With apologies to the late James W. Best for appropriating his image (from his 1935 Forest Life in India)

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Shot Down in Flames

It never ceases to annoy me how many 'new' non-fiction titles there are on the same old subjects. Obviously, publishers like to play it safe, knowing what sells, but too many such books are simply derivative hackwork. Granted, occasionally someone has something genuinely new to say, has a fresh angle, or is a real expert. If I could restore a Spitfire to full working order, for instance, I'd expect the right publisher to take me seriously if I proposed a 'How To' guide. But I know for sure what would happen were I to wake up one morning and think, "I know, I'll write a book telling the remarkable true story of how an amazing plane called the Spitfire won the Battle of Britain against all odds," then were to send off a proposal along those lines...