“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

There’s been a lot of negativity and pessimism around these here parts lately – I blame John McFetridge, myself – but here’s a piece from Publishers Weekly on U.S. sales from 2008 that kind of puts all the talk of doom and gloom into perspective, the gist of it running thusly:
Despite panic among many publishers and booksellers about the state of the business, figures compiled by Nielsen BookScan show that unit sales fell only 0.2% in 2008, to 756.1 million.
  Now, I know that the business side of the industry is not my forte, and that there are tough times to come over the next few years, but a drop of 0.2% is hardly the End of Times, is it? Oh, and by the way – adult fiction actually grew in 2008, by 0.4%. Three cheers, two stools and a lusty huzzah!
  Meanwhile, those of you thinking about what kind of novel to write next might want to consider the fact that Juvenile sales were the biggest mover, by a long chalk, up 6.2%. Maybe I should start paying more attention to Ms Witch