Problem with a penguin

problem with a penguin

problem with a penguin

There are any number of alternatives to Antarctica such as skiing or being in space. – Penguin

David Thorne had a problem with a penguin. Or rather Penguin had a problem with his use of a penguin. He had no problems at all, other than problems with Penguin.

David Thorne had issues with Penguin. On the front cover of his book he had an image of a penguin sticking its finger up. Penguin took umbrage. They insisted he desist forthwith.

Since the release of the first book by Penguin, I am occasionally asked for advice regarding the publishing industry. Which is like asking a five-year-old child to explain Gene Ray’s Timecube theory. I generally just wing it and see what happens; regardless of the outcome, it is usually at least interesting and there is far too much wank involved to take it seriously.

The decision not to publish the second book with Penguin was based on timing, not on any dissatisfaction. Working with a large publisher like Penguin has benefits, such as a marketing budget, but the process from initial contract to release of royalties is. so. slow. 

When the second book was released a couple of weeks ago, the cover featured a penguin giving the finger. It ambiguously made sense with the title, was cute, and… I had no marketing budget.

problem with a penguin

problem with a penguin


David Thorne complied to the letter. He changed his penguin to one holding flowers. Penguin was not amused

The exchange of e-mails between David Thorne and Penguin is an absolute must read. A delight to read, very witty, he runs rings around Penguin.

On a more serious note, the exchange of e-mails shows what a farce copyright has become.

If one wrote a book about Penguin, it would seem reasonable to put their logo on the front. Penguin would think otherwise.

Top Story in Books! Books! Books! (Thursday 1 November 2012).

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2 Responses to “Problem with a penguin”

  1. Claire Q Says:

    That is so funny! I loved the part, where he suggested the cat riding the penguin instead and the fact it ended up as a cat on the front cover. Hope he got some good publicity out of this farce!

  2. keithpp Says:

    I agree, exchange of e-mails is a must read as very funny and makes Penguin look a bunch of idiots.

    But on a more serious note it highlights we are increasingly living in a world controlled by copyright thugs.

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