JLA in the Press

Audiences will want to hear about William Hague’s bizarre friendship with Angelina Jolie if he takes up on the lucrative speaking circuit
Posted on August 21, 2014

Ex-Foreign Secretary William Hague claims he’s retiring from politics at the General Election to spend more time with his wife, Ffion. There is also the lucrative speaking circuit to look forward to. He can command £25,000 a pop as an after-dinner performing seal. His former agent Jeremy Lee predicts: ‘His recent experience in government will make him even more in demand.’ Is anyone really interested in Hague’s boring political travails? Audiences will more likely want to hear about his bizarre friendship with pouting actress Angelina Jolie.

Original article appears here

The Economics Of Book Festivals
Posted on June 27, 2014

There is a particular sound that for many, along with the cry of the cuckoo, the thwack of willow on leather and the hum of a distant lawnmower, now signifies the approach of summer. It is, of course, the amplified tones of an author trying to be heard as rain drums on the roof of a marquee.

With its mushrooming tents, ranks of deckchairs and orderly queues of readers waiting to have their books signed, the literary festival is now an established feature of British cultural life. Yet just over 30 years ago, in 1983, when the Edinburgh International Book Festival was launched, it was one of only three. Today, according to literaryfestivals.co.uk, a website that tries to keep up with them all, there are more than 350 in Britain alone and a further 100 in Australia and New Zealand. Not to mention others in Gibraltar, Colombia, India, Spain, Kenya . . .

A festival organiser who asked to remain anonymous, despite being bullish about the economics of book festivals and the remuneration of authors, said, “There aren’t terrific margins, so it’s all about making sure you book the right people and put them into the right venues and you sell enough tickets.” So, though authors might be tempted to look at the figures they’ve jotted on the back of an envelope and cry foul, the organiser is more sanguine. “I think authors overvalue themselves,” he says bluntly. “It’s the festival that is taking the risk.”

It’s a view shared by Jeremy Lee, whose speakers agency last year provided talent for 2,300 corporate events. These events, says Lee, pay anywhere from £1,000 to £30,000 for a speaker. But, despite what they might imagine, most authors just “ain’t a draw . . . being a fabulous author does not mean you’re a fabulous speaker”. In Lee’s half-joking view, “The only people who make money from these festivals are the caterers . . .”

Richard Kay
Posted on January 8, 2014

After-dinner speaking agency JLA has published a list of MPs, businessmen, TV