About BookBlast® Diary

Online journal, The BookBlast® Diary, is representative of the ideas and principles that are core to the philosophy of BookBlast® Limited, established in 1997. 

Since 2015, we have showcased independent trade publishing and world writing in translation with a focus on France, and a selection of key writing and ideas created by the distinguished writers and artists, Lesley Blanch, George Elton Mayo and Gael Elton Mayo, whose literary estates BookBlast® manages; alongside articles from the archive.

Christopher MacLehose, MacLehose Press — “Excellent and eloquent.”

Claire Armitstead, The Guardian — “Excellent work.”

Les Fugitives — “The BookBlast Diary is great — as I’m sure many writers, readers and publishers have told you before.”

The first BookBlast® 10×10 Tour showcased independent trade publishing around the regions, in association with the national bookshop chain, Waterstones, in 2018.

Our response to enforced confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020, was to create and release a special 15-part podcast series, Bridging The Divide: Translation & The Art of Empathy, championing independent publishers along with their authors and translators.

Original content includes exclusive in-depth interviews and podcasts with a carefully curated selection of authors, poets, translators, publishers and entrepreneurs at the heart of the independent publishing community. Our reviews that give context can be savoured as slow reads. Spotlight features focus on the book-industry and translation; articles about awards and award winners; Top 10 reads for independent minds and Top 5 reads for Francophones, are an inspiration resource for anyone with a keen interest in world writing and ideas.

We are not influenced by fame or hype, but are curious, enthusiastic and scrupulous about making choices. Our audience of book industry insiders, influencers, booksellers, librarians, journalists, bloggers, writers, book lovers and book buyers is based in the UK, US and France.

Contributors include Andrew McDougall who translates from Portuguese and Spanish; C. J. Schüler (journalist and cultural historian specialising in European fiction in translation, travel and the arts); Henrietta Foster (freelance producer/director at BBC TV); Philip Marsden (award-winning author of a number of works of travel, fiction and non-fiction); Philip Mansel (author and historian); Lucy Popescu (writer, editor and arts critic with a background in human rights); and Georgia de Chamberet (editor, writer and founder of BookBlast Ltd, with thirty years of experience in independent publishing and literary translation). Journalism from the BookBlast® archive is also included, notably features originally written for words without borders, 3:AM magazine, and the traditional press.

We also include evocative journalism and extracts from books reissued by the digital-only imprint BookBlast® ePublishing which focuses on fiction and non fiction by neglected, trailblazing women writers of the 1950s. Lesley Blanch and Gael Elton Mayo paved the way for others: living proof that as long as a woman believes she can do anything, has an unshakeable sense of self, and keeps playing until she gets it right, she can carve out a very meaningful place in the world.

BookBlast® Celebrates Independent Publishing

Building on the success of The BookBlast® Diary online journal, a carnival of authors, poets, translators and publishers travelled to major cities across the nine regions of England in Autumn 2018, showcasing some of the finest independent-spirited literature and poetry being published today.The inaugural BookBlast® 10×10 Tour in association with Waterstones was a surprise success.

The 10×10 Tour featured books which went on to be longlisted for the EBRD International literary prize (No. 3 Shatila Stories translated by Nashwa Gowanlock, Peirene Press) and the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses 2019 (Lucia by Alex Pheby, Galley Beggar Press; and Doppelgänger by Daša Drndić, translated by Celia Hawkesworth & S. D. Curtis, Istros Books).

On 14 December 2018, The Bookseller news team announced a new prize category, “Small Press of the Year” in the British Book Awards 2019 (aka The Nibbies). The shorlist announced by Natasha Onwuemezi on 22 February 2019 includes 6 of the 10 publishers on the inaugural 10×10 Tour.

The BookBlast® 10×10 Tour — Testimonials

Catherine Fuller, Projects Manager, Society of Authors — “It was good to discover indie publishers I did not know about thanks to the 10×10 Tour.”

Eric Lane, Dedalus Books — “We recommend BookBlast for their commitment and energy.”

Kevin Duffy, Bluemoose Books — “The tour increased our profile due to good PR.”

Ra Page, Comma Press — “The enthusiasm and social media posting were good. BB’s dedication to supporting and platforming indies and bringing us all together nationally in this way was a good idea.”

Susan Curtis, Istros Books — “It was great to be part of an international campaign and some useful new contacts were made.”

Meike Ziervogel, Peirene Press — “Well done! The podcasts give longevity to the talks and the tour as a whole.”

Sam Jordison, Galley Beggar Press — “The tour got our authors into a shop we’ve never been able to do an event in. It got our books in the window of the shop. There was some great publicity beforehand (being on the local BBC was excellent for us.) The event itself went really well, was enjoyable for our authors and brought a big crowd to our books.”

Rosemarie Hudson, HopeRoad — “The tour added value by way of PR and visibility, it is good someone is out there giving indie publishers a helping hand.”

Elizabeth Briggs, Saqi Books — “It was wonderful to connect with other indie publishers and local audiences, something which we are rarely able to do ourselves, and we increased online visibility.”

Roh-Suan Tung, Balestier Press — “I found the campaign inspirational and great value. BookBlast has a passionate team, and has done excellent help for independent publishing.”

Michael Schmidt, Carcanet Press — “The tour fostered a real sense of community and involvement between independent publishing and the public. We had increased sales: event stock and further online sales in response to the marketing.”

Steven Cooper, Head of Events, Waterstones HQ — “The 10×10 Tour brought authors into our shops who would never normally have visited and, as such, brought new customers into our shops. It helped us to build relationships with indie publishers and hopefully showed them that Waterstones is open to collaboration. Georgia’s vision and enthusiasm drove this project, both in terms of its conception and placing, and also in promotion and selling tickets.”

BookBlast® Ltd | Est. 1997

The BookBlast® Diary is part of the BookBlast® portfolio of literary businesses – written and digital – which includes editing and French-English translation services for authors and the book trade, and the rights management of various literary estates along with the publication of e-book and print-on-demand editions of associated titles under the imprint BookBlast® ePublishing.

The BookBlast® mission has always been to act as a catalyst for growth in publishing, cross-pollinating ideas, connecting the dots, and breaking into the mainstream authentic writing from the margins of culture and/or translated from other languages.

Literary translation helps us know ourselves and each other better. Gives voice to communities that are often ignored. Gives context and depth to World News, and is a way to connect with each other, providing vital perspectives on our ever-changing world and its many and varied cultures.

BookBlast® is a registered trademark.

© 2015. The copyright to all the content of this site is held either by BookBlast® Ltd and/or the individual authors and creators. Q&A format(s) copyright © BookBlast® Brief quotations and links may be used provided that the use is fair dealing, and full and clear credit is given to BookBlast® Ltd and www.bookblast.com/blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original author and creator. Any enquiries, contact us via twitter DM @bookblast or email bookblastdiary [at] gmail [dot] com Original post of 14 February 2015 updated April 2016; August 2017; May 2019.

The lead image of the cafe at MERCI 111 boulevard Beaumarchais 75003 Paris and of Balzac’s desk at his home in Passy are copyright material and may only be used for associated reports about this post. It is not permitted to change them, to add to them, reproduce or modify them in any other way. In case of violation, we reserve the right to withdraw the right of use.