Yesterday evening I popped along to the swish environs of Kensington Palace to attend the annual HarperCollins Authors’ Party. I’ve never visited KP before and I must go back for a proper look as it is rather lovely and quite subtle, as palaces go.
The party was in the Orangery. Lots of book types milling around and waiters carrying plates of tiny little hors d’oeuvre. All a long way from Fuzzby’s monster diner. I was going to take more photos, particularly of the wonderful editorial team who have made Monster and Chips so much fun to work on, but once I had a glass of champagne in my hand that was it. Probably just as well.
Victoria Barnsley, the CEO of HarperCollins, had announced her resignation a few days earlier and used the party to give her farewell speech. The Bookseller has covered it here.
She advised publishers to remember they are content providers, not tech companies.She said they should focus on what they do best: producing great stories. I’ve always struggled with focus, personally, wanting to do lots of different things at once. It’s only recently that I’ve felt things come together, recognised what I’m actually good at, rather than what I want to be good at. There’s always room for play and experimentation, as they keep things fresh and help with the learning process. But I’ve realised I have to stay grounded if I’m going to achieve anything with my work, and finally the benefits are beginning to show.