3 MAY 2008, Page 79

Q. I am published by Bloomsbury. I know that other

Bloomsbury authors, most volubly Joanna Trollope, feel the publisher is too ‘J. K. Rowling-centric’ and are dissatisfied with the amount of attention and marketing they receive themselves. I have always been quite happy with Bloomsbury but, could you advise me, Mary, should I follow Joanna Trollope’s lead? Is there any truth in these allegations?

Name and address withheld A. No, but as Max Beerbohm observed — every author is dissatisfied with their publisher because every author thinks, ‘this book will make my fortune and make the world think more highly of me,’ and, of course, their dream does not come true. At least if you stay with Bloomsbury, you have the perfect excuse for your lack of success — ‘all the attention has been diverted to J.K. Rowling’ you can say. What is more, you can be glad that, thanks to J.K. Rowling, your advance from Bloomsbury will have been roughly double what it would have been without her being part of your stable.