[5.10.06] [Andrew Gallix]
THE JOYCES AND CAMUSES
Heidi James, whose forthcoming debut novel, Carbon (Wrecking Ball Press) is already a strong contender for Book of the Year 2007, is interviewed about Social Disease, her new publishing venture, in this month's issue of Dazed and Confused. Here, she is talking about the first releases on Social Disease (by Lee Rourke, HP Tinker, Tony O'Neill and Paul Ewen):
"...'All their work is fantastic. Self-effectual, it references the culture, it's exciting. It requires you to think a little bit.' Of the benefits of a smaller publishing firm, she says, 'The writers have a say over the design of their books, complete control of the copy, and once I have covered my costs, they get all the profits.' This is especially important to Heidi, 'even with bestsellers, writers end up getting 60p for each book sold for often years and years of work.' Using the print-on-demand service (where manuscripts are kept as PDFs, which are then printed out when a book is bought, minimising on storage costs and the scary eventuality that unsold copies may slowly replace furniture). Social Disease is patronising a new generation of writers as they find their way on to bookshelves and into people's imaginations, and hopefully, along the way, combating the misconceptions of genre and stupidity that money and marketing machines enforce. 'It's all very well Zadie Smith being held up as this intellectual effigy. I'm not saying her stuff isn't interesting,' Heidi smiles, conceding that yes, perhaps there is an element of censorship in the deadening and packaging of modern literature. 'But whatever happened to people wanting to publish the Joyces and Camuses?'"