"Now Barabbas was a publisher"

And so am I, which is one of the reasons why Kitabkhana’s been so silent the last month.

By convention, publishers don’t comment on other publishers’ books/ authors, and there’s excellent reason for that:

1. Write something nice, and you’ll be accused of trying to steal the other guy’s author.
2. Write something nasty, and the other guy’s author will spit on the shiny new contract you’re trying so hard to get him to sign.

So when I joined EastWest and Westland Books–an imprint associated with the Indian bookshop chain, Landmark–I went away to think about how to handle this. Right from the start, Kitabkhana had three parts to it: the book links, which allowed me, and I hope you, to keep track of book news; the book chat, which was the whole point of setting up a litblog; and the book gossip (admit it–that’s why most of you read book blogs, yes)?

I don’t think it would be fair to continue with the book gossip, at least the Indian author-industry book gossip–there’s a conflict of interest here. But the book news and the book chat? Thought about this one for a while, and figured the best I can do is to try. Any suggestions about how to keep Kitabkhana running, and fun, while continuing to keep it honest, would be most welcome.

And if you’re wondering about the post title, here’s the story, from anecdotage.com:

“One day Lord Byron gave his publisher, John Murray, a handsomely bound Bible, its cover graced with a flattering inscription. Murray proudly displayed the book on a table where it would be seen by his many guests.
One day a visitor, admiring the book, noticed that at John 18:40, in the line ‘Now Barabbas was a robber,’ Byron had crossed out the word ‘robber’ and substituted… ‘publisher’.”

Tch. Authors.

One comment

  1. Been reading this space for a while now. I like the writing- its crisp.Im a student of JNU, doing a masters in literature- Im setting up a magazine for un-published writers- unpublished signifying that their work hasnt been compiled into a book. I was wondering if you could review it for me when it does come out *which it will in about a month. Do let me know.wanderlustingfeet.wordpress.com

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