Before Christmas I blogged about my (sort of ex) husband's novel The Blue Book. It's been really well received by lots of people who read it over Christmas, including those with no connection with him who were given or bounght copies, and C was over the moon when BBC Five Live contacted him to ask for more copies so that they could review it and interview him for their book programme this coming Friday. It now turns out that they didn't realise it was self published and the item has been pulled at short notice because they don't promote self published books. This is not only disappointing but also fairly irrational. Obviously the programme is entitled to have whatever book selection policy it chooses but:
- Whoever read the book in the first instance obviously liked it and thought it stood out from others submitted. The fact that it is self published doesn’t invalidate that critical judgement.
- Equally, it was self published when it was selected: surely this should have been checked at the outset.
- They say they try to promote books which don’t get publicity through the normal channels: given the difficulty of finding a publisher, a good self published book is surely a prime candidate for this.
Failing all else, they could do an item on the difficulties of getting a first novel published and self publishing as a last resort, with BB as a case study.
I don't suppose anything can be done about it, but after the promise of this huge chunk of publicity it seems really hard.