Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to BooksLIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Books LIVE

Penguin SA

@ Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Penguin Random House SA Launches New eBook Store Powered by Snapplify

Penguin Random House South Africa (PRHSA) today announced the launch of their new eBook Store, in partnership with the digital publishing platform, Snapplify.

The eBook store will have a range of local titles on offer: fiction and non-fiction, lifestyle and nature, and much, much more. The official launch will take place at the South African Book Fair, which starts tomorrow.

Mark Seabrook, digital director of PRHSA, says the aim of the eBook store is to offer readers “ongoing value and a high quality digital reading experience across all platforms and devices”.

Wesley Lynch, CEO of Snapplify, says Snapplify is proud to be associated with PRHSA: “We look forward to our teams working together to innovate in the South African eBook market.”

To access the store, simply follow the link, and access your favourite titles today:

Low Carb is LekkerSasol Birds of Southern AfricaChallenging BeliefsArctic SummerKilling for Profit


This morning, Seabrook and Lynch participated in a panel discussion on the shift in eBook business models at the Footnote Summit in Johannesburg. Joining them on the panel was Ben Williams, Sunday Times Books Editor and founder of Books LIVE, and Melvin Kaabwe, Digital Manager of Van Schaik Bookstores.

Here are a few tweets from the discussion. Follow the hashtag #FootnoteSummit for more:


* * * * * * * *

Press release:

Penguin Random House South Africa (PRHSA), the largest trade publisher in the country, has just launched a new eBook store for the South African market, focused on local titles.

The eBook store offers the publisher’s full catalogue. Readers can choose from leading SA fiction, non-fiction, lifestyle and nature titles including: Low Carb is Lekker, Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, Challenging Beliefs, Arctic Summer and Killing for Profit.

Mark Seabrook, digital director of PRHSA, said: “We believe there is an opportunity within the eBook retailer landscape to focus on local titles. The Snapplify technology gives us the ability to engage directly with readers, offering them ongoing value and a high quality digital reading experience across all platforms and devices.”

The eBook store seamlessly integrates with a complete suite of eBook reader apps for mobile (iOS and Android), desktop (Mac and PC) and web. Purchases are automatically synced to your app library, and the reader app allows searching, notes, highlights and bookmarks. Reading progress is synced across devices, so readers can easily pick up where they left off.

“Snapplify is proud to be associated with Penguin Random House SA and their list of bestselling titles and authors. We look forward to our teams working together to innovate in the South African eBook market,” said Wesley Lynch, CEO of Snapplify.

The eBook store officially launches at the South African Book Fair taking place in Johannesburg from 31 July to 2 August 2015. Customers who register at the PRHSA stand during the Book Fair will get a free eBook to get their digital library started.

For more information, contact Luyanda Sibisi at or 011 327-3550. For more information, visit


Book details

» read article

“And What’s Your Group, Young Man?” – Jimfish Meets the President of South Africa (Excerpt)

JimfishJimfish by Christopher Hope tells the remarkable tale of an impossible adventure.

Hope names his protagonist Jimfish – a derogatory term for a black man which is also used as a form of address, according to the Oxford Dictionary of South African English.

Jimfish emerges from the sea one day, a slippery, fairy-tale character, who embarks on the “odyssey of a South African everyman” and becomes a symbol of the bizarre nature of apartheid.

In this excerpt from the first chapter of the novel, shared by Penguin, we meet the young Jimfish and witness his encounter with the President of South Africa, who warns him not to become a rebel like Nelson Mandela.

Read the extract:

* * * * * * * *


Spying an oddly coloured boy in the crowd, the President asked: ‘And what’s your group, young man?’

     Jimfish did not hesitate: ‘I’m with the fish, sir. That’s my name and that’s my calling.’

     The President was impressed. ‘Good for you, Jimfish. If we all stuck to our own school, shoal, tribe, troop and territory we’d be a lot happier. Those like Nelson Mandela, who oppose me, will stay in jail. There will be no mixing of the colours, no turning back and no going forward. In fact, no movement of any sort, not while I am in charge.’

     The loyal Pallidians cheered him to the echo and felt very lucky to be led by a man so strong, so well-armed, so furious, and they sang him on his way:

Good old Piet, he’s the one;
We die for him till kingdom come;
Given to us by God’s own grace:
Viva the champion of our race!

