Thursday, 29 April 2010

Mark Piggott's Blog

Legend Press author Mark Piggott is today's Guest Blogger. His second novel Out of Office will be featured in Exclusively Independent and here Mark writes about the true meaning of the word 'independent'. It's always interesting to read the various blogs posted up on this site, and everyone interprets the task of writing a blog, differently. Many thanks to Mark for providing us with this piece, and read more about his fantastic new novel by visiting his website here and/or the Legend Press website here.


in·de·pend·ent
–adjective
Not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself: an independent thinker.

No man is an island” – John Donne

In our interdependent world, is it even possible to be truly “independent”? Indeed would one wish to be independent, when together so much more can be achieved? I pride myself on my independent spirit, but it’s something I couldn’t have developed on my own. Without other people I’d be worse off materially, emotionally and financially: to go it alone, you need all the help you can get.

Sometimes I find myself wondering what would happen if Legend Press were to be swallowed whole by some multinational corporation that also manufactures pesticides or drills deep into the Alaskan tundra on behalf of libertarian Governors. This fictional megacorp would of course be based in America and the managing director would smoke fat cigars and possess the power to break newspaper critics with a well-aimed email.

One part of me – the pragmatist, the family-man materialist – wonders if being amalgamated might be a good thing. What’s the point of ideals if nobody reads your stuff? Another part of me – the dogmatic punk, the Leftie firebrand – would want to campaign outside the conglomerate’s 80-storey glass-and-platinum HQ with strongly-worded placards, chanting touchingly 80s slogans.

The pessimist in me worries that whoever took over would make it their first priority to jettison excess baggage, those authors whose novels are yet to sell in Rowling-in-it quantities. The red line is the bottom line: publishing is a business, not a charity, a refuge for dreamers (before you write in, I don’t believe this).

On balance, I’m happy where Legend Press have positioned themselves, as an independent and growing publisher with strong links to other independents, sharing some ideals and resources, each with their own strengths, interests, back-stories and catalogues. Would the phrase “independent union” be a more accurate description of this noble scheme, despite being an oxymoron? I’m glad I’m independent; I’m glad we all are. Viva independence: long live the union.

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