Publishing blogs (II): Apples and Bananas
When I started this mini-series of posts on blogs about publishing, I decided to nominate bronze, silver, and gold medals for my three favourite blogs. The bronze award went to Open Reflections and my intention was to nominate Peter Ginna’s Dr Syntax: Scattered Observations on Books and Publishing. But now, in a last-minute swerve, I’ve decided to select Zoe Faulder’s Apples and Bananas instead.
This is perhaps unfair on Dr Syntax, which is clearly a classy production – complete with an attractive Rowlandson illustration. Mr Ginna as publisher at Bloomsbury Press in New York is in a position to write as man about town and Dr Syntax is well-informed, thoughtful, and stylish – more so (in each way), I think, than Apples and Bananas.
So why choose the latter? Perhaps a part of the appeal of Apples and Bananas is that it lies closer to the original spirit of blogging. The posts are informal, fresh, wide-ranging. The posing of questions – one of Faulder’s favoured techniques – stimulates dialogue with the blog’s followers.
Faulder describes herself as a ’20-something’. The blog does read very much as a young person’s blog. Of all the texts – books or blogs – I have reviewed on this blog to date, Apples and Bananas is the least assured. Faulder’s voice is more exploratory than authoritative. She writes that “she loves that every day she learns something new about publishing”. The blog exhibits a sense of learning and discovery.
One final point. Faulder describes her self as a “Brit … who works in a publishing company on the outskirts of Dublin”. Ireland’s book industry is often overlooked by the metropolitan-based commentators on Anglophone publishing. Though Ireland’s industry is small, it is neither uninteresting or uncreative – and part of the appeal of Apples and Bananas is that it acts as a window onto it.