Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Unsolicited Testimonial

I was surprised and delighted to see one of my Blurb books (Mirrors, Windows, Walls) featured on the estimable Wood s Lot site this morning, plus a link to this blog. Within the diminishing circle of bookish, black-clad malcontents, flâneurs and flim-flam artists like myself that is a kind of fame (or, "fame"). I've been unusually approachable all day, despite the weather.

The only thing that would make me more content today would be taking the phone call from Manfred Eicher this evening begging me to prostitute my art for ECM Records. Hah! As if! (I'm in all evening, sir).

Five leaves left... *

* It has been pointed out to me that younger readers may not get this reference. Once upon a time, the makers of Rizla hand-rolling cigarette papers used to insert a little printed sheet of paper that emerged as you got towards the end of the packet: it read "Five leaves left". Towards the middle of the 1970s, this was replaced by the more literal instruction "Time to buy another packet". A little bit of poetry had gone from the world.

Needless to say, Nick Drake's album of that name (yes, that's right, the yearningly beautiful Time To Buy Another Packet) is yet another of those nudging references to Reefer Culture that were so prevalent at the time. It is always astonishing to me that so few people worked out that the attractively typographic name "Rizla" placed alongside a rather large cross was, in fact, a play on the name of the manufacturers, La Croix (Riz La Croix? Rizla + ?).


Struan said...

I hope it boosts sales Mike. Well deserved attention.

Mike C. said...


Well, one sale would double the sales of that particular book...

To be honest, I'm extremely pleased and flattered to be noticed, but have no expectations of any increased traffic on the blog, never mind book sales. A mention I had a while back, with a direct link, on The Online Photographer (daily traffic: 30,000 visits) brought 300 extra visits, of whom 3 left comments. Hmm, if we wanted to get pseudo-scientific, what are the odds I can work out the daily traffic on Wood s Lot tomorrow morning?

But, extremely gratifying in and of itself. How Mark Woods keeps up that level of intensity and quality of attention year on year is a wonder to me. It's like being noticed by the editor of a national daily.

[Any idea why he leaves that odd gap in the site name? It's intriguingly un-obvious...]


Struan said...

' ': I fantasise that he had a traumatic childhood growing up in a greengrocer's. Either that or, like me, he never quite got the hang of the Oxford Comma.

The remarkable thing is not so much the flow of links, as the fact that he has time to go outside and take his own photographs.

I wish I had more money for books, yours included.

Mike C. said...

I spend way too much money on books, though I've tried to get it under control in the last year.

My policy of only reading fiction electronically is holding good, though, except I couldn't wait for the e-version of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.

As to my own (and others') photographic books, I'm increasing of the opinion that a good "animated PDF" presentation (e.g. Issuu) is actually superior to a bulky, less than optimally-printed paper codex. I suspect the i-Pad may be going to have an impact here, though I refuse to buy into the Apple mystique!


Struan said...

The things I hate about Apple as a consumer are exactly the things that intrigue me as a producer.

I too like the look of photographs on a backlit screen, and some of the extra possibilities of a computer slide show - it's easier to hand hold the viewer through multiple threaded narratives, for example. The Apple bookstore (or App store) offers the chance for a small publisher to distribute a rights-managed picture book with decent sized images - and at a price attractive to toe-dippers.

First though, I need to do more scanning.....