Month: August 2008 Page 1 of 2


"For a cautionary tale, everyone cites Paul Bradley Carr." - THE SUNDAY TIMES


What kind of day has it been?

It’s been quite a day for fuck ups, all told

First I discover that I incorrectly spelt ‘Mefenamic acid’ as ‘Methanamic’ acid in the book (kudos to Zoe for spotting – no pun intended).

Then Aaron Sorkin’s researcher pointed out that I’d illustrated my Facebook The Movie post with someone who wasn’t Aaron Sorkin.

And finally, just as I was about to kick back and watch some DNC, I get a message from my little brother who is due to fly to Canada tomorrow. Turns out Zoom airlines have gone bust – less than 15 hours before his flight was due to leave.

Brilliant brother that I am, I’ve spent the last hour or so rescheduling him and ensuring that he’ll now land – albeit via Boston – just twenty minutes later than scheduled.

I knew all this technomadery would prove useful. I’m just disappointed that I couldn’t do it within my personal 35-minute flight planning and booking target. It’s more tricky when you’re scheduling someone else.

Hey ho. What a boring post. But what else are blogs for?

Now: Obama.


You talkin’ to me?

Do you know what’s weird? Working in a hotel room of a morning, streaming BBC 6 Music for the first time in ages, and suddenly realising that the radio people are talking about you.

That’s weird.

Still, ‘ Unlimited digital thumbs up.’ One for the sidebar quotes, eh?


Charlie Wilson’s Wall: the Aaron Sorkin Facebook movie

(Quick update: Aaron Sorkin’s researcher, Ian, just pointed out that “whoever that is on your website is not Aaron”. This is what happens when you rely on Google image search. Consider it corrected.)

According to a story on Valleywag (now confirmed), Aaron Sorkin has been asked by Sony to write a screenplay based on the history of… Facebook.

There’s just one problem: as Sorkin himself admits, he knows nothing about Facebook. In fact so desperate is his lack of knowledge that he’s set up a group on the site asking for help and advice from Facebook users, explaining “I figured a good first step in my preparation would be finding out what Facebook is.”

Now, regular readers will know that I’m a huge Sorkin fan. As I say on the About page of this very site, I would gladly have the man’s babies (although they’d probably be cancelled after eight months). And so it kills me that he’s heading for such an epic fail. Facebook the movie? Who exactly is that aimed at? People who thought Shattered Glass could do with a bit more exposition? People who loved the technology in Wargames but hated the high drama?

But Sorkin has asked for help, and so help he shall have.…

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Waterstone’s Q&A

Waterstone’s have just published a Q&A I did with them a couple of weeks ago. Here’s an extract. Follow the link for the whole thing…

They’ve published a slightly amusing profile of me too, here.

* * * *

Paul Carr – author Q and A

Paul Carr on the end of The Bible, whoring, and having a vague interest in the great Gonzo…

What was your favourite childhood book?

The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark. I mean, just consider that for a moment, an OWL who is afraid of the DARK! He’ll starve! I won’t spoil the ending, but sufficed to say, he doesn’t starve. The sequel, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, is worth a look too, but it’s aimed more at teenage readers.

Which book has made you laugh?

Lots of them, sometimes for reasons the author intended. Most recently I laughed out loud at a few of the jokes in Boomsday by Christopher Buckley, who also wrote Thank You For Smoking. It’s a really nice modern satire on how Washington works, quite light reading but great if you have a few hours on a train or plane. He’s also one of the few authors who can write about blogging without sounding like either my dad or Douglas Coupland.…

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Fear and freeloading in the authors yurt

Finally hooking up with the Champagne was a mini adventure in itself.

A gift from my (brilliant, lovely, etc) publisher to mark publication of The Book, it was originally delivered to me c/o Adam Street before embarking on a ridiculous up-country relay, ending up in a rather excellent Edinburgh restaurant where Richard O’Connor had thoughtfully arranged for it to be put on ice.

There really is no better start to a long weekend – or end to a long journey – than a bottle of decent Champagne on arrival follwed by a fine meal and excellent company. Especially when that company includes Richard, Robert, Stephanie, and a songwriter from D.Ream. Surely, Things Could Only not Get Better.

