I seem to be seeing pink at the moment! According to an old French statute which has never been repealled, all the buildings in the new town of Marrakech have to be painted pink. Bizzarre! But that's not the real reason. I've just (nearly) finished making out a listings page (which you can get to by clicking on the directory/listings link in the page list at the top of the right-hand panel of this blog).
I was primarily looking for publications which might be persuaded to review my book and places which could host book readings. In the process, I am becoming more and more enraged with Millivres/Prowler group, the publishers of Gay Times, Pink Paper, you name it. Perhaps it's not them, but the gay marketplace and shallow gay men who are destroying our cultural life, but destroyed is what is has happened to it. Millivers bought up Prowler to form the Millivres/Prowler Group of companies. They also bought up Expectations, a large sex shop. Fine and dandy and good for them, I hear people saying. Yeah, right, but they also bought up Gay Men's Press and then closed it down. Is that a response to market conditions? Sure, the book is taking a beating right now. I learned yesterday that "A Different Light" the last gay bookshop is California is to close. In researching my listings, I can find no trace of "West and Wild", a fantastic Gay bookshop in Edinburgh, so that must also have gone the way of all flesh. "Gay's the Word" in London is hanging on to viability by the tips of it's fingers. Apart from two radical book shops with an LGBT section, "Books from Nowhere" in Liverpool and "Word Power" in Edinburgh, there's only "Clone Zone" and "Prowler" left stocking a handful of LGBT titles hidden away amongst the, admittedly rather eye-catching, smut and sex toys. (Oh, and there's that word "Prowler" again.)
With that off my chest, I began to look at the "Pink Paper" to see how many books it reviewed. They went digital only last year, blaming the recession, but their website is no longer organised around anything which looks like a print edition. Their stated aim to return to a print version looks unlikely to happen anytime soon. I searched their site with "book". It turned up just a handful of reviews, dated at roughly 6 week intervals. There was a cluster around a sponsored feature. On closer investigation, this turned out to be a self-published book from createspace. They surrounded it with reviews of other people's books. Hmmmm how does paying for a featured article work out if that's what happens to it? And then I find a prominent article plugging all of Prowler Press's forthcoming list of, well, smut. Not that I've anything against smut, smut I like, but it's not the only show in town. I would have thought the Pink Paper would have had higher standards. God alone knows what I'm going to find when I look at their other, less (allegedly) high brow titles.
Hand me a pair of boots to throw. I hear it's quite popular over here!
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