2 July 2013

Off to the HarperCollins summer party this week in the Orangery at Kensington Palace. Always nice to cop a freebie, of course, not least in such elegant surroundings, but although I will attend the proverbial opening of an envelope and am therefore the last person to be complaining about it, at the risk of biting the hand feeding me the canapés, I do have to question whether such lavish bashes really represent value for money for the publishers, the shareholders or (last but by no means least) the company’s authors.

HarperC will argue that schmoozing authors, literary editors, opinion formers, politicians with memoirs to sell one day, etc, etc,  is well worth the (considerable) cost, but at a time of general austerity, when authors are continually being pressed to accept ever smaller advances, and the number earning a living from their craft – never large – has probably shrunk to an all-time low (present company mercifully excepted), a less flagrant flaunting of Murdoch-funded largesse, might have been less inflammatory. Oh well, there goes my invite to next year’s bash!