A major frustration of using the otherwise excellent web-creation software, RapidWeaver, is its inability to cope properly with non-roman alphabets and unusual diacriticals. This blog page was created in RapidWeaver but the blog entries are entered directly into the Armadillo and therefore bypass... Read more
I started my publishing company, Tiger of the Stripe, ten years ago. It has been a struggle to make any money and, with competition from free or cheap ebooks, the situation was getting worse. The obvious solution was to get a job with someone else. I've applied for many publishing jobs over the years, for some of which I was exceptionally well suited, but in the last few years no-one has even offered me an interview... Read more
I was disgusted to learn that the Senate House Library is planning to sell of copies of the first four folios, donated to them on condition that they were to remain permanently in the Library. As well as being unethical, it will deter any future donations. Please sign a petition against this. and also contact the Director of Senate House Libraries Christopher Pressler – firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent events, which I cannot discuss here, have made me very angry... Read more
Television advertising is irritating but advertisments in, or on, old books are sometimes very interesting and useful to bibliographers and book-collectors... Read more
Britain's military interventions in various parts of the world have been many and various over the years. Sometimes they have been forced upon the country, such as the Second World War. Often they have been undertaken for commercial or imperial reasons, such as the underhand and piecemeal invasion of India and the scandalous Opium Wars... Read more
I am a keen, if rather erratic, baker. Producing one's own bread from scratch is one of those very rewarding things. It also teaches one patience. A good loaf is never rushed and, in general, the more slowly it is created, the better it will taste.
One thing that had always eluded me, though, was the technique of creating one's own sourdough starter... Read more
I have nearly finished my crime novel, Isleworth Madonna, set in a fictitious university in Southwest London. I just need to strew a few more red herrings around and polish things up... Read more
We are getting very excited here at the headquarters of the massive Tiger of the Stripe media empire in the heart of leafy Richmond upon Thames. The quiet bucolic charm of Richmond is in stark contrast to our feverish exertions at Tiger HQ where we are planning for a very important book launch... Read more
The merger between Penguin and Random House has now been approved by all the regulators. This giant publisher will inevitably become more remote from both readers and authors. Future sales are likely to be driven even more by advertising and gimicky promotion. Will this improve shareholder returns? I doubt it. So the question is, 'What is the point?'
We have been there before, in the world of banking... Read more
Whenever I am depressed or afflicted by self-doubt (quite often as I don't seem to be able to make a decent living), I cheer myself up with the BBC's version of the American TV show, The Apprentice. At least, I console myself, I am neither as stupid, nor as arrogant as those idiots... Read more
Well, this is a real shocker. US government agencies are spying on people (foreigners apparently) using social media sites and Britain's GCHQ is receiving some of this information. This prompts two questions from me: 1. Are you surprised? 2. Would you rather they weren't doing this?
If your answer to the first is yes, you must be very stupid. If your answer to the second question is yes, there are more possibilities. You could, again, be very stupid... Read more
British supermarket chain Waitrose has announced that it has told suppliers to stop using three neonicotinoid pesticides, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, by the end of 2014. Predictably, this has drawn criticism from the National Farmers' Union and agrochemical companies but a warm welcome from the Soil Association. Waitrose is also funding a three-year research project on the subject at Exeter University... Read more
The British Government keeps saying it wants to encourage small businesses but anyone who runs a small business, especially a very small one, knows that the bureaucratic burden just keeps getting greater.
I have a very small limited company (which I'm going to wind up when I can). HMRC has just introduced real-time PAYE reporting... Read more