Hay festival: Authors rebel against age ranges on books

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1 Comment

I am 100% against this, as I see it as (a) a very stupid idea, (b) a definite, irrevocable step towards censorship, and (c) a way for publishers to exert even more control over their authors, to make writers conform to THEIR idea of what a book should be, how it should be pitched and marketed, and - even more crucially and worryingly - how it should be written in the first place. I think it's very telling that authors were not asked about this in advance of the "decision" being made -- I just got an email one day telling me it was going ahead. My response? Well, to quote the late Charlton Heston, "from my cold, dead hands!!!" I have refused point-blank to allow age branding be put on my books, and will fight tooth and nail to keep it off. I advise all other children's writers to do the same, and would ask those who back the measure to look into their souls and answer the following question truthfully: in the email I was sent, great play was made on the "fact" that age branding would be very good for sales, the concept being that adults have no idea how to buy a book for a child, and that millions more would rush into shops and buy books for kids if there was a sign on the books saying "for such or such an age" -- so my question is, "Are you giving this your seal of approval because you honestly think it's a good thing, or because you're looking to make more money?" There's absolutely nothing wrong with making money, so I've no complaints if that's your reason -- just be honest and open about it. And if you're not giving it the thumbs up because of the money - if it's something you truly, passionately believe in - then can't you just put the age branding on your own books? Do you really think it's fair and just that you enforce YOUR opinions on ME or any other writer who doesn't share them? We don't NEED an industry standard where age branding is concerned. And I for one don't WANT it. And I'm going to do whatever I can not to have it.

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on June 2, 2008 8:08 AM.

The Gradebook | - Jon Scieszka interview was the previous entry in this blog.

Darren Shan Declares He Will Not Allow Age Branding On His Books is the next entry in this blog.

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