It happens to us all in the end…
… that letter from your publisher telling you that a book you wrote is to be “remaindered or pulped”. The stomach does a nasty little wobble and drop, the clouds over the mountain suddenly look grim and dank. It’s the horrible grown-up side of publishing a book, a risk you never think of back in the honeymoon stages of getting the first copies back from the printer.
In this case, it’s my much-loved little landscape anthology, Lovely Beyond Any Singing, that is due for the chop. I have dried my tears — it’s had a good run, six years in fact, and in fact the entire imprint is being decommissioned, so I’m not the only one. Because this book has many contributors, Juta have kindly agreed that anyone who contributed is welcome to buy it at cost. In fact, anyone who wants to buy it at cost is welcome to do so, as long as they do it through me (i.e., you have to pay me, and I’ll get it to you).
It’s being offered at R17.25 plus VAT, so basically twenty bucks. This represents a brilliant opportunity to get it into a market that previously couldn’t afford it — school libraries, which rely heavily on donations. My wonderful-beyond-words friend Elinor Sisulu has already offered to buy a pallet to distribute to schools in Gauteng and parts. If anyone feels that generous — i.e., you have a mad notion to buy 50 or more to donate directly to an organization like Equal Education, then you can approach Roy Mansell, the business manager at Juta direct (write to me for his e-address) and they will post them at no extra cost.
For every kind person who might want smaller amounts or even just one, I’ll ferry it to you if you’re local; if you’re from outside Cape Town and are of a patient nature, I promise I will get your books to you (via Book Fairs, etc) eventually.
In a nutshell, if you’d like to buy this book for R20 (*Incredible Opportunity! Knockdown Price! Hurry Now!*), let me know: it’s a Quality Street assortment of South African writers on landscape (including not a few Bookslive members): Henrietta Rose-Innes, Chris van Wyk, Mike Cope, Ivan Vladislavic, Pamela Jooste, Sindiwe Magona, Zakes Mda, Sol Plaatje, Athol Fugard, Es’kia Mphahlele, Kelwyn Sole, Jonty Driver, Jeremy Cronin, Stephen Watson, Bloke Modisane, Nadia Davids, Rustum Kozain, Richard Rive, Herman Charles Bosman, Wally Mongane Serote, Mxolisi Nyezwa and lots lots more.
The idea was to take a tour around the country, as seen through the eyes of those who’ve written about it — it’s not an academic overview, or an exhaustive account. Mostly just me having fun with favourite passages. Here’s a page that will tell you more — click on this link.
Here’s a (very kind) review.
As always with remaindering (can’t bring myself to repeat the p-word, horrors), time is of the essence. Juta want to know how many to save by 15 June, so please let me know asap if you want a copy, either for yourself, or a library or school you’d like to support. Or both.
My little book and I will be grateful.