I’ve been seeing spots. I’m a very intolerant person, and I adore complaining about, well, what shall I call it? Printing and design, maybe? So, the spots. They are all over the front of the Bok & Bibliotek (Gothenburg book fair) 2010 programme. Makes me vaguely sick and giddy, so I have to hastily avert my lovely brown eyes when I get close, and whip open the brochure to avoid seeing the spots.
And then it’s David Fickling, again. Now he’s taken to sending me rubbish, and I don’t mean that the books are getting worse. Better, if anything. Monday morning’s post brought this however:
I am a fan of recycling, so that’s what I’ll do with David’s Trash. Or more accurately I suppose it’s Andy Mulligan’s Trash, since it’s his new book. It’s not out yet, but it seems DFB want to set the scene with trashy post. And since I had until now only had the manuscript in the last photo, the red proof is an improvement that will make for a better reading experience. (Won’t need such long arms.) Though if I take David’s word for it I’ll be dead. I quote ‘you will hold your breath until the end’, and that sounds like it ought to come with a health warning.
I wonder if they spend ages thinking up new ways of catching people’s attention with design and packaging of review copies? At least this way they also got rid of some of their shredded paper, seeing as they enclosed a colourful selection of paper strips. The brown bag is bound to be an ex-lunch bag of David’s. He strikes me as a sandwich-in-a-brown-bag kind of publisher.
And since it does say on the bag that I should pass the book on once I’ve read it, I won’t be consumed with guilt if I do. It’s a perennial problem with proofs and even ‘real’ copies of books. If I’ve got two copies, which happens, or if I really don’t want the book, I pass them on. Two of them were birthday presents just the other day.
Along with spots, I really have a problem with black-and-white when it’s the wrong way around. Recently many of the book press releases I get sent are in white print on a black background. Let me tell you that the book may be excellent, and I may even read it, but I certainly won’t read the press release.
So it rather defeats the purpose.
The ‘trashy’ route to attention is fun and may cost slightly more than white words on black, but the design aspect of it doesn’t prevent me from getting the message. White on black is akin to having forgotten the wheelchair ramp. And you may not need a wheelchair (or black print on pale paper) just yet, which is why you haven’t thought about it. Just you wait.