A heartfelt collection of letters, memories, poems and tributes written by everyday people from across the country
Penguin Random House
In what you could only assume is a sort of early-warning R.I.P. to publishing – created by the mainstream publishing industry’s very own, crowd-plundered Trojan horse – the Mother’s Day Gift of 2016 as coaxed by Penguin was this; apparently “A heartfelt collection of letters, memories, poems and tributes written by everyday people from across the country” – well, when’s a back-cover of a book ever lied, eh?
Yes, cut the middle men and women out but aim right for Middle NZ. Penguin asked complete nobodies, you, me, the postman, to pen a heartfelt letter or poem or tribute to mum – your mum, not mine, they’re all different after all hence a whole book of thanks for having me/I love you so much – in a cynical nod to the death of ideas.
The commissioning editor was replaced by a group email. The author replaced by A Pack of Numpties.
The audience? The mothers that made it into the book and their families.
Crafty-as-fuck – the payment for said numpties was one copy of the book, gratis. That means Kiya, Daughter of Maria and Lindsey, Daughter of Betty and Anon, daughter of Amum would of course all give up their guts for gratis as the old school saying used to go (I think?) and hand mum the freebie copy. Well, what greater gift…
And then rush out and buy up a shelf of copies so that their home could have gifts for anyone that visited the newly published author.
This book worryingly looks to shift the stats – it’s a distinct possibility now that in New Zealand (and this has in fact, worryingly, always been almost-likely) there are published authors who have written more books than they’ve read; certainly a fresh batch of the freshly “made” will now own more copies of the same title on their shelf than ever before.
It’s an embarrassment to and for all concerned.
Not least of all because John Key now has a favourite book, and one that won’t take up too much room on the shelf so everyone can still see his DVD copy of Johnny English.
Ninety-six people in New Zealand love their mums. Apparently. Or were too cheap to get a real gift. That’s 94 daughters and two sons by the way. But you would have probably guessed that.
A sad day for publishing in New Zealand. Another sad day in New Zealand.
But about that we should probably say no more. For indeed mum’s the word.