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.

 


“Yet here’s a postscript…”

… to the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

You never know who you’re going to bump into in Charlotte Sq. Here’s a back view of someone whose face you would know, if he turned round. He wasn’t appearing at the festival, but he’s obviously for some purpose, as he’s studying the map and getting his bearings. Do you recognise him? If you do, feel free to tweet to me @BookseekerAgent. I’ll give you a clue: he’s quite interesting, and he used to be a name to conjure with.

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2018-08-23 05 AD


Another Book Festival has come and gone…

I mean, of course, THE Book Festival – the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It officially shut up shop yesterday, but as usual I have been around and about for the past extended fortnight, chatting, snapping, reviewing, occasionally getting in the way. I’m not going to waste too many words here, I’m just going to post my usual mini montage. All photos © Paul Thompson unless otherwise noted.

It wouldn’t be Charlotte Square without a couple of shots of Prince Albert, so here’s one with a seagull…

2018-08-14 07 Albert & Gull

and one with a contrail. These show this year’s changeable weather in Edinburgh.

2018-08-15 06 contrail over CH Sq

2018-08-14 05 ranks of Rankin

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, seen here in the main signing tent, introduced us to two emerging poets…

2018-08-14 13 CAD

Keith Hutson and Mark Pajak.

2018-08-14 14 Hutson & Pajak

Two generations of the Mandela family joined us from South Africa.

2018-08-14 17 2 generations of Mandelas

The vin van:

2018-08-15 01 the vin van

2018-08-14 03b Chris Close

 

Chris 1
Chris 2
Chris 3

There’s always something going on, even if I’m not quite sure what…

2018-08-15 03 always something happening

Louis de Bernières was here again.
2018-08-14 12 LdB

Theatres

2018-08-18 01b June at the Book festival

“Smile please, Sir!” call the photographers
2018-08-15 09 Gordon Brown Smile

Photo call for economist, broadcaster, and author Linda Yueh

2018-08-15 10 Linda Yueh

Happening to be in the right place at the right time, and with many thanks both to Festival Director Nick Barley and to the two storytellers, I was able to get some lovely exclusive photos of Maimouna Jallow and Mara Menzies!

2018-08-15 11b Jallow and Menzies

The Bookshop is always busy. I say the Bookshop, but there are at least three – four if you count the shelves in the main signing tent. Anyhow, this is a shot from inside the big one in Charlotte Sq.

2018-08-21 06 Bookshop

Science(ish)ists Rick Edwards and Michael Brooks
2018-08-21 13 Rick Edwards & Michael Brooks

Two shots of ‘Makar’ Jackie Kay, one at her photo call, the other in the signing tent when she spots Ali Smith and another friend in the queue. Jackie always brings brightness into the Festival.

2018-08-21 17 Jackie Kay2018-08-21 18 Jackie Kay

And here is Ali Smith, who was here helping to celebrate Muriel Spark’s centenary.

2018-08-21 01 Ali Smith

A natural break for one of the Festival staff. What better than to read a book!

2018-08-21 15 Natural break

Alice Strang was here, promoting the fine book she edited on Scottish Modern Art in the first half of the Twentieth Century.

2018-08-15 12 Alice Strang

Another famous face – June Sarpong.

2018-08-15 13 June Sarpong

Brian Dillon appears pensive…

2018-08-23 09 Brian Dillon

Jim Broadbent and Dix, whose unusual graphic novel Dull Margaret (which Jim positions somewhere between Victoria Wood and Hammer Horror) was featured in the Baillie Gifford Theatre.

2018-08-23 06 Dix and Broadbent

And if you can blag a selfie with a National Treasure, why not!

2018-08-23 08 selfie time with JB

And as usual, there is always time for leisure at the Festival.

2018-08-23 07 moments of leisure

All being well, I hope to be back there same time next year.

PT.

2018-08-23 05 AD


Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017

Paul writes:

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is in its last few days. I have spent a great deal of time there this year, but instead of writing about it, I’ve decided to compile a kind of photo-essay of the people and views I came across. Enjoy.

11 a damp day

My first day in Charlotte Square Gardens this year started damp, so here’s a monochrome study to start you off.

6 Sunil Khilnani

Professor Sunil Khilnani, writer and academic.

8 Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay, Scotland’s ‘Makar’ (our Poet Laureate).

12 Jackie Kay

Jackie is a charming person who interacts with genuine friendliness with her readers.

1 chris close

Every year, photographer Chris Close makes portraits of visiting authors and speakers, stringing the results up around the Festival’s walkways. There’s a small sample below.

