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.
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).
- Mergers and acquisitions in the book trade
- Photographing your furniture may be a breach of copyright!
- Copyright abuse over who owns the image of a London red bus