Friday, 26 August 2011


In case you missed the memo, the publishing industry is dead. Again. But fear not, from disarray comes opportunity. This week, I'm giving you an exclusive sneak preview of my fantastic new Build-A-Publisher initiative.

After gutting the rusting hulk of traditional publishing, I've stolen all the best bits for you. Soon, at a nominal charge, you'll be able to reassemble them to construct your very own bit of publishing history - imagine Build-A-Bear Workshop, but instead of recording a schmaltzy message, you get to stuff a whole audio book inside. Whether you're a writers' co-op looking for guidance or a publishing worker looking for a job at the local Co-Op, you'll be able to find everything you need at Build-A-Publisher.

My web boffins are having some trouble right now finding a Jiffy bag large enough to hold the Hachette publicity department, so you'll just have to imagine the "add to basket" buttons and whizzy web fripperies. But you creative types should have no problem with that...


Editorial is your frontline in the battle to shove a bit of quality culture down the necks of the Asda massive. Spend wisely.
  • Self-Editing - £0.00
    You can edit, can't you? After all, there's a comma on page 57 that you must have moved about a hundred times. Nobody will eva no that yu didnt get a proffesional 2 doit.

  • Junior Editor - £18,000
    Very eager to please and bursting with helpful ideas. "Have you considered setting your sci-fi trilogy in Leighton Buzzard?" "How about making her dad into a socialist werewolf?"

  • Editorial Director - £45,000
    Frightfully well educated and able to talk for an hour about the Romance languages and their impact on English grammatical construction. Has such a gimlet eye for editing that she can spot mistakes before you even make them.

Marketing and Sales

Have an important role in getting right up Editorial's nose. Also responsible for, like, selling books and that.
  • Year 6, Barnstaple C of E Primary School. - £28 (or equivalent value in Twixes and mobile phone credit)
    By selling cakes, Year 6 raised almost seventy pounds towards their new adventure playground. Now they're ready to take it to the next level, selling your books into every outlet in the greater Barnstaple area. They're young and enthusiastic, and Kieran's dad has promised them as much free colour photocopying as he can get away with.

  • The Boiler Room Boys - £30,000
    Fresh from a Spanish boiler room operation ripping off gullible OAPs, these guys are ruthless in their commitment to shifting product. Books, shares, nuclear warheads - they don't care what it is, as long as they get their monthly bonus.

  • TOTAL/BS - £150,000
    Tetherington Oxley Taft Armstrong Langley Banana Smith is the first fully-vertically-integrated marketing and sales agency in the WC1 postcode area. You can safely outsource all of your most vital work to them, knowing that they will always be 110% focused on selling their key product. Themselves.

Digital Services

With Amazon bundling a free Kindle with every Justin Bieber album, the age of the e-book has finally arrived. So you'll need a digital team who know their apps from their elbow.
  • Greasy Steve - £17,000
    Greasy Steve lives in a postcard-sized flat in Islington, surrounded by boxes of computer equipment and four very well fed cats. With no room to move, he spends 23.7 hours a day in front of his laptop, crafting digital masterpieces at ultra-low cost.

  • The Applebys - £38,000
    Ryan and Martine are a husband and wife team, so obsessed by all things Apple that they have actually changed their surname to match. Most of the time, you'll find them either in the Apple Store or queuing outside for some revolutionary bit of shiny kit. Ryan is so desperate to get his hands on an iPhone 5 that he's considering travelling to China to take a job in a high-tech sweatshop.

  • Janice Gutenberg - £70,000
    Janice is a direct descendent of Johannes Gutenberg, and shares his flair for leaps of technical genius. Not content with simple e-books, she has already invented a holographic projection system where an author can appear in your bedroom and read the book to you as you fall asleep. She is now working on an enhanced version, which enables him to complement you on your nightwear and make you a cup of Horlicks.

Foreign Rights Department

The home market is all very well, but what happens when you've already sold a copy to everyone you know? Breaking into foreign territories can bring in the moolah that every publishing executive craves.
  • My Mate Dave - £137.50
    Dave is a master of languages. He knows how to get a woman into bed in seven of the most popular European tourist resorts. With his silver tongue, negligible morals and talent for extreme flattery, how can you go wrong?

  • Estrella Zimanova - £26,000
    Estrella is of Russian/Spanish/Cornish ancestry, and has spent five years observing the foreign rights department of a major literary agency while emptying their bins. By saving many boxes of expired contracts from the shredder, she now has a priceless insight into the workings of every publisher in the Northern hemisphere.

  • The Flying Aristocrats - £99,000
    Why hire just one person when you can have a whole gang? The Flying Aristocrats are a cosmopolitan team of acrobats whose members speak fifteen languages between them. They also have an added advantage at book fairs, where their gravity-defying antics allow them to dodge the crowds, diving from one foreign sale to the next.

What they're saying about us:
"Conflict of interest? What conflict of interest? With Build-A-Publisher, I'm my own one-man industry!" Andrew Crafty, Literary Agent

"Build-A-Publisher is the best thing since sliced iPad. I'm tweeting about it right now!" Kate Winslet, Managing Director, Suspicious Magpie



  1. Okay, I just spat coffee all over my keyboard. Thanks!

  2. Funny Man ;O)I think you should give writer/illustrator profiles as well though....

  3. Nick, have you actually discovered who ate your brain yet? Was it one of the above mentioned in your post?

  4. Janice Gutenburg is a steal at £70,000, but only with the Horlicks version.

  5. Hope you're going to run this as a workshop! And thanks for the laugh among all the current doom and gloom