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Posted by Kate, April 15, 2010

Sitting in judgement

Kate went to the offices of The Bookseller today, to be one of the judges for the publishing category of The Bookseller Industry Awards. Glitzy stuff. And pains au chocolat and everything. The other judges included Judy Piatkus, founder of Piatkus Publishing, and Eddie Bell, agent and former head of HarperCollins (both pictured – sorry for terrible photo quality). It was the best fun. We got to debate and finally settle on the publicist of the year, the independent publisher of the year, the agent of the year, the digital innovation of the year and the full-monty publisher of the year among others. Some categories were more hotly debated than others, but there was a lot of discussion. You get a big lever-arch file of all the submissions to read as homework beforehand, and, on the basis of that, you come to the meeting with views, and those views, of course, are also affected by what you know about some of the organisations/people. Kate was very cheered that the people/organisations she thought should win won in every single category.

At the end of the day, she got a sneak preview of this week’s print edition of The Bookseller, and there was Nosy Crow’s news about Deb’s appointment and our forthcoming apps as the third item in the magazine. Excellent!

There were elements of the day that were not great, though. First, Kate had entirely forgotten that there was filming involved so had failed to blow-dry her hair, put on any make-up or give any real thought to appropriate clothes … something that will be entirely obvious to anyone at the awards dinner who will see the results blown up on a screen some 10 meters square. Hey ho. The second downer was that she was hit by a visual-disturbance-migraine thing (had them before) about 15 minutes later (she blames the 7 cups of coffee) and, sightless in her left eye, fell spectacularly and not unpainfully down the steps into Charing Cross tube staion, and is now hobbling around on sprained ankle. Boo hoo.

Still, she nursed it while watching the Leader’s Debate on TV (Clegg vs Cameron vs Brown – a UK first for those of you coming to the site from outside the UK) and following viewer’s responses on Twitter at the same time. The sheer volume of tweets and the need to concentrate on two things at once, combined with some of the more inane/scary things at least two of the boys on the stage were saying, were enough to bring on another migraine.

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