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Citron Press Launches Book Club

Citron Press, the London-based print-on-demand publisher, formally launched its Book Club and plans to sell its extensive range of titles via the Internet instead of through bookstores.

Citron Press introduced itself earlier this year at the London International Book Fair, promising to revolutionise publishing in the UK. Apparently delivering on the promise, it has now published its first catalogue of 40 brand new titles, the author of each one having paid GBP399 to get into print, the firm stated. If this sounds like vanity publishing, it is most definitely not, says the vendor. A substantial advertising campaign, plus 200,000 copies of the catalogue, combine to give the authors the start they need.

"There are tens of thousands of writers in this country who feel permanently excluded from the world of mainstream publishing," said British author Martin Amis, who endorsed the concept. "Citron Press gives them what the vanity presses have never even pretended to offer--an audience, a fair hearing and a chance to excel."

Among the initial titles, the copies printed in paperback on a "per order" basis, are "Bombay Mix," by Richard Baum (a satire that "lifts the lid on Bombay"); "Going Indigo," a new novel by Sam North (one of the leading titles of the current selection); and a crime thriller featuring Detective Chief Inspector MacLeod, "Death of a Reverend Gentleman," by Lynn Nixon.

To join the Citron Book Club costs the reader GBP5.99, with a commitment to buy three more books at 99 pence, plus one book from each of six catalogues sent over a 12-month period.

Printed with toner by high-volume laser printers, the Citron Press books are bound in standardised jackets in a range of designs. Most titles are fiction--"horror to humour"--but there is also a selection of non-fiction as well. None of them will be available through retail stores, but they will be sold via the Citron Press Book Club and (soon) by the Citron Press Web Book Club.