Just a heads-up, in case you didn’t catch it: all Bookkake titles are available in the UK and the US direct from this site, and we don’t charge anything for postage. Zip. Nada. Zero. That’s better than you’ll find anywhere else.
If you’re not aware already, this week is the American Library Association’s Banned Book Week, which seeks to draw attention to the freedom to read and “reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.” Of course, this is a warning we should all heed – as the example of Bookkake’s Fanny Hill demonstrates.
Fanny Hill remains one of the most famous cases of censorship in British – and indeed American – history, and Sean Walsh details the beginnings of its troubles in his introduction to the book – alongside details of Jacobite sex clubs, and Eighteenth century sex panic and blood fixations. It was Fanny Hill that was at the centre of Memoirs v. Massachusetts, a landmark 1966 Supreme Court case that finally put the decade-old Roth ruling for obscenity to the test.
John Mark Ockerbloom has a great post on Why Banned Book Week Matters over at the Everybody’s Libraries blog, and the Guardian is also running a reasonably enlightening Banned Books Quiz to test your knowledge.
Image from florian.b’s Flickr stream, under Creative Commons.
Bookkake launched on an inauspicious day for publishers: on the same morning, the home of Martin Rynja, director of independent publisher Gibson Square, was the subject of an attempted arson attack, apparently in connection with an upcoming novel. It would be nice to think these were just opportunists, but the presence of police officers already tailing the group suggests otherwise. This was a planned attack, and for obvious reasons.
Gibson Square specialises in political and current topics. Books such as Londonistan by Melanie Phillips and Blowing Up Russia by Yuri Felshtinsky and the late Alexander Litvinenko have stirred up controversy for different reasons, but it is the publication of Sherry Jones’ The Jewel of Medina which is believed to be the spur for recent events.
When we were selecting the books for Bookkake’s opening collection, one of the authors we wanted to include was Alexander Trocchi, the Scottish editor of Merlin and author of Young Adam and Cain’s Book, as well as, pseudonymously, several volumes from Maurice Girodias’ Olympia Press.
We were under the impression that the rights to several of these works were available, and we asked Stewart Home to write an introduction to White Thighs, one of the Olympia novels originally published under the name ‘Frances Lengel’. Stewart was kind enough to do so, but we later discovered, despite the wealth of ebook editions floating around, the rights were spoken for. So, as some small consolation, we’re pleased to present that introduction here. Enjoy.
At Bookkake, we’ve tried to produce our books to the highest standard possible. We’ve commissioned new introductions to each of the books, we’ve freshly typeset them to modern standards, and we’ve tried to present them in the best way possible. However, they’re not perfect.
The main reason for this is that we’ve had to take digital editions of the texts where we can find them, because we can’t afford to have them OCR‘d, double-keyed, and rechecked by professional proof-readers. We’d like to, but we’re actually just one guy, without much of a budget.
However, two of the real benefits of building a publishing company the way we’re doing it is that we have readers we can talk to, and the technology to improve.
So, if you find errors in our books, please let us know over at Get Satisfaction, an open community for customer service and communication. If there are sufficient corrections to warrant a new edition, we’ll update the files at the printer where the changes will take effect immediately – and we’ll send new editions, free, to those who have helped out the most. (We can’t promise everyone free books, but we’ll do what we can.)
So if you have something to tell us about our books – or anything else to say – get involved. We look forward to hearing from you.
After a long wait, we’re open for business. We hope you like our books, and our website. Please feel free to browse the site, read the introductions and excerpts – and even buy some books, if you feel so inclined.
We’d also like to apologise for not offering international shipping.
Currently, our books are only available in the UK, but we hope to change this soon. Shipping is currently FREE to the UK and the US. If you’re elsewhere in the world, join the mailing list, and we’ll let you know when you can get some too.
Do grab the RSS feed if you’re a feed-reading type (if you’re not, here’s what RSS is), as we’ll be posting lots more on the blog, including special features, offers and essays.
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