The Questionless Books Interview: Critic and Blogger Sam Jordison

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Sam Jordison

In The Questionless Books Interview, I get a whole bunch of books people (from authors to editors to publishers to sales/publicity/production people, booksellers, designers, librarians, readers, etc) to "answer" a series of unspoken "questions". The results highlight a delightful mix of the opportunities and challenges facing our sector: from doom and gloom to sunshine and rainbows, and every irony in between.

Sam Jordison is a writer and blogger. Most of his journalism about books can be found on The Guardian. He also writes for Salon Futura and a few other outlets in the UK. He's written a few humour books for the UK market, the most famous of which was called Crap Towns. Meanwhile, the least embarrassing of his attempts at short fiction can be found online at 3AM magazine.

Sam's Links:

The Guardian
Salon Futura
3AM magazine

I am Sam Jordison

I am known to pick my nose and eat it, write books blogs on The Guardian and write humour books for the UK market.

I do this in my dining room in Norwich, when I'm not eating, asleep, or hanging out with my family.

I do this because I like it and I'm hoping it's going to tide me over until I win the lottery.

I do this when I can.

The way I do this is inefficient. Mainly because of the internet.

At his/her core, a Writer is mad.

As opposed to an Author, who is mad and published.

A Writer is responsible for everything and nothing.

As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for nothing and everything except the mistakes the publisher has inserted.

At its core, Publishing is a very foolish way of trying to make money.

As opposed to Editing, which is a quixotic quest for the best possible book.

A Publisher should always throw parties.

As opposed to an Editor, who should always read very carefully.

A Manuscript that's ready to be read by others is a rare and precious thing.

As opposed to a Book that's ready to be ready by others, which is still not finished, but as close as can be within the constraints of time and budget.

A Manuscript should always contain hopes, dreams, fears and sentences that make sense.

As opposed to a Book, which should always have all those things and a cover.

At its core, Bookselling is good.

As opposed to Book Marketing, which is evil.

The smallest unit of narrative is the verb.

The biggest reason to anticipate the future is that it's coming whether you like it or not.

The biggest reason to be scared of the future is also that it's coming whether you like it or not.

In the future we will all take acid and make sweet, sweet love. No. Sorry. Wrong questionnaire. In the future we're all doomed. Publishers are going to be beaten like gongs for a short while as amazon and the internet hammer at their independence and profitability. Then all that will be left will be a few sad echoes and fading sound waves telling those that hear them of something beautiful that once happened, but which has now gone forever. Writers are going to be told to make money by trying to sell t-shirts to their fans, doing gigs and getting proper jobs. No one will even know what book reviewers are.

At his/her core, a Reader is a person.

The ideal Reader is lovely.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Related item from our archives

George Murray

George Murray’s six books of poetry include The Rush to Here and The Hunter. His most recent books, Whiteout and Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms, are published by ECW Press. He is the editor of the popular literary website Bookninja.com.

Go to George Murray’s Author Page