What Makes the Perfect Book?

What does make the perfect book?  I think this is the most debatable question in the literary world. It’s incredibly subjective, my personal tastes would vary from yours, but at the same time there are so many best seller lists, awards, categories and reviews out there that it becomes a mine field to know what makes a ‘perfect’ book.

Emerald street (a enewsletter company)  with HarperCollins and Picador put together a fantastic panel to discuss just that. Anna Fielding chaired the with bestselling authors Jessie Burton (THE MINIATURIST, Picador) and Francesca Haig (THE FIRE SERMON, HarperCollins). They were joined by editors Natasha Bardon and Francesca Main, plus agent Juliet Mushens  (The Agency Group) And Even though there was 60 people, i felt it was still an intimate event held high above in the clouds on the 14th floor of The News Building. The ticket included copies of both books, there was wine provided by sponsers VIlla Maria, New Zealand’s most awarded winery (always a plus in my book as it sets a more informal tone to the evening). And after the panel there was plenty of opportunity to mingle with other people, and the authors.


A few takeaway notes

  • For a writer there is no such thing as a perfect book, but for readers there can be (Here the panel threw out some of their favourite books, Harry Potter got a good run)
  • Juliet Mushens said she can often tell when a book has been written to fit in with a current trend.You have to write for yourself
  • Francesca Main said that for her the perfect book is a book you’re torn between staying up all night to finish, and slowing down to savour every word
  • Natasha Bardon said that If you can feel like you’ve known and loved a character your whole life even from the 400 pages they’ve been in then that makes a perfect book
  • Francesca Haig writes for herself to begin with. You are the most important audience says she first writes for herself to begin with, she is the most important audience, and then seeing other people inhabit the world you’ve built and interpret it in different ways is really exciting.
  • The perfect moment of a book is getting to the point where the author and publisher are happy with the book

Total cost was $10 which included the copies of the books. fantastic. I would love to see more panels like this in the future as it gave a great perspective from all sides of the process- writing-selling-editing

Disclaimer: Featured photos are saved from internet sources and are not the product of my own skills. All workshops/events are paid for by me and all reviews are mine from my own notes, opinions and experiences




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