Bookseeker Literary Agency

Introducing authors and publishers.


Your agent – “Visionary” and photographer!

Paul writes:
After an event at the Edinburgh Book Festival – a session on literary prizes – where I joined in the final Q&A session, the Administrator of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction made a point of coming over to shake my hand. She thanked me for such a “visionary” question. I must admit that I’m still basking in the rosy glow.

However, you writers do not really need a “visionary” for an agent, you need a grafter. The Book Festival is over, and there is plenty of work to do, so I have planted my feet firmly on the ground. But if you would like a flavour of the Festival before I finally close the door on it until next year, my little photo-album is here.

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Reviews, and news from Edinburgh Book Festival moving

Paul writes:

After several years writing event reviews for an Edinburgh-based organisation, I am now working as a freelance. I’ll be publishing my reviews on my occasional blog for light academic and other articles. But I’m also available if anyone else would like to engage me to write for their publication.

Also I’ll be moving my annual photo album of the Edinburgh International Book Festival from this site to the same place, so please feel free to follow the blog.

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This agency works hard for its clients, often going further than many established agencies go on their behalf. It is therefore very irksome when an established publishing house does not bother with the courtesy to reply to a letter, even though a stamped envelope was included for their convenience. How much time does it take to pop a compliment slip into an envelope?

Then there is the major publishing house that does reply, but has on three occasions sent us an identical letter in reply to ours. The letter is the standard one they send to authors, advising them to get an agent, ignoring the fact that it was an agent that wrote to them in the first place! What is more, they have ignored letters pointing that out. It is discourteous, and actually plain damned negligent. Thankfully there is only one publisher in the whole UK that does this. We’re saying no more for now, but next time we’re considering simply naming them!

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There have not been many updates here lately. This does not mean there’s nothing happening. We’re working towards at least one book launch before the end of the year, for example. Keep watching this space.


Meetings, greetings, and web-sitings!

Constance Tonge

This week I had the great pleasure of meeting, once more, our client Constance  Tonge, whose novel Wisp is getting closer and closer to its date of publication. Constance is a prolific author, and is working on more novels, which the agency will take a look at. Be on the look-out for Wisp when it appears – it’s a corker!

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I also travelled in to Edinburgh to meet Luka Vukos, who directed the prizewinning short Lose like a Human, all about artificial intelligence. We had a long chat about  possible projects for the future. Edinburgh has been much on my mind lately, because I have to arrange visits to events at The Fringe and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I have all that to look forward to, but Time’s winged chariot isn’t exactly hanging about!

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Meanwhile, Lyz Russo has just announced on her blog that P’kaboo publishers in the Republic of Ireland have a revamped web site. It has a look of the old one, but it has now been made phone-friendly. Again, it’s a case of “Watch this space,” because P’kaboo will be launching a series of books very soon – mainly fiction, but one very important work of non-fiction. At least I’d say it was. More news as and when it happens.

Paul

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Please note that the appearance of random advertisements on this web site is a feature of the platform, and should not be taken as an endorsement by this agency.

 


James Tait Black Prize shortlist announced.

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This year is the centenary of the UK’s oldest literary award – the James Tait Black Prize. I had the privilege to be one of the readers for this year’s prize, and it was gratifying to see that one of the books I read and reported on, Murmur by Will Eaves, has been placed on the shortlist of four titles from which the winning book for the fiction prize will be chosen. I have to admit I was very hard on the book in my report to the judges, but I’m glad that they were able to support it. I’m looking forward to attending the prizegiving at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.


Remembering Iain Rossouw

Iain Rossouw, a South African Irishman or an Irish South African – take your pick, was the mind behind HoneyMead Books and the husband of Lyz Russo of P’kaboo. He was a great bloke, and it was exactly two years ago that his family lost him. The fact that he was a hero is little compensation for that loss. If you click on the photo below, it will take you to Lyz’s latest remembrance of him.

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An uncompromising writer, an uncompromising subject, and a chance for a daring publisher!

It is unusual for the agency to flag up a book before it’s even written, but these are unusual times! And having said that, it’s a work of non-fiction, so bringing it to the attention of publishers whilst it is still a project is quite legitimate.

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Dr. Uwe Schütte

First of all, let us introduce the author, Dr. Uwe Schütte, Reader in German at Aston University. Already widely published in German and the author of more than fifteen academic monographs and trade books on pop music, he has recently made a foray into the English language market with W.G. Sebald, an introduction to the writer –  his PhD supervisor during his student years – in Northcote House’s ‘Writers and their Work’ series, now appearing with Liverpool University Press. His excellent introductory collection/edited volume German Pop Music: A Companion appeared in 2017 and he has also been asked by Penguin to produce a general introduction to Kraftwerk, the German pioneers in electronic music, which should be on the bookstore shelves in 2019.

In 2015, Uwe in conjunction with the artistic project Der Konterfei brought out a book in German about the alternative performer/artist/occultist/personage Genesis P-Orridge, and it is the English re-writing of this book that is the project for which we now want to give advance notice!

Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 20.49.12Godstar: The twisted path of Genesis P-Orridge, will take hold of the reputed inventor of industrial music, adherent of Magick, and transsexual(?), and treat its subject to a critical appraisal that is certainly no hagiography. The writer finds Orridge uncompromising but not always convincing. The book traces that twisted itinerary from the extremist performance collective COUM, via Throbbing Gristle (the industrial band who managed to put at least one record in the collection of every unsuspecting punk in the late 1970s), via the band Psychic TV, via the foundation of the pagan sect Temple ov Psychick Youth, to the relationship with dominatrix Jaye Breyer and the invention of ‘pandrogyny’ in which Jaye and Genesis aligned themselves surgically into a single identity. If you are wondering why this update studiously avoids gender pronouns, that’s why! Jaye died tragically young in 2007, and Genesis is now terminally ill…

As noted above, this is no hagiography. Uwe is both deeply fascinated by and highly critical of Orridge, praising his unique and  uncompromising art but questioning personal attitudes, statements, and actions at the same time. Because of  this stance situated between worship and condemnation, the German version has sold and sold and sold. So we are looking for interest in advance from a UK publisher who is willing to be daring. Fans of Orridge and people interested in his involvement in Magick will buy it, even if they find the writer’s approach challenges them. As will everybody with an interest in industrial music and Crowleyian Magick, as well as radical art in general.

Bookseeker Agency would not handle this book if it were simply a banner-waver for Orridge, Magick, and so on. The fact that Uwe Schütte is prepared to take a bold and uncompromising line with a bold and uncompromising subject is what makes us willing to present it to publishers. We are delighted and privileged to represent Dr. Schütte.

So – will that adventurous publisher be you? Please get in touch via the email address on the ‘Contact’ page