativity over several decades. 60% of it is taken from 7 previousvolumes, 40% previously unpublished. It speaks with the richness of his experience, in terms of exile and poverty, against a background of savage conflict and destruction.”  Dave Russell Poetry Express