Machiavelli, Metadata & Other Matters - Andrew Crofts

Whenever authors get together we can be heard complaining about those who we work alongside. We complain that our agents never return our calls; our publishers never promote our books and the booksellers then refuse to display them with the prominence we are convinced they deserve.

Digital publishing has called our bluff on the first two because we can now publish and promote our own stuff, so we have no one to blame but ourselves if things don’t go as well as they did in our dreams.

Now a young author called Daisy White has gone one step further and is running pop-up bookshops, not just to sell her own books but also those of other participating authors. Any author who thought they could do better than Waterstones now has a chance to put their money where their mouth is and back Daisy White’s “Booktique”.

Currently Daisy can be found in Tunsgate Square Shopping Centre in Guildford, nestling up amongst blue-chip names like Barbour and Heals. She will be there until January 12th.

During this period she made my “Secrets of the Italian Gardener” one of her books of the week and this, coupled with a 99p promotion on Amazon as part of the “White Glove Deal” done with my agent, made the book Kindle’s number one political title – ahead of names as various as Grisham and Machiavelli, which is great, but pretty weird.

Reaching number one in any of their categories apparently earns you a flag against your book and this, my agent informs me, means that the “metadata” will improve in your favour. I have no idea what she is talking about on that one, but she has proved to be consistently right about everything else, so I am currently feeling confident about my metadata.

So, if authors can be their own agents and their own publishers and their own booksellers we will never be able to complain about anything ever again – apart from the readers of course, and no author ever complains about their readers, only the lack of them.


Pop-up bookstores! What a wonderful idea. We have many empty shops down here just begging to be used and loved...

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