"The Smiths File" - proposed new Smiths book

Since October 2009 I have had a book deal in development with the UK publisher Omnibus Press. The book is titled The Smiths File - a collection of facsmilies of original music press items taken from various rock and pop publications, including Melody Maker, New Musical Express, Sounds, Record Mirror and Rolling Stone. The book tells the story of The Smiths through the pages of the rock music press, and it is very much intended as a celebration of the group. Journalist, broadcaster and Smiths supporter Len Brown has kindly agreed to contribute the foreword. Tony Fletcher, author of the upcoming Smiths biography A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths and owner of Jamming! magazine, has also lent his support to the project. Regretably Omnibus Press has declined to publish the book, and instead will consider putting out an expanded re-issue of a previously published Smiths book title to compete with Mr Fletcher's biography. So the hunt for a new publisher begins. Permissions for the use of all material earmarked for the Smiths File book (excepting the photographs) has been granted by either the relevant publishing company or the individual writer. The support, interest and enthusiasm I have received from the writers has been overwhelming; and it is my belief that The Smiths File will be a popular item among fans of the group. My plan is to have The Smiths File on the shelves within a year of securing a publishing deal. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

Jack Barrett
 
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celibate

Forever Ill
Jack better try to make an update of Peepholism, Jo Slee won't do as she
was around in the Smiths time, and solo years around Your Arsenal time
she went bonkers about handling and being a sorta PR for Morrissey
[and his bandmembers], it stopped with Vauxhall&I

it's would be awesome
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yeah, nice idea...in fact I've already got a couple of these someone put together back in the day...they were called 'fanzines'.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
what a bunch of useless niggers, I would love to beat the crap out of all of you crying little babies.

Troll post.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
This "book" has no originality and the title is terrible. Omnibus was right to pass on it. All you ever need is already on The Comtesse DeSpair's terrific sites...and has been for nearly a decade and a half. Not a money grab like yours Jack, but the true passion of a lifelong disciple that has the kindness to share with the world.

Don R.
Oklahoma City, OK.
 

Jack Barrett

New Member
This "book" has no originality and the title is terrible. Omnibus was right to pass on it. All you ever need is already on The Comtesse DeSpair's terrific sites...and has been for nearly a decade and a half. Not a money grab like yours Jack, but the true passion of a lifelong disciple that has the kindness to share with the world.

Don R.
Oklahoma City, OK.

The publishing companies and writers have agreed to the use of the materials, and they will be paid for them. Personally, I love the Comtesse's site. But since you've raised the issue of money and kindness, all material at the various Smiths websites has been reproduced without permission, and without recompense to the original writers. The book is aimed at fans who would enjoy a collection of facsimiles of original materials. Others will prefer to save their money and continue using Smiths fan sites. Also, I wish to say that a lot of passion has gone into this Smiths book project! I couldn't have come this far without a deep and enduring love for the subject. God bless The Smiths!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
It seems the obvious needs stating

Doesn't the fact that it's been rejected by a publisher (and hardly a prestigious one at that) suggest that the project isn't worth publishing?
 

Jack Barrett

New Member
Re: It seems the obvious needs stating

Doesn't the fact that it's been rejected by a publisher (and hardly a prestigious one at that) suggest that the project isn't worth publishing?

Possibly. Which is one reason for seeking the opinion of Moz-solo users. I think the project is still worth persuing. Evidently some of the fans think so too. Thanks for the comment.
 
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Sim Tappertit

New Member
In theory it sounds a nice idea, like a scrapbook for those who never did keep a scrapbook at the time.

The one aspect which does concern/puzzle me is what you say about clearance. Over the years I've met many people who work in the music press, both journalists and photographers, and one subject which gets them hot and bothered is copyright. You say you've cleared all rights but you need to be watertight on this not just in words but also in terms of photography, especially. You need to be absolutely certain that every image in every cutting you intend to use has clearance from the photographer or you could face hefty bills and legal trouble. Not to put you off but do proceed with care on this.
 

Jack Barrett

New Member
In theory it sounds a nice idea, like a scrapbook for those who never did keep a scrapbook at the time.

The one aspect which does concern/puzzle me is what you say about clearance. Over the years I've met many people who work in the music press, both journalists and photographers, and one subject which gets them hot and bothered is copyright. You say you've cleared all rights but you need to be watertight on this not just in words but also in terms of photography, especially. You need to be absolutely certain that every image in every cutting you intend to use has clearance from the photographer or you could face hefty bills and legal trouble. Not to put you off but do proceed with care on this.

Sim - thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. You are absolutely spot on with your concerns about copyright. The best thing which came out of working with Omnibus Press on this was getting a sense of just how complicated the clearance process really is. The photography has yet to be cleared. But I have received permission for use of all written materials, either from the relevant publishing company or the individual freelance writer. A bit of effort was required to ascertain who owned what. But at the end of the day all writers were contacted, including those writers who I was sure had written as staff writers (as opposed to freelance writers). I did this because I was worried that the rights may have reverted to the individual staff writer. (This was indeed the case with Len Brown, who now owns all of his own writing after a certain point in the late-80s.) Actually, this has been one of the most rewarding aspects of putting this book together. The freelance writers - and there were many to contact - were extremely cooperative, as well as supportive. It seems I have attracted quite a bit of good will from the writers, and I am extremely proud of this fact. I continue to have their support. I've earned it. But the question appears to be: Can I find a publisher that is willing to pay for the rights?
 

Sim Tappertit

New Member
But the question appears to be: Can I find a publisher that is willing to pay for the rights?

Indeed. And in the current publishing climate without being pessimistic I'm not sure the odds are that great. But if you think it's really worth all the time and what little money would be left for you at the end of it after the writers/photographers get their cut then carry on and good luck!
 

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