Jamal Edwards, an extremely cool young music and on-line television entrepreneur, who is starring in the dramatisation of my novel, The Overnight Fame of Steffi McBride, has just signed with Virgin to produce a digital business title, which will be released in six separate downloadable levels by Virgin Digital.
In each level the reader works through a different stage of setting up a business. There are crunch decision points where you have to choose which path you’ll take, which might lead you to success, but might also lead you to ruin.
I’m pretty convinced that Jamal is one of the coolest men on the planet, (apart from anything else, I am reliably informed that his mother is the “Killer Queen” in “We Will Rock You”), and if he is moving into electric books that makes the rest of us equally cool by association.
Faber, meanwhile, have designed an eye-catching cover for a new edition of Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar and the complaints have started to fly. Literary folk who are just as likely to be complaining that their publishers are “useless as marketing” raise their hands in horror, suggesting that the Philistines have now made La Plath look like a purveyor of “Chicklit”.
At the same time Wattpad.com, a true purveyor of writing to and amongst the world’s masses, launched its own “Chicklit” genre this month, spearheaded by the fabulous Marian Keyes, a woman who has never shrunk from any label which will help her to talk to wider audiences. (23 million books sold so far and constantly rising).
Personally, I love any “label” and any cover design which coaxes more people to read whatever I have written, and I had better declare an interest here and admit that Wattpad included The Overnight Fame of Steffi McBride, in the Chicklit launch. I am looking forward to a great deal of correspondence with readers on the site as a result, since connecting with readers is the whole point of coming into this game in the first place – a concept which I suspect would seem so obvious to young Jamal Edwards as to be barely worth pointing out.