Sunday, 8 June 2008

Bloggers and buyers taking a stand

Following the report in last week's Bookseller that publishers are determined to press ahead with their ill-conceived plan to stamp age branding on children's books, and Darren Shan's impassioned argument on Vulpes Libris, it's been exciting to see the book blogging community, over the weekend, adding its weight to the campaign opposing this move.

I vented my own spleen at unnecessary length here. And from a quick whiz around the blogosphere this evening I see that many others are raising their voices and signing the petition, among them: Emma Darwin; Random Distractions; Fictionbitch; Fidra blog and Dovegreyreader (in a guest post by Steve Augarde). I'm sure there are, and will be, many more.

If this is something you feel strongly about too, then you can add your name to the petition here, which now comprises well over a thousand names.

And on the other current bookselling hot-potato, Amazon's falling out with Hatchette, the UK's biggest publishing group, which accuses the online giant of a 'breach of trust' with its customers, see Emma Darwin , and also BlogRabbit (the blog of

Perhaps this might be a very good juncture at which to consider abandoning the over-powerful Amazon and hopping over to BookRabbit or one of the other excellent alternatives which are expanding their range of services for customers, at a time when Amazon seems intent on alienating both publishers and buyers.


Kerrie said...

This seems to have something in common with the "genre branding" which is an issue that Susan Hill has been talking about - supposedly to make life easier for publishers and booksellers??

I have a little about the "dangers" of genre branding on my post today

Age restriction reminds me of what our local librarian tried to do when I was a child and was not allowed to borrow outside the "children's" section.

Anonymous said...

I picked up on the age related question as well, yesterday and the reaction has been interesting. For the most part my readers have been horrified so I hope they will go over to the site and register their unease.

Anonymous said...

Re the age banding debate, I've been surprised to find that by no means all authors are against it. Meg Rosoff and Philip Reeve are two big hitters who see nothing wrong with labelling books in this manner. It's also interesting, as Vanessa Robertson has pointed out, to note the absence of any comment from JKR. No opinion, I wonder? Or is it of no concern to her because Bloomsbury have not subscribed to the scheme?

Juliet said...

Kerrie - yes, it's a similar issue, and I too was told off by a [school] librarian for daring to choose a book from the 'senior' library when I was only a 'junior'!

Table talk - hi and welcome. I've been to visit your blog and was interested to see so many comments from your readers. Nice blog - will be back!

Steve - hi, yes I see that Meg Rosoff has been getting particularly irritated by this discussion. Re JKR, perhaps it's the other way around - maybe Bloomsbury didn't even begin to consider this because they saw how impossible and potentially disastrous it would be to slap age-banded stickers on Harry P?

I've just been reading some very thoughtful and persuasive words of caution at

teabird said...

I signed the petition. As a librarian, I'm appalled at the idea of branding by anything at all, let alone age. The only people who should have any say about what children read are their parents.