2 Chris close3 chris close

4 chris close

Left to right. Top: Ade Edmondson, Liu Zhenyun, Greg James & Chris Smith. Centre: Simon Armitage, Ehsan Abdollahil, Mariana Enriquez. Bottom: The Last Poets, Paul Auster, Andy Hamilton.

7 Magnus Mills

Magnus Mills

10 Nick Barley, Misha Hoekstra, Daniel Hahn

Festival Director Nick Barley with Misha Hoekstra and Daniel Hahn – members of the panel for ‘The Power of Translation’.

28 Children's bookshop

5 filming

Braving the video camera.

13 Penny Pepper

Penny Pepper. I love the control knob on her wheelchair!

9 flashpack

Sometimes a shot of the professional photographers is too good to miss…

14 Paul Auster photocall

… here they are, capturing American literary giant Paul Auster.

16 Hanif Kureishi

Hanif Kureishi in conversation with a reader.

15 Sir Charlie Stinky Socks

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks proudly showing his author’s pass.

17 Laura Hughes and Pip Jones

Laura Hughes and Pip Jones.

20 Leon Morocco

Leon Morocco.

18 Gin tent

The Edinburgh Gin Tent, just outside the main book-signing venue, is many people’s favourite place to relax and chat about Festival stuff.

21 Josie Billington & Rick Rylance

Academics Josie Billington and Rick Rylance, who were at the festival to talk about ‘Is Literature Healthy?’ and ‘Literature and the Public Good’.

22 John Banville

John Banville.

19 gimme 5

“Gimme Five!”

25 Karl Ove Knausgaard

Karl Ove Knausgaard.

26 Bookshop

The profits from the bookshops here at the Festival all go back into Festival funds.

29 Robert Muchamore

Author Robert Muchamore drew a large crowd of secondary school students to his book-signing.

23 photographer

I’m not the only person who goes around getting ‘atmosphere shots’ in Charlotte Square Gardens.

31 Doug Johnstone

An animated Doug Johnstone.

27 who are we now

“Who are we now?”

32 Alex Scheffler

Alex Scheffler.

30 Richard English

Professor Richard English, who spoke about the controversial issues raised by his new book ‘Does Terrorism Work?’

24 shadows lengthen

Late afternoon, and shadows begin to lengthen in Charlotte Square.

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The copyright of the images on this page rests with the photographers; no reproduction may be made without written permission.


Edinburgh International Book Festival

1.1I have just spent a long fortnight in and out of the International Book Festival in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. this has become an annual thing for me, and I have a whale of a time even though I’m actually engaged in hard work. while I’m there I’m writing, tweeting, talking, taking photos, so when I get back I don’t really want to write any more. So here’s an essay in photographs rather than words, about the scenes and faces at this year’s festival.

The photos were taken on a bog-standard Nikon D50 or an iPad.

PT

2.2 Graham Swift

Graham Swift

2.4 Ian Goldin

Ian Goldin

2.1 Ali Smith

Ali Smith

1.2 a wave of beards

A wave of beards swept through Charlotte Square. I think that’s author Philip Ardagh on the right.

2.2 Iain Macwhirter

Iain Macwhirter

Chris Close’s excellent photo-portraits of visiting writers etc. were on display again this year. The exhibition was better than ever – here are just a few faces, including Alexander McCall Smith, Gavin Francis, Joan Bakewell, Wilko Johnson, Ruby Wax, and Attila the Stockbroker. Thanks for letting me use these, Chris.

4.1 Alexander McCall Smith & Gavin Francis

4.2 Joan Bakewell & Wilko Johnson

4.3 Ruby Wax & Attila the Stockbroker

And back to my own pics…

1.4 Book Shop

1.5 posing

2.10 Michael Scott

Michael Scott

2.5 Thomas Clark

Thomas Clark

2.9 Zaffar Kunial

Zaffar Kunial

1.10 relaxation

Relaxation…

1.6 photo bunch

Photo call

2.11 Jackie Kay

Scots ‘Makar’ Jackie Kay

2.13 Roy Hattersley

Roy Hattersley

1.8 staff

2.3 Louis de Bernieres

Louis de Bernières

2.7 Gordon Brown

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown

2.8 Richard & Daniel Susskind

Richard Susskind & Daniel Susskind. In the background is journalist Lee Randall, who chaired their event.

2.12 Carol Ann Duffy

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

2.6 Roger Mason

Roger Mason

1.9

1.7 Cloud

Late in the day we heard that actor Gene Wilder had left our world of pure imagination, maybe to watch from this cloud.