598 episodes

THE BIBLIO FILE is a podcast about "the book," and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging, long-form conversations with authors, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and many others inside the book trade and out - from writer to reader.

The Biblio File hosted by Nigel Beale Nigel Beale

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 7 Ratings

THE BIBLIO FILE is a podcast about "the book," and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging, long-form conversations with authors, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and many others inside the book trade and out - from writer to reader.

    Christopher Long on the Genius Graphics of Lucian Bernhard

    Christopher Long on the Genius Graphics of Lucian Bernhard

    “Lucian Bernhard (1883-1972) was one of the great founders of modern graphic design. In a career spanning nearly five decades in Berlin and New York, Bernhard laid the foundation for a new language of form and communication. His brilliant posters, advertisements, book designs and typefaces created the very look of the twentieth century and beyond. In this lavishly illustrated book, noted design historian Christopher Long traces Bernhard's life and career, uncovering new truths and demolishing old myths.”
    Long studied at the universities of Graz, Munich and Vienna, and received his doctoral degree at the University of Texas at Austin in 1993. Trained as a cultural historian, his dissertation was a study of the Viennese architect and designer Joseph Frank. He has since written extensively on various aspects of Central European Modernism and has published monographs on a number of notable central European emigre architects and designers in the United States.
    We talk about his latest, Lucian Bernhard. I learned about it from Steven Heller’s essential Daily Heller, and was thrilled to see that it was published by Kant Books, based in Prague. All I had to do was to walk about ten minutes from my apartment doorstep to my favourite bookstore, Kavka Books, to pick up a copy.

    • 51 min
    Nick Anthony on AI, and writing his first Novel

    Nick Anthony on AI, and writing his first Novel

    I interviewed Nick Anthony a year or so ago about his experience writing a first novel and getting parts of it work-shopped. Today I catch up with him to find out what he’s been doing and where he’s at now on the road to getting his first book published.
    We talk about, among other things, how AI has helped him in the writing process; subjective and objective readers; the difference between screen writing and novel writing; Noam Chomsky on plagiarism; Elon Musk on Harry Potter; chess; photography; Joyce’s Ulysses; Marcel Proust writing about me going to the corner store to buy a bag of milk; and more.
    The “Josh” I reference towards the end of the conversation is Josh Dolezal, who was a recent guest on The Biblio File podcast. He talked about, among other things, the experience of trying to find a literary agent.

    • 39 min
    John Sargent on beating Amazon & Google, and saving Books

    John Sargent on beating Amazon & Google, and saving Books

    John Sargent was too young to fight in WW ll but he spent years battling Amazon and Google in the trenches on behalf of publishers and authors, protecting copyright and defending book prices.
    John grew up on a cattle ranch in Wyoming. Over forty years he worked at six publishing companies, including Simon & Schuster where he was the publisher of the Children’s Division, and Dorling Kindersley where he was CEO. For the last half of his career he was the CEO of Macmillan. He’s the author of three children’s books and is currently chairman of The Ocean Conservancy.
    We met via Zoom to talk about some of the fights he’s had over the years and other stories presented in his new memoir entitled Turning Pages, The Adventures and Misadventures of a Publisher. We also talk about crying and bravery, McDonald’s, Monika Lewinsky, George Bush Sr., suicide, Donald Trump, fucking sea urchins, and more.

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Joshua Doležal on being a Book Coach

    Joshua Doležal on being a Book Coach

     



     
    Joshua Doležal is a writer and award-winning teacher with 20 years of experience in publishing and editing. His mentor was Ted Kooser, former Poet Laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize winner.
    Josh's work has appeared in more than 30 magazines including The Kenyon Review and The Chronicle of Higher Education. His memoir Down from the Mountain Top: From Belief to Belonging was short-listed for the 2016 William Saroyan International Prize. He writes at The Recovering Academic on Substack, AND...he's a “book coach”. 
    What’s a book coach? We met via Zoom to answer this question. Topics discussed include: the roles of a book coach and the qualifications you need to be one; writing tools that Josh recommends his clients use; the concept of defamiliarization; horror films and the element of surprise; three-step strategies for drafting manuscripts; Lisa Cron; James Paterson; turning points, resolutions and reckonings; tent poles and cairns; the importance of discovering things while you write; literary agents; advice for me on my podcast catalogue “book” project; Sting's backlist; pertinent questions to ask yourself if you want to write a book, such as: ‘why are you writing this book?’ and ‘why should readers care?’; plus, much more.

