Monday, October 24, 2011

Beautiful Books

A couple of weeks ago I read this on Beautiful Books website;

"Today, 11th October 2011, Beautiful Books entered administration. For information regarding the administration of the company, please contact Leonard Curtis...All the employees at Beautiful Books would like to thank everyone with whom we have worked over the past six years."

Now I really like Beautiful Books and this made me very sad indeed. They have published some of my favourite books of the last few years. Let me give you a couple of examples.

1. Meat by Joseph D'Lacey. Actually this is published by Bloody Books (the horror arm of Beautiful Books) and I have said lovely things about this book on the blog. I did an interview with Joseph here, and also Joseph was the first author to come and do a signing at the shop...two weeks before we even opened. Here's a link to that story. Beautiful books consequently went on to publish Garbage Man by Joseph and also the wonderful horror of Bill Hussey too. If you like eco-horror, or think you might, then Meat is the book for you. Or at least it was.

2. Dog Binary by Alex MacDonald. Alex is/was one of our customers and came into the shop one day asking if I wouldn't mind reading the first chapter of a book he'd been writing for the last seven years. He'd only showed one other person his book and I was totally blown away that he had asked for my opinion. That evening, I read the first chapter, and for the second time that day I was totally blown away. The incredible imagery and power behind Alex's writing was a real pleasure, and the next morning I called him and demanded that I see the rest of the book.
It was me who suggested to Alex that he should contact Simon Petherick, the MD of Beautiful Books to show him his novel. And I was so pleased when Simn showed the same enthusiasm as me for Alex's book. It would be a real shame if nobody picked up this little masterpiece and gave it a new home.

Not only did Beautiful Books publish some great stuff (other titles include Role Models by John Waters, The Glassblower of Murano by Marino Fiorato, 17 by Bill Drummond, The Wreckng Ball, The Sweet Smell of Decay by Paul Lawrence and The Secret Lives of People in Love by Simon Van Booy), they also were one of the most innovative publishers around. The way they marketed the books was refreshing and infectious, as was their enthusiasm for the books they sold. I was lucky enough to work with Beautiful Books on a number of occasions and each time I did it was a real treat.

There are probably lots of reasons why BB went into administration and i'm sure there are many unhappy people who are far more directly involved as a little bookshop in Wood Green. I hope all the legal issues are sorted out and a satisfactory conclusion is reached.
But I didn't want to let this news pass without sayng how sorry I am that it happened. That's all.

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