A utopian vision for the next 10 years of publishing — Kit Caless

Trade

Foyles will be nationalised, handed over to staff to own collectively and run cooperatively

Every publishing house will have a recognised Trade Union for all workers

Anyone in Publishing who references Harry Potter will be fired, this will be accepted by the Union. 

Editors who do not do any editing will be moved to Sales and Marketing

Editors will spend 70% of their week consuming culture that is in no way related to books

Editors will not have to pretend they have read the Classics

Editors’ Whatsapp groups will be leaked regularly

90% of Publishing will take place outside of Zone One

Only 3% of publishers will be privately educated until private schools are completely abolished

#ClapForBooksellers every Friday until the netbook agreement returns

Tote bags will no longer exist, they will be replaced by A0 posters

All existing tote bags will be requisitioned and used as bags for life at the Turkish Food Centre

No book will cost more than £10

A book shall not be celebrated for its size unless it is very small

Small presses will not be patronisingly labelled ‘brave’, all publishing will be courageous

Working class women from marginalised communities will hold editorial positions at all publishing imprints or houses

English will become a minority influence in world publishing

Translation will account for 40% of UK Publishing

Prizes will not be awarded to books that do not need the publicity

Prizes will be judged by readers who are nothing to do with the publishing industry or the media

Prizes will be judged with a person to surname ratio of 3:4. So only one double-barrelled human per four judges.

Prizes will not be shared. The definition of the word “competition” will be respected. If you have a competition you will keep it a competition otherwise do not have a competition

Prizes will not exist 

Publishing will be quicker and more responsive 

Publishing will be slow, deliberate and more thoughtful

Working class black men will be published more than once a year by more than one or two presses, and sold in more than one or two bookshops

All publishing will fight fascism

Publishing will not be Sensible, Sensible will not be published

Publishers will aim to ferment revolution at all times as possible, in all areas possible, if possible

Publishing will no longer be part of the Spectacle, support the Spectacle, or ignore the Spectacle

Free spectacles will be available to all readers of books over 450 pages

The profits from cookery book bestsellers will be split evenly across the 40 smallest presses in the country (Delia’s Law)

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Utopia – closing down, duncan c, Creative Commons.

Books

Books over 10 years old that are still in print will be added to the public domain

New books published must be meaningful and do one or more of the following:
— Makeuthink,
— Give voice to the voiceless,
— Be funny,
— Facilitate or inspire radical change

Pamphlets will return to everyday reading life and will be considered alternatives to newsprint media

Books will prioritise ideas over form

No one will have to pretend Literary Fiction is a genre

Autofiction will auto-destruct after reading

Airport novels will disappear along with airports and airport bookshops

Not only books by dead black writers will make it onto the recommended reading tables in bookshops, alive ones will be prominent too

The British Library will take its archive on tour in restored Led Zeppelin tour buses.

Books will be published to encourage and facilitate class war

Books will be published to combat Received Opinion, not reinforce it

Books will imagine new futures not hide in false pasts 

Books will not be put on pedestals, Books will be considered everyday objects that everyday people possess

The text will be the only thing that matters because equal representation will be the foundational structure of publishing 

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Death found an author writing his life, Edward Hull

The Author

The Author with no experience of it, and physically able, will do manual labour between books.

The Author will engage with life outside of literature until the Author no longer believes literature to be necessary

The Author will know they are important but act as if they are irrelevant

The Author will have the name of their private school listed in their Twitter bio and is required to wear its insignia at literary events.

The Author complaining on Twitter about how hard writing is will not get a book deal

The Author self-memeing quotes from their work on Instagram will not get a book deal

The Author will not be on Social Media for the protection of The Author’s mental health and ability to produce genuine thought

The white Author will shoulder the burden of discussing representation equally and will be asked about it frequently in interviews.

The Author will only communicate with the reader

The Author will not be put on pedestals, The Author will be considered an everyday person with everyday thoughts

The Author will admit that all experiments have already occurred and nothing they write is new. Experiments with form will not be labelled ‘experimental’ as they are finished pieces of work, not experiments. 

The Author will not believe the hype

The Author will believe in their reader

The Author who lives off their spouse’s vast wealth will have ‘Spouse Funded England’ printed on the back of their books

The Author will be paid fairly

The Author will be under no illusion that being a writer is a viable career option

The author will drop the uppercase

The author will be killed once again, so that the text may live.


Kit Caless is co-founder of Influx Press. He is also the author of out of print 2016 Christmas stocking classic, Spoon’s Carpets: An Appreciation. @kitcaless

Featured image: Utopia, Alison Edwards, Creative Commons.