And off went the new President to buy more weapons and do more crushing of anyone who dissented, demurred or disagreed.

     ‘See what we are up against?’ Soviet Malala asked his pupil. ‘War is on the way. We will drive the colonial settler entity into the sea. Take back what he stole from us. Confiscate his farms, reclaim the mines, nationalize the seas and abolish the banks. Viva the struggle! Viva the lumpenproletariat!’

     When Jimfish said he wasn’t sure if he qualified for the lumpenproletariat, his teacher told him: ‘Think of the insulting name hung around your neck and you’ll be as angry as a snake in no time at all.’

     Jimfish promised to do his best and walked home longing to feel true rage, but knowing he was more fish than snake.

Related links:

Book details

Extracted from Jimfish by Christopher Hope (Penguin)

» read article

Kom vier die bekendstelling van Boas Mei is verward met Tinus Horn en Deon Maas in Johannesburg

UItnodiging na die bekendstelling van Boas Mei is verward

Boas Mei is verwardPenguin nooi jou graag na die bekendstelling van Boas Mei is verward deur Tinus Horn.

Deon Maas sal met die skrywer gesels op Donderdag, 30 Julie in The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre om 19:30. RSVP by Lorienne Brown teen Dinsdag, 28 Julie om teleurstelling te vermy.

Horn se jongste roman vertel die verhaal van Boas Mei wie se lewe in duie stort wanneer hy in die hospitaal beland. Kom vind uit hoekom hy verward is, en hoe hy sy nuwe storie met ‘n koki-pen teen die kamermuur skryf.

Moet dit nie misloop nie!



» read article

Rocky, Remote-Controlled Cars, a Writer’s Compulsion and Other Things that Inspire Gareth Crocker

The Last Road TripGareth Crocker was recently interviewed by SA Indies Rock Book Festival about his writing career.

Crocker, whose most recent book is The Last Road Trip, shared the story of how he became a writer. His first paid writing gig was when he was nine: he sold poems to his friends at school, and once accepted a remote-controlled car as payment.

The author says finding the time to write is a challenge, especially because of the TV series he is currently working on, but he is compelled to pen his stories by the “unseen force” that he believes works on most writers.

Read the interview:

Where do you draw your inspiration from Gareth?

The film Rocky. I saw it when I was a kid and it had such a profound effect on me that there is a trace of Rocky’s story in all my novels. And , yes, I know how absurd that sounds. Adriaaaaaan!

Book details

» read article

Violence Erupts in Cape Town During Earth Hour in Michele Rowe’s New Crime Novel, Hour of Darkness

Hour of DarknessPenguin Random House presents Hour of Darkness by Michéle Rowe, coming soon!

Readers familiar with Rowe’s exhilarating plot twists and authentic South African characters will love her latest spine-chilling thriller.

It’s Earth Hour. Around the world people are switching off their lights to mark the global energy crisis. Violent criminals use the cover of darkness to wage terror on the exclusive Constantia Valley outside Cape Town.

A series of disappearances and a mysterious death sees the return of Rowe’s popular Detective Percy Jonas. Percy, with the help of her latest love interest, Detective Ren Tucker, is disturbed by an abduction that evokes her own abandonment as a child. When one of the missing turns up dead, followed by a ransom demand, the hunt intensifies. Links to violent gangsters and shady politicians lead her to the crime-ridden township of Khayelitsha. Soon she is engulfed in a political firestorm, where even her own police force cannot protect her and she is faced with a terrible choice – her very own hour of darkness.

A page-turner from one of South Africa’s exciting new crime novelists.

About the author

Michéle Rowe is a South African scriptwriter who works primarily as a head writer and story originator for television and film. She attended the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg, and has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town.

Rowe first worked as a graphic artist and later as a production designer for films and TV commercials. She was a founder member of Free Film Makers, an anti-apartheid grouping of film-makers, directors and actors who created acclaimed independent documentaries and dramas.

From there she moved into documentary film chiefly as a researcher, before moving on to writing drama series and feature films.

She has also worked briefly as an egg peeler, waitress, columnist, pop-star, and historical film archivist.

Projects Rowe has originated, written or directed have been nominated for or won various awards, including an Oscar documentary and International Emmy nomination, a Mail & Guardian Short Films Prize, a Special Jury Award at Skip City International (Japan), a Banff World TV Award (Canada), a SAFTA (South African Film and Television Award), and the Andrew Murray – Desmond Tutu Prize.

