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Anorak | Julie Burchill: Unchosen: The Memoirs of a Philosemite

Julie Burchill: Unchosen: The Memoirs of a Philosemite

by | 22nd, November 2012

 A WHILE back I (along with others) received an email from the divine goddess Julie Burchill. She was seeking my financial support for a book she wants to publish called  Unchosen: The Memoirs of a Philosemite  – about her adoration of the Jewish race. She had signed up to a crowd-funding publishing outfit called  Unbound  – if an author can find enough loot via backers (ie interested readers with cash) to sponsor their book, then they, too, will find themselves between covers.

But why would an award-winning author such as Burchill take this route to publication? Have commercial publishing editors entirely taken leave of their senses in their crazy pursuit of Yuletide instant bio, supermarket soft-porn and the celebrity chef TV tie-in?In a promo video on the Unbound site, she says she wanted to write the book her ‘own way’. More to the point, as she revealed in the  Telegraph  recently, she was put out that publishers had had the gall to demand she submit a sample chapter of 6,000 words. The very idea!Even more to the point, and In all probability, editors were nervous of the theme. Suddenly the prospect of lucrative wall-to-wall media coverage of the title and its outspoken author paled by the fear of  an upset .How times have changed. Many years ago I couldn’t find a publisher for my novel  Farce Hole  (an 80s-set fashion satire, due to be republished as  Vicki Cochrane’s Astral Chronicle ) despite rave reader reports. Then one day the late Sheridan Morley drew my attention to a new publisher called Citron (now defunct). Even Martis Amis and Fay Weldon were singing its praises. For a nominal fee to cover marketing (I think around £100) this print-on-demand cooperative, with exacting editorial standards, brought out my book. It sold several hundred copies 25 alone at a Kinky Fiction Night reading at Waterstone’s in Oxford Street.

Oh, but the snobbery! I remember the idiotic Jason Cowley, now editor of the  New Statesman , sniffing about Citron being a ‘vanity publisher’ (even though it was nothing of the sort). The Jasons of the day decreed that author talent had to be determined by flaky souls in publishing offices from whom bookish journalists took their cue, in their anxiety to be seen not in the wrong.

And now look. Famous authors everywhere

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Posted: 22nd, November 2012 | In: Books Comments (7) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink