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THE BIBLIO FILE is one of the world's leading podcasts about "the book" and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by NIGEL BEALE it features wide ranging conversations with authors, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and other best practitioners on Robert Darnton's "communications circuit."

Feedback or suggestions? Please email notabenebeale@gmail.com 

About

 

Mission: 1) To explore book culture at the turn of the 21st Century by interviewing 'best  practitioners' in the publishing and related trades, and those involved  in other book-related activities. In short, exceptional people who have written, edited, created, published, promoted, sold, read, studied, collected, or preserved books in one way or another.

               2) To explore the histories of these trades and activities by interviewing experts about past practitioners. 

Feedback:

"The Biblio File is an extraordinary, eclectic audio archive of writers, publishers, booksellers, librarians, the whole international book trade. Nigel Beale has achieved this through doggedness, professionalism, decency and an ambition to capture the essence of the world’s literary community. It is a huge achievement and will only grow in significance and value as years pass. It completely overshadows all other such enterprises."

Richard Charkin, former Chief Executive of Macmillan Publishers Limited and Executive Director of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck. In 2015, he became President of the International Publishers Association

(see more feedback below)

 

Background:

I've drawn up an outline indicating most of the various roles/categories I've been using to identify guests for the podcast (see also right hand side of main page ), and to a limited extent have filled in existing 'Best Practitioners' ( in black), and ones I should like to interview (in red). The outline is broken down into Present and Past. I'm looking for scholars/biographers/friends of, to interview latter case. Line of questioning: What's your role. What makes you successful? 

 

OUTLINE
 
The Writer: (Line of questioning: Inspiration behind specific books. Writing/Editing Process; Marketing/Promoting your book,  Selling your Archive).
                                   The Novelist: 
                                                        Literary
                                                        Crime Fiction
                                   The Short story writer 
                                   The YA writer
                                   The Children's book writer/illustrator 
                                   The Poet  
                                   The Non-fiction writer: 
                                                                        Politics 
                                                                        History 
                                                                        Science 
                                   The Biographer 
                                   The Memoirist                              

The Literary Agent 
The Publishing House   Trade Publisher
                                      Small/Literary Publisher 
                                      Fine Press Printers  
The Acquisitions/Commissioning Editor (The Decision to Publish) 
The Editor 
The Copy Editor 
The Designer: Dust Jacket   
                       Book Design  
The Illustrator 
The Author Photographer 
The Proofreader and Indexer   
The Production manager (The Printer, The Binder)  
The Sales, Marketing & Publicity manager(s)  
The Distribution manager 
The Reviewer/Critic 
The Writers Festival Organizer/Reading Series Organizer 
The Author Interviewer 
The Bookseller 
The Librarian 
       Cataloger
The Reader (Reception) 
The Used/Antiquarian Bookseller 
       Cataloger 
The Collector 
The Archives Dealer 
The Bibliographer 
The Book Scholar/Historian/Guru 
 
 

More feedback:

"I very much enjoyed our conversation. Your knowledge of the story of publishing, the current questions facing publishers, and specifically the long and recent history of Faber & Faber bears testament to your expertise, vocation and deep interest in the story of reading and writing seen particularly through an industry lens. If it's valuable now, which it is, in the future it will be an essential archive of our febrile times, and of publishing in the second half of the twentieth century. Keep doing it!"

Stephen Page, CEO, Faber & Faber.

 

Nigel Beale's literary podcast[s] "The Biblio File" are much loved.

International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)

 

"I listened to your excellent interview with Sandra Campbell the other day, about her Lorne Pierce biography. As usual, I was captivated throughout — penetrating questions eliciting interesting answers; a great sense of both the foreground life in the biography, and the larger significance of that life. Your questions are always well-informed because you have read the book both sympathetically and critically. Your podcasts are an essential feature of the Canadian cultural landscape."

Best-selling Canadian author Charlotte Gray

 

"Nigel Beale is one of the sharpest readers and reviewers of our age. His profound knowledge of every aspect of the literary business is carried with grace and charm in podcasts that will delight all who read."

Author and political analyst David Frum

 

"It was a pleasure being interviewed by Nigel Beale some years ago. He showed a real appreciation of the business issues facing independent publishing and a bibliophile’s fascination with the books that result. In the last year, I have particularly enjoyed a series of interviews he conducted with leading members of the book trade in the UK, including Stephen Page, Richard Charkin, Will Atkinson and James Daunt. That last interview, in particular, I have been recommending to all my book trade friends."

Toby Faber is Chairman of Faber Music, and on the boards of Faber & Faber and Liverpool University Press.

 

“I have been interviewed by hundreds of journalists all over the world - my books are in 32 languages - and if  I had to name  one interview which touched virtually every nerve in my writing experience, I would say it belonged to Nigel Beale.

If you have anything important to say about your writing or anyone else’s, you will probably say it to Nigel Beale”
 
Award-winning Canadian author David Gilmour
 
 
"Your interview with us was one of our memorable pleasures. In the first place, you ask the right questions: they define a workable area of discussion, while allowing latitude for the digressions necessary to good conversation. The trick with interviewing, as of course you know, is to point out a direction without necessarily dictating the route. This you do with consummate skill, and the result is that those you interview find themselves exploring ideas and subjects which they know about, but often from a new perspective. That at least was our experience.
 
Listening to some of your other interviews, when we have the time to sit for an hour, confirms our view that you are in the ranks of interviewers like Michael Enright, a most rare breed and, one fears, a disappearing one. Long may you reign!"
 
Poet and Proprietor of the Barbarian Press Crispin Elsted 
 
 
"I loved being interviewed by you – your approach was searching, thoughtful, and deeply informed. You have established a reputation as one of the most impressive literary journalists and critics in Canada. I hope that you continue your work for many years."
 
Award-winning Canadian poet, editor and biographer Richard Greene
 
 
"If I didn’t say it before, I’ll say it now, you’re the last man standing, you’re the bulwark against the background noise, you’re proof that intellectualism and craft mean something to somebody. This is starting to sound like a Cole Porter song. The long and the short of it is, in a world were the major media outlets, newspapers, TV, magazines, only allot the smallest of spaces to the arts - if anything at all - it is up to guys like you to pick up the slack. Keep it up.
 
I enjoyed our talk and I hope we can do it again."
 
Michael Torosian is the proprietor of the Lumiere Press
 
 
"Your interviews are always interesting and insightful. Your questions are informed and well directed. The Bibliofiles are a treasure of interviews on the book arts, publishing, and literature. You’re the best.  Keep up the good work and may you thrive."
 
Carl Spadoni was until his retirement the Director of the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections at McMaster University Library. He is the author or editor of nine books and 175 other publications.
 
 
"You are a wonderful interviewer!  I was nervous about being interviewed about Homer's Odyssey, but you put me at ease and we had a delightful conversation.  Your enthusiasm for the topic was clear to people who listened to the interview and wrote me about it afterwards.  You have a gift for bringing out the best in people!" 
 
Katharine Streip, Associate Professor, Liberal Arts College, Concordia University
 
 
"I frequently look at your interviews, and one of the recent ones with Sandra Campbell on Lorne Pierce I enjoyed very much. I think you provide an interesting view not only of Canadian events and persons in literature and publishing, etc., but on other similar topics outside Canada, and I hope you will keep these going."
 
George L. Parker, literary scholar, history of the book. Professor Emeritus Royal Military College, Kingston. Author of The Beginnings of the Book Trade in Canada
 
 
“Nigel Beale is a true bibliophile with whom it’s a pleasure to converse.  While our interview began as book biz talk, it soon became an animated discussion between literary kindred spirits, as all the best interviews do.  I look forward to his next visit, and am hereby reminding myself to include some peripatetic wandering among the bookstores in his company!”
 
 Eric Lorberer, Editor, Rain Taxi Review of Books, Minneapolis/St. Paul
 
 
"I've been interviewed by Nigel twice now, and each time was a pleasure. He's interested and engaged, well prepared but ready to learn more. The conversation is comfortable and natural, and the result once the podcast appears is always professional, informative, and fun."
 
Levi Stahl is the marketing director of the University of Chicago Press and the editor of The Getaway Car: A Donald E. Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany.  
 

"These Biblio File podcasts are remarkable in the depth of understanding and detail they show us about aspects of books – from their inception until, actually, their deaths. A book may be born with the author, yes, but comes into its own life only with its publication, with its birth in a physical form. Nigel Beale is astonishingly knowledgeable across a wide range of disciplines and leads his subjects and his listeners on a journey – through time, through space, through the mind of creators.

Whenever I receive one of Nigel Beale’s exceptional podcasts, I have no idea where I will be lead. Yes, it will always be about books in some way, but how and where and with whom: that is the gift Nigel Beale presents. I am sometimes led into history, sometimes into form or content, sometimes into an author’s mind.

What a treasure it is to have this kind of artistic documentation!"

Canadian author and book designer Laurie Lewis

"You ask the most brilliant, thoughtful questions, it's really a pleasure to do an interview where someone actually wants to talk about writing and literature in general."

Award-winning Canadian/American/Scottish Novelist Margot Livesey. 

 

THE BIBLIO FILE BACK STORY by Nigel Beale

For about ten years I ran a monthly book club. There were only four or five of us in it, the perfect number if you ask me; enough of us to get a good selection of ideas on the table, not too many to cause separate conversations to break out. Then one of our key members left to teach in the English Department at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. It was a crippling loss.  

We've since recovered, but at the time, I immediately missed his stimulating contribution. After a while I hit on an idea. I’d host a radio program on books. Matthew Crozier agreed to let me host a show on CKCU FM 93.1, the Carleton University station in Ottawa, Canada. Only one hitch. The time slot. 6am Monday mornings.

I toughed it out for a year, then took the easy way out. The show would be a podcast, produced and aired whenever I felt like it.

From the moment I launched The Biblio File I knew I was doing the right thing. The void had been filled. I now live for this stuff: reading the books, recruiting, researching, connecting and conversing with the guests; editing the recordings; creating episodes that I hope reward the listener.

Producing this show enables me to indulge my passion for books, and to share what I discover. It allows me to interview amazing people connected with the book; to engage them in stimulating conversation.

And you know what Montaigne had to say about conversation:

In my opinion, the most fruitful and natural play of the mind is in conversation. I find it sweeter than any other action in life; and if I were forced to choose, I think I would rather lose my sight than my hearing and voice.

If you love books, reading and good conversation, my hope is that you’ll enjoy listening to The Biblio File. The great thing about podcasts is that you don’t have to wake up at 6am on Monday mornings to listen to them, unless of course you want to.

 

More…

The Biblio File interviews are designed to appeal to anyone interested in books. Guests, famous and infamous, typically talk about works they’ve written, created, published, sold, studied, promoted, hunted, collected, or preserved.

My goal is to entertain and inform those who love books. My job is to connect with guests and help them to tell the stories they want and need to tell.

I do my very best to deliver quality content that I hope is worthy of your time and attention.

 

Guests have included:

Novelists: Martin Amis, Tim Winton, Margret Atwood, David Mitchell, Ha Jin, Yann Martel, Nadeem Aslam, Anne Enright, Amitav Ghosh, Junot Diaz, Jane Urquhart, Andre Brink, Larry McMurtry, Ivan Klima, Tim Parks, Andre Alexis, David Gilmour

Poets: Derek Walcott, Alice Notley, Paul Muldoon, Galway Kinnell, John Hollander, Rae Armantrout, Ron Silliman, Jerry Rothenberg, Julie Bruck, Phil Hall, Jap Blonk, Richard Greene 

Publishers:  Trade: Richard Charkin, John Galassi, Stephen Page, Jamie Byng, Gordon Graham,  Tom Doherty, Kathryn Court, Heloise d'Ormesson 

                     Small/Literary: Rocky Stinehour (Stinehour Press), Allan Kornblum (Coffee House), Emilie Buchwald (Milkweed), Stan Bevington (Coach House), Tim Inkster (Porcupine's Quill), Andrew Steeves (Gaspereau) 

                     Fine Press: John Randle, Crispin & Jan Elsted, Andrew Hoyem, Claire Van Vliet,   Gaylord Schanilec, Barry Moser, Walter Bachinsky, David Esslemont Rueter

Designers: Dust Jacket:  Chip Kidd, Steven Heller, C.S. Richardson, Matt Dorfman
                   Book Design: Jerry Kelly, Frank Newfeld, Robert R. Reid 

Independent Booksellers: Emily Powell, Mitch Kaplan, Sarah McNally, James Daunt, Nancy Bass Wyden, Doug Minett

Antiquarian Booksellers: Ken Lopez, Kenneth Gloss, Bob Fleck, William Reese, Glenn Horowitz, Bill Samuel, Robert Rulon-Miller, Adrian Harrington, Peter Ellis, Fran Durako, Patrick McGahern, David Mason, Steven Temple

Critics: Daniel Mendelsohn, Adam Gopnik, Robert Fulford, Alex Ross, John Metcalf, Matthew Zapruder, Nick Mount, Zach Wells, Michael Lista, Eric Ormsby

Librarians: Leslie Weir, Bruno Racine, John Bidwell, Richard Ovenden

Book Scholars: Jonathan Rose, Robert Darnton, Roger Chartier 

 

There are currently 450-plus interviews on this site. Each runs between 40-90 minutes.

 

To learn more about the host, Nigel Beale visit his website at www.nigelbeale.com

To contact him, please email notabenebeale@gmail.com

 

© Nigel Beale. All rights reserved.