Her work reflects her ongoing preoccupation with South Africa’s culture, politics and history through the medium of drama and story.

She lives in Cape Town with her husband, son and daughter.

What Hidden Lies was her first crime novel, and the winner of the 2011 Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award.

Book details

» read article

Watter lesse het die Britse jeugboekskrywer Chris Bradford in die Bosveld geleer?

Bodyguard: AmbushChris Bradford is die jong Britse jeugboekskrywer wat vanjaar ‘n draai gemaak het in Suid-Afrika by die Franschhoek Literêre Fees en die Kingsmead Book Fair.

Hoezit, die “pretwerf met breinkrag” vir jongmense, geskep deur Fanie Viljoen en Jaco Jacobs, het met die Bodyguard: Ambush-outeur gesels oor sy Young Samurai-reeks.

Bradford vertel meer oor waar hy sy inspirasie vandaan kry, hoe om opwindende spanningslyne te skep en waarom navorsing so belangrik is. Hy deel ook sy skryfwenke en verklap watter lesse hy in Suid-Afrika en Zimbabwe geleer het.

Lees die artikel:

Hoe het jy navorsing vir Bodyguard: Ambush gedoen?

Chris: Ek het Afrika (en Suid-Afrika) al ‘n paar keer besoek, so ek ken die Bosveld ‘n bietjie. Ek het ook vir drie maande in wildreservate in Zimbabwe gewerk, dit het baie kennis bygedra. En ek het belangrike oorlewingstegnieke geleer: hoe om water te vind, watter kos jy kan eet ensovoorts.


» read article

Wat op aarde gaan aan met Boas Mei? Lees ’n uittreksel uit Boas Mei is verward en vind uit!

Boas Mei is verward“Dit is ’n teks wat ’n mens inkatrol. Dit is vaartbelyn geskryf met duiwels wat ondergronds dans.”

skryf Joan Hambidge oor Thinus Horn se nuwe roman, Boas Mei is verward.

Waaroor is hy so verward, vra jy? Boas Mei is verward oor baie dinge. Oor hospitaaldrag en boude wat uitsteek. Oor die kere wanneer sy geliefde hom liefhet. Oor wat om te maak met die wreedheid van die wêreld. So verward is Boas dat hy in die hospitaal beland. Maar oor een ding is hy nie verward nie: wat die probleem in sy kop is.

Jy vra weer, wat op aarde gaan aan met Boas Mei? Vind ‘n kwart van die waarheid uit deur die eerste twee hoofstukke te lees uit Horn se humorbelaaide roman:

Hoofstuk Een

Boas Mei is verward – en dis amptelik. ’n Verpleegstertjie het so pas ’n etiket om sy linkerpols kom sit en daarop staan dit duidelik in ’n ronde, kinderlike handskrif geskrywe: “Confused”.

Hy sit regop tussen spierwit lakens en voor hom sien hy ’n helder prentjie van die heelal wat op sy fondamente skommel en skud; van ’n profeet uit die Ou Testament – seker maar Jeremia – wat oor hom troon en met ’n bulderende stem beveel: Gaan op jou knieë en bid! Het die profeet die Tien Gebooie voor Boas se neus geswaai terwyl hy sy boodskap oordra? Seker nie. Maar dis hoe Boas dit onthou en hy onthou dit soos gister, al het dit eergister gebeur.

Eintlik was dit g’n profeet nie. Dit was Talia se pa. Diep in sy hart weet Boas dit, maar hy doen moeilik afstand van die groter drama wat hy hom verbeel, kompleet met die reuk van rook en swael en die aarde wat voor hom oopskeur sodat hy ’n magdom verdoemde siele beter kan bekyk.

Het dié boodskap, dié visioen, hom tot inkeer gebring? Is dit hoekom hy hom tot ’n Hoër Hand – dié van ’n dokter – wend? Nee, wat, nee. Dit was iets groots, ja, maar hy het dit van ’n afstand aanskou, asof dit op iemand anders gemik was. Sy woede was allermins getemper. En nog minder sy drang om leed te versprei.

Eers die volgende oggend – gister – sou alles in ’n oogwink verander, toe hy wakker word en besef hy is alleen.

Boas is bly hy kry uiteindelik ’n kans om hierdie aaklige dag in oënskou te neem, hier waar hy hom tussen vars lakens bevind, naby weldoeners met koorspenne, stetoskope en bakkies met jellie en vla.