And yet they did. My Book Festival talk thing was a blast – and pretty well attended, especially given that James Harkin and I were programmed against Irvine Welsh. (”What are you two talkin’ about?” “Footba”” What are you two talkin’ about?” “Ideas and technology.”)

Specifically, James was talking about his excellent book, ‘Big Ideas‘, and how some big ideas (the Long Tail, metrosexuality, citizen journalism…) require the use of a finely tuned bullshit detector. I was talking about how all of my ideas require the very same.…

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A half year of living virtually

MacBook – check.

Blackberry – check.

iPod – check.

Hello there. You find me packing once again, this time to head north of the border to the Edinburgh Book festival (do come and see me if you’re around – details here).

With every new leg of the journey, it’s the same check list as I tuck everything into its proper pocket of my maroon suitcase on wheels, taking special care to make sure I don’t leave anything expensive and electronic under the hotel bed.

And not least because, when it comes to electronic devices – particularly costly ones – I don’t enjoy the best luck.

Sure, partying plays a part – somewhere in the region of a billion lost iPods and an equal number of credit cards still languishing in tumblers behind bars will testify to that – but even sober, I seem to have a knack of killing or losing expensive gadgets.

Take laptops. I’ve had three – THREE – stolen now. Including one from a bag resting between my feet while I was having a conversation with two lawyers. Then there was the MacBook hard drive that died on the exact same day that my Blackberry fell in a sink full of water, meaning I lost the originals and backups of all my contacts at once.…

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I mean…

…could they not find a dictionary?

In Borders, Charing Cross Road, my book is proudly displayed in the ‘Biograhpy’ [sic] section.

Awesmoe.


Official: my ‘limitless capacity’ is ‘utterly endearing’

From the Press Association review of Bringing Nothing that has just arrived in my inbox (thanks for the tip, Katya)…

“Although the title might sound slightly nauseating, author Paul Carr is a surprisingly witty writer. His tall tales about trying to start an internet company, nights spent on the tiles with dot com millionaires, and his limitless capacity for drink, work and web-related ideas, are utterly endearing. This is completely addictive reading.”

Just saying.


The Long Fail part one: Amazon pre-orders and other pointless exercises 15

Ask any author and they’ll tell you: one of the best feelings in the world is the first time you see your new book in an actual book shop.

It’s not an ego thing – not entirely, anyway – but rather much-needed proof that this thing; This Thing that you spent all those months working on, actually exists. It really is an actual book that strangers can actually buy and actually read.

It’s at about this point that you feel dizzy and sick and have to get out of the shop as fast as you can.

And now, thanks to technology, there’s another variation of this experience – the first time someone you don’t know emails you a photo of your book in situ. That’s an extra level of weird as it drives home even more firmly the fact that anyone can buy it and read it.

My own experience of this, with Bringing Nothing To The Party, came the day after the launch party, when Paul Farnell emailed me a photograph of the book piled up on a table in Waterstone’s, Edinburgh.

Since then, a steady stream of emails, texts and Twitters have come in, with sightings from the length and breath of the country.…

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The Long Fail part II: In which the author stabs himself in the Sales Rank

Further to this, Amazon have emailed me back…

“Mr Carr.

Thank you for contacting Amazon.co.uk,

Your book is in stock but it is coming from one of secondary warehouses. Because of this there is  currently an extended delivery date for your book. We expect to have your book in stock in one of our primary warehouses around the 28th of August.

Thank you for choosing Amazon.co.uk

Warmest regards

Kelvin S
Amazon.co.uk”

Well thank you kindly, Amazon.co.uk. But – hey – here’s an idea, why not display that information to customers before they order so they can take their business to I dunno – Play.com, who actually have it in stock, instead or buy it from Waterstone’s who have it in all of their stores?

Shit – I just answered my own question, didn’t I?

Oh – and while I’ve got you, where exactly is this ’secondary warehouse’? The fucking MOON? I only ask because on Wednesday I used Royal Mail to send some copies of the book to San Francisco and they’re estimating delivery tomorrow. Just saying.

Sorry once again to the pre-orderers. I made the recommendation to use Amazon in good faith; really I did. Your best option look like cancelling the order and using either Play or Waterstone’s instead.



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