    • 56 min
    Andrew Franklin "the best of the best in U.K. publishing"

    Andrew Franklin "the best of the best in U.K. publishing"

    James Daunt calls him "the best of the best in U.K. publishing, constantly challenging the industry to move on when it drags its feet." Listen to my conversation with Andrew Franklin to learn why.
    Andrew is founder and, until recently, publisher of Profile Books, an award-winning British independent publishing house which launched in 1996. Best-selling authors on its list include Mary Beard, Margaret Macmillan, Simon Garfield (Just my Type), and Lynne Truss, whose Eats, Shoots, Leaves (2003) sold more than three million copies worldwide and won Book of the Year at the British Book Awards in 2004. Serpent’s Tail, founded by Pete Ayrton in 1986, became an imprint of Profile in 2007. It publishes distinctive, award-winning international fiction. Viper Books, a crime imprint, was added in 2019.

    I met with Andrew at Profile's offices in London. We talk about, among other things, how much he made off Eats, Shoots, Leaves; selling paperbacks at Hatchards; Tim Waterstone; my tee-shirt; admiration as a key component of successful publishing; conviction and effort, judgement and horse-racing; taste and fashion; tee-shirt designer briefs; "content before commerce;" risk; rom-com; Hilary Mantel; the importance of style versus substance; Goethe; marketing, distribution and sales; taking books seriously; getting the right books into the right hands; freedom of the press; Butler to the World; non-conformism; and Mary Beard's Emperor of Rome. 

    You might want to pay special attention to how Andrew speaks about Mary Beard and her book. And Margaret Macmillan for that matter. The enthusiasm, vigour, conviction. Belief.
    They're trademarks of all great publishers.

    • 54 min
    Michael Schmidt on 50+ years publishing poetry

    Michael Schmidt on 50+ years publishing poetry

    Here’s how the Carcanet Press website describes him: Michael Schmidt FRSL, poet, scholar, critic and translator, was born in Mexico in 1947; he studied at Harvard and at Wadham College, Oxford, before settling in England. Among his many publications are several collections of poems and a novel, The Colonist (1981), about a boy’s childhood in Mexico. He is general editor of PN Review and founder as well as managing director of Carcanet Press."
    Michael has been applying his judgement publishing poetry and fiction for more than fifty years “discovering” and rediscovering, along the way, many of the greatest writers of our age.
    We met at the Carcanet offices in Manchester to talk about, among others things, what he does; Germans in Mexico; the love of poetry; The Harvard Advocate; magazines as good tools for book editors; the importance of the past; the difference between editing books and magazines; poets John Ashbery and Edgell Rickword; writers starting on the left; generous patrons: Baron Robert Gavron; prosody; syllabics; leaving room for the reader; overproduction being a straight path to bankruptcy; an education at Oxford; Milton; the Understanding Poetry anthology; writing letters; the centrality of politics; notions of balance and continuity; principles of permanence and change; the difference between taste and judgement; catalysts; the Yiddish saying: “One word is not enough, two is too many.” Changing literary culture; Wallace Stevens; enhancing, extending and revitalizing the language…all this in tandem with a chorus of Manchester trams piping in, in the background, throughout the conversation.

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

Joshhhhjjjhh ,

Excellent podcast! Worth your time!

It’s a great podcast about all things books and publishing. Really insightful topics, sometimes episodes are about things I didn’t even know I was interested in.

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