I would like to submit my candidacy for Global Book Dictator, with full responsibility for all book-related matters everywhere. Here’s what you can expect from my ruthlessly autocratic regime.
The following will be instantly banned
- Rubberized covers. The ones that make your fingertips feel weird, like the book is wearing a condom.
- The use of the following in sex scenes: rod, nubbin, turgid, pebbled, intimate fold, rosebud. The use of ‘turgid’ anywhere at any time.
- Fantasy book covers with the woman managing to showcase both her bum and her breasts to the viewer. (If you haven’t read Jim C Hines on this, do so.)
If you want to try this position, I accept no responsibility for subsequent physiotherapy costs.
- Snide remarks about publishers or authors “just trying to make money”, like that’s a weird thing for businesses and self-employed people to do.
- Pink or blue on the covers of children’s books. The use of ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’ ditto. In fact, any gendering of children’s books whatsoever.
The following will be placed under a three-year moratorium to see what happens if we have to do something else
- Books about shifters. There is now a werehedgehog romance out there. The madness must end.
- The Regency period. I love a good Regency romance but there are now more fictional Regency couples than there were people alive in England at the time.
- Novels about writers writing or failing to write novels. Novels by graduates of writing courses about being on writing courses. Novels by literary people who went to Oxbridge about… etc. Yes, they say write about what you know, but damn.
The following will be strongly encouraged, possibly with government grants
- Three hours of free editorial advice for everyone writing their first novel, as long as they commit to putting the damn thing in a bottom drawer without asking anyone else to read it, and writing another book instead.
- Either all interviews will comment on the author’s physical appearance and include a sultry picture, or none will. I’m leaning towards ‘all’ because I’d like to see George RR Martin forced to pout sexily by a lake, but I’d be happy with ‘none’ and never reading a journalist’s assessment of a female author’s body again.
- The return of double covers with die cut, so you have a hole through which you see the picture on the next page, 1980s horror novel style. I want these for all genres, including literary fiction and economics textbooks.
Just look how cool this is.
Vote for me as Global Book Dictator!
Anything to add to the manifesto? Comment away…