Hoofstuk Twee

In Boas se weergawe is hy meer heldhaftig, minder lomp en sy bene is frisser as wat werklik die geval is. Verder strook dit min of meer met die waarheid.

Dié lyk só: Hy is op pad werk toe, en daar tref dit hom: hy het nie ’n werk nie. Pleks van links draai hy regs en voor hy hom kom kry, sit hy in dokter Schoof Appelman se wagkamer.

’n Week lank wou Boas pyn saai waar hy kon. Teen die tyd dat hy by dokter Appelman se spreekkamer inskuifel, is hy geheel en al skadeloos. Hy haal net skouers op toe dokter Appelman vra wat is fout. As hy geweet het wat is fout, sou hy mos nie hier gestaan het nie, reken Boas Mei. Dis toe dat dokter Appelman besef Boas is verward. Maar hóé verward, dié wis hy nie. Hy krabbel iets op ’n papiertjie en sê Boas moet by so-en-so hospitaal aanmeld en die papiertjie by ontvangs ingee. Hy moet nagklere en tandeborselgoed inpak, vir ingeval.

As dokter Appelman sy pasiënt deegliker ondersoek het, sou hy hom nooit vertrou het om self sy karretjie te bestuur nie. Op pad huis toe ry Boas Mei amper ’n man op ’n fiets en ’n non te pletter. Nugter weet hoe niemand vandag in die lykshuis lê, met sy of haar bloed op Boas Mei – of is dit dokter Appelman? – se hande nie.

Tuis pak hy sy tassie. Hy slaap graag in ’n bokserbroek en ’n t-hemp, wat albei gewoonlik, winter en somer, lente en herfs, voor dagbreek op die vloer langs die bed beland. In die kas vind hy net ’n t-hemp. Hy dra ook onder sy flannels ’n bokserbroek, wat voorlopig sou deug, maar daaraan dink hy nie. Want Boas Mei is verward. Hy snuffel toe maar in die chaotiese kas van sy geliefde, of gewese geliefde, wat self twee dae vroeër inderhaas moes pak, en daar kry hy sowaar ’n broekie, van dieselfde materiaal as ’n fietsrymondering. ’n Wit broekie met prentjies van ’n muis. Klein, met ’n stewige rek. Hy strompel kar toe, waar ’n gelukskoot hom tref: sy sleutel pas nie in die deur nie. Dis nie ’n motorsleutel nie, dis ’n agterdeursleutel. Sy buurman, Boks Bakker, sien hom sukkel en staan nader om te hoor of hy kan help. Dis toe dat hy ook besef Boas Mei is verward, of nie lekker nie, soos Boks Bakker dit sou beskryf.

Boks maak toe eers seker Boas se huis is gesluit (hy was nie), lees dokter Appelman se briefie, en sê: “Kom, buurman.”

By die hospitaal besorg hy Boas veilig aan die woelige dames by ontvangs, waar ’n geskarrel ontstaan, want Boas het probleme met die vorms. Iemand bel vir dokter Appelman. Dié se ontvangsdame bel vir Talia, wat dokter Appelman onlangs oor slapeloosheid kom sien het. Talia warrel in, nog effens geskok, vat saggies aan Boas Mei se hand en probeer oogkontak vermy. Sy vul ’n hele paar blokkies in, en daar trek sy. Wat het van die monster geword? wonder Talia.

’n Dame maak ’n oproep. ’n Verpleegster verskyn. Sy’s oral sag, maar Boas weet dis nie nou tyd vir hunker nie. “Come,” sê sy vir Boas. Hy volg haar deur ’n doolhof, woordeloos, tussen ’n malende mensegedruis deur, meer as die helfte geklee in wit of groen of ’n kombinasie van die twee. Boas merk dit nie op nie. Hy’t hom nog nooit aan modegiere gesteur nie.

Hulle bereik ’n doodloopstraat. Daar gee die verpleegster dokter Appelman se briefie vir ’n suster. Dié is vriendelik genoeg. Sy sê Boas aan om sy skoene uit te trek en sy bril, sleutels en knapsak aan haar te oorhandig.

Boas se knapsak, wat hy amper altyd by hom het, bevat ’n notaboekie, ’n potlood, ’n debietkaart, ’n kondoom wat hy al drie jaar lank saamdra, vir ingeval, ’n boetekaartjie, ’n twintigrandnoot en ’n skoon paar sokkies. Hy vertrou die suster sal mooi daarna omsien. Sy het baie balkies op haar skouerlapel.

Hy moet op ’n bankie gaan lê. Dié skuif met Boas en al onder ’n staal-igloo in wat ratel en zoem.

’n Halfuur later kyk die suster na ’n stel prente. “Foto’s van jou brein,” sê die suster, toe Boas vra. Hy hou nie van die manier waarop die suster na sy brein kyk nie.

“Wat …?”

“Ek gaan gou met Dokter praat. Hy sal nou hier wees.”

Bedoel sy nou of bedoel sy nou-nou? wonder Boas Mei.

Toe Dokter – kort en stewig en kordaat – arriveer, is hy nie alleen nie. Die nuus oor Boas Mei se brein het vinnig versprei. Daar is ’n ronde een met ’n bokbaard; ’n maere met ’n bles; ’n langerige een met ’n effens wilde oranje-grys haardos; dokter Appelman, groot en vriendelik met ’n bypassende boep; en die enigste vrou, ’n kleintjie wat duidelik op ’n dag besluit het sy wil nie meer in ’n biblioteek werk nie maar nog steeds bietjie streng lyk en bo-oor haar bril vir mens kyk. Boas is verbaas toe sy vir hom glimlag.

Boas weet dit nie, maar sy herinner hom aan ’n spesifieke biblioteek-tannie. Hy was omtrent ses toe hy hartstogtelik op haar verlief geraak het. Sy’t dieprooi hare gehad wat vorentoe krul en met ’n breë band in posisie gehou is. Sy was lieflikmooi. Hy wou sy vriend Papie op sy neus pot omdat Papie gesê het sy ma kan sweer dis ’n pruik. Hy kon tog nie vir Papie se ma op haar neus pot nie. Dit sou verkeerd wees.

Die biblioteektannie het een vakansie sy hart gebreek toe sy met hom raas omdat hy al sy boeke op een dag klaar gelees het, voordat sy die kaartjies kon liasseer. Sy het boonop diep gesug voor sy die kaartjies uit ’n bondel soek. Daarna het hy nog soms al sy boeke op een dag klaar gelees, maar altyd tot die volgende dag gewag voor hy hulle terugvat biblioteek toe. Hy het toe al in elk geval besluit hy gaan nie met haar trou as sy so lelik is met hom nie.

Dokter Mia Amat se vel is minder blosend en haar krulle meer uitbun-dig en sy’s korter en haar wanglyn is sagter en haar oë is donkerder en lê met ’n ander hoek en haar neusie is kleiner en minder gepunt en haar lippe is heelwat voller en sagter en haar nek effens minder elegant. Behalwe hier-voor lyk sy vir Boas op ’n haar na die biblioteektannie, al weet hy dit nie.

Die dokter wat voor geloop het, hou ’n knipbord na hom uit. “Teken asseblief. Daar. Nee, dáár.”

“Wag bietjie, wag,” sê die biblioteektannie en vat saggies aan Boas se arm. Maar Boas het klaar geteken. Dis nie Boas se gewone handtekening nie; iets meer flambojant waarin mens nie ’n enkele letter van die Latynse alfabet kan onderskei nie. Arabies, miskien, met ’n krulletjie hier en ’n kolletjie daar.

Almal noem mekaar Dokter, een of twee op die Engelse manier, daar waar hulle om die foto’s van Boas se brein vergader staan. Iemand sê die FKP’s lyk uiters vreemd en iemand anders meen dis dalk te wyte aan die GRD’s. Of miskien die AXT’s of die WGK’s. Hulle frons diep, een en elk, en dokter Appelman lyk mistroostig.

Boas frons nie. Wat die dokters ook al so laat frons, is nou hulle saak. Hy kan niks daaraan doen nie. Dis nou te laat. Te laat waarvoor, dié weet hy nie. Maar dis beslis te laat.

Een van die dokters roep ’n verpleegster nader. Boas trek sy skoene aan en die suster van die igloo gee sy knapsak terug. Hy kyk nie of al sy besittings in die sak is nie. Die suster het haar eie notaboekie en pen. Alle susters het een van elk, dit het hy al gesien. Sy ken nie die geheime nommer van die debietkaart nie. En wat sou sy nou met twintig rand of ’n ou kondoom of ’n paar manskouse wou doen? Die boetekaartjie sal hy sekerlik self moet betaal.

Die verpleegster word glad nie ongeduldig toe Boas talm nie. Sy lei hom saggies aan die elmboog weg en laat los eers toe sy sien hy is deeglik op koers.

Hulle stap in dié gang op en in dáái gang af. Hulle haal ’n hysbak boontoe, van waar sy hom tot in blok F en dan tot in ’n saal begelei. Saal 7, lees Boas Mei. Daar vind ’n kort onderhandeling plaas. Die een verpleegster oorhandig ’n kaartjie met baie woorde op aan ’n ander en verkas. Boas wil haar volg, maar die nuwe een sê nee en neem Boas na ’n kamer met ses beddens. 7C. Sy bed is die eerste een aan die linkerkant. Boas is bly. Dis sy gunstelingbed in enige kamer: die eerste een, links.

Hierdie uittreksel het oorspronklik op die Penguin-webblad verskyn



» read article

“The Husband in the Book is Nothing like My Husband”: Pamela Power on Ms Conception (Podcast)

Ms ConceptionPamela Power recently spoke to Tamara LePine-Williams on Classic FM about her racy, honest and wickedly funny novel, Ms Conception.

Power, who is a scriptwriter on Muvhango, says the most difficult part of writing the novel was coming to grips with the descriptive bits: “Dialogue is what comes naturally to me.”

The author says she aimed to write something fun and light-hearted, as well as “have a rant about what it’s like being a working mother”. Ms Conception tells the story of a suburban housewife with small children and the everyday battles she faces – from a crumbling career and sagging breasts to toddler tantrums and a floozy pursuing her man.

Power issues a disclaimer about the novel: “The husband in the book is nothing like my husband.”

Download the podcast:

Book details

» read article

Podcast: Gareth Crocker Hopes The Last Road Trip will Urge People to Live Their Best Lives

The Last Road TripThe Last Road Trip by Gareth Crocker tells the story of a group of elderly folk who decide to go on one final trip around the country together.

“I write these kind of emotional, hopefully uplifting books,” Crocker said to Jenny Crwys-Williams in a recent interview on Talk Radio 702.

The author told Crwys-Williams why he “absolutely enjoyed” writing his latest book: “For me The Last Road Trip, as much as it is a story about five elderly people who are trapped in their five-star exclusive retirement estate – I’m trying to show that there are prisons of all shapes and sizes – as much as it is about them and their journey and this one last grand hurrah and this road trip that spans a thousand miles, it’s a metaphor for what happens in all our lives.”

Reflecting on his own unhappiness within the corporate sector and the sense of freedom he felt when he left the rat race, Crocker said he hopes his book will “urge people to try and live their lives as much as is possible”.

Listen to the podcast:

Book details

» read article

“6 000 Abject Pounds … For Most South African Fiction Writers that’s the Stuff of Pure Fantasy” – Tom Eaton

TexasThe De Villiers CodeTom Eaton, who describes himself as “a columnist, screenwriter and sometime novelist”, has written a post on his blog Calling Through the Fog about Alison Flood’s article “Authors’ incomes collapse to ‘abject’ levels” in The Guardian.

Flood reported that “the average professional author is now making well below the salary required to achieve the minimum acceptable living standard in the UK”. In the article, the reporter looks at the median income of professional authors and how this number has depreciated in the last decade. Flood also spoke to a number of authors to discover what this means for them in real life.

Eaton takes on the article and translates it to a South African context, outlining how sales and royalties work in this country. While he acknowledges that the situation is indeed serious for British authors, he says “6 000 abject pounds a year can’t keep a Briton in Marmite but that’s still about R115 000 a year, and for most South African fiction writers that’s the stuff of pure fantasy.”

Read the article:

That’s what the headline on The Guardian said, and I was frantic to know more. Which authors? Was it me? Were my annual royalty cheques of R250 about to plunge to R50? Less?

Usually I read like a millenial, which is to say I base my world view on the first three words of headlines from Buzzfeed articles on Twitter. But this time I read on.

Many professional authors in the United Kingdom, I discovered, were seeing their royalties plunge. Some who had earned their living from writing books were facing the prospect of – dear reader, are you sitting down? – not being able to write fiction as a full-time occupation.

Book details

» read article