March 14th, 2009
Yes it’s the new ‘hot’ social network-not quite network, and yes it might be a flash in the pan, however we’ve set up on there and are tweeting with various newsworthy updates and comments as we go. Come and follow us at www.Twitter.com/LeftBookClub it is a great way to have short and frequent updates and to get quick feedback.
…and you could win. We’re giving away three original Left Book Club titles to three people (one each) who sign up to our Twitter feed by the end of the month (March 2009).
PS. The trick with Twitter is to find a load of interesting people (or organisations/businesses/news sources etc) to follow and then see what updates come on your page, you can then reply to them (if you want to) by using @theirname and if they’re good users they’ll reply to you too!
January 31st, 2008
2008 is the 60th anniversary of the last Left Book Club title (for those of you with a historical bent it was G D H Cole’s ‘Meaning of Marxism’) it would be wonderful for this to be the year we bring the whole project back to life. I’m also lobbying those nice people at Philosophy Football to produce a decent commemorative t-shirt!
Last year we succeeded in getting LeftBookClub.com up and running, and putting the feelers out for potential authors and titles we could publish to meet the objective of creating a new angle on the political pamphlet. We unlike Steve Jobs believe in the power of the written word!
We have also been looking into the best route for printing - and the delay in this has meant that print on demand quality has improved greatly. At the moment we’re of a mind to offer a book to read online for free, pay for a downloadable watermarked PDF, or buy a physical copy (and offer a limited hardback edition to special supporting subscribers). You can see this sort of offer in action at 37signals an American web development firm. We’d be very interested to hear your views on this approach.
I wrote to a large selection of authors last year and many expressed an interest ranging from Terry Eagleton, Henry Mintzberg and Ken MacLeod - as we think it is important to get some names on the list as well as offer new writers and journalists a route for political commentary. The only limiting factor at the moment is time and energy, and money of course, all standard stuff.
You may also have noticed a rather strange beast around last year in the form of LeftBookClubOnline set up by Labour MP Ed Miliband (brother of the more famous David and son of Ralph the famous Marxist theorist who wrote a superb analysis of the role of the state), I met with him at the House of Commons to discuss his use of the name Left Book Club, as we have encorporated as a limited company to protect it from general use. We didn’t hear from him again after the meeting and the web site seems to have given up the ghost too. I don’t know, you wait 60 years and two come along at once. If you’re interested in Ed’s voting records, say on the Iraq war, you can find them on TheyWorkForYou.com
The embarrasing lack of updates to the blog and via e-mail are all my fault, in September last year I left my employer, Waterstone’s, to go to work on a new book start up project, once we have the new site for that launched in March I believe that I’ll be able to move this project forward. Also the work I’m currently doing there is helpful for this too.
Any feedback feel free to drop me a line
All the best
July 9th, 2007
Very small update - more social networking groups me being grumpy on myspace about a certain other group, (that shall remain nameless).
Good news is that we’re starting to progress up Google’s natural search rankings, so I don’t have to spend such a large amount of money on pay-per-click, and finally that we have potentially got a large opportunity coming our way that will propel the whole project into a totally new league.
June 4th, 2007
We’re having a chat about potential authors on the MySpace group - pop your head in and say hi.
May 7th, 2007
Unfortunately I’m now in the position where we’ve had lots of response from potential authors, including three ‘yes we’d like to write’ from people whom everyone would know, but I can’t (even in this age of transparency) tell you who they are. Which, erm, makes for a slightly dull update. Fantastic news even though! Even those who declined were incredibly positive about the idea of bringing back the Left Book Club.
April 17th, 2007
Our initial selection of ideal authors have been mailed today, or e-mailed in the last couple of days. Now we wait to find out if everyone thinks we’ve lost the plot with the whole idea.
What I think I’ll do is do a video of the best ‘no’s when they come in - the best yes ones we might well have to keep quite on until we get them to sign something!
April 10th, 2007
Paul Mason, the Newsnight journalist, has written a book called ‘Live Working or Die Fighting’ and has posted a YouTube intro to the title, worth checking out at YouTube and you can get the book from Waterstones.com
April 9th, 2007
Feel free to come and join the MySpace group at groups.myspace.com/leftbookclub
We have just posted a new discussion on who should write for us, all suggestions welcome as we’re approaching people from this week. As we get the replies, positive or negative we’ll share them.
March 17th, 2007
So where are we up to? Well; you can see the (gorgeous) web site is up, the company is set up, we have a (loose) business plan, we’re data protection registered so we can take names and keep them securely, and have made sure we can use the name via the Patent Office.
Next steps are (1) record the first of the vblogs (tomorrow night bar disasters) (2) writing to prospective authors/supporters - we have a target list of about 50 people at present, so as each replies (or doesn’t) then we can update you on their comments! (3) some basic interest advertising - firstly we’re going to do some Google adwords, and at the other end of the technological spectrum Socialist Worker’s May Day edition.
So busy, busy.