Book Power 100

I had so hoped to be on it. Or would have, if I’d known it was being done. ‘It’ being the oddly named Guardian list of the most powerful people in the book world. The top one hundred names, except they have cheated by having pairs of names for some entries, making it 100+.

Unlike other commentators I am not horrified by having J K Rowling at no. two. I see no reason why she shouldn’t be. It’s quite interesting to see how they have picked people I know quite well, and also people I’ve never heard of.

First I went on the website showing the lucky one hundred as un-named photos, and came to the conclusion I recognised about twenty of them. Furnished with names I ‘recognised’ a lot more. I have spoken to six, and met another two.

And I finally know who that chap with the wild beard is. Not Ardagh. The other one. (Have already forgotten his name…)

The thing is, I have talked to people who know many of these important ones. Or who have met them, or heard some juicy gossip about them. And somehow, when that is the case, it’s harder to take them seriously. There is one author in particular, highly thought of by many, who sank considerably in my estimation on hearing a personal account of their behaviour.

But then, they can behave as they wish. It’s their books that matter. I do find that the best books are written by decent human beings. At least in the children’s books world. And they haven’t been forgotten here.

Good to see so many women on there, and interesting that so many CEOs are female. Two Swedes, albeit one dead, which didn’t go down well with some. (Bet he’d have preferred not to be dead, too.) And it’s odd, what I know. I couldn’t have put a name to Nick Barley. But seeing his photo I could have told you he is the director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, as he is a visible kind of leader, who is always out and about in Charlotte Square.

Books 100

And it turns out that I am indeed on the list. I made it as no.100, which is a round and pleasing figure. Rather like myself.

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10 responses to “Book Power 100

  1. Hmpf. Too many CEOs and gadget guys–not enough authors.

  2. it was good to see jacqueline wilson and philip pullman in there but pickings from the children’s book world – where are the librarians? the children’s critics? – were very thin. a terrible sign of the times.

  3. and do WE really have any influence? the 100th point seemed facetious – because the general public buys whatever is on the shelf and a lot of good stuff don’t make it there because of shareholder/market pressures that demand instant riches. for authors, the power seems to reside in marketing departments that want more of whatever is doing well at the moment.

  4. I actually thought you were serious there, Ann, and I clicked through excitedly to see The Bookwitch at no. 100… only to find the empty words, ‘You, the reader, blogger, bla bla…’ Ha! Scuse me while I go and retch.

    And ‘powerful’ is a strange descriptor. Can any of these people shoot starbolts from their gauntlets? No, I didn’t think so.

  5. Hope you’re feeling better now, Nick.
    Candy, at least they have heard of JKR, JW and PP, so they could put them there as representatives for children’s books. Are there any others?
    And librarians are so last century.
    I found Martina Cole an interesting example on the list. I have heard of her, and recently realised she sells more than my scant knowledge of her name would suggest. At least she’s a ‘lighter’ name, not Literature nor a company director, or someone on television rattling off book titles someone else put in the script.

  6. There are some people there (no names no pack drill) who are just …ridiculous! They have a few best selling writers, fair enough but INFLUENTIAL on the book trade? I guess it is a big influence if you’re keeping a publishing house going. All these exercises are designed to make people tweet a little louder…that’s what I think.

  7. What? No child readers? Surely that’s where the power is seeded.

  8. We don’t like children in these parts…

  9. aww i love that you said you were no.100 guess what – me too!
    youre so humble! bless your little cotton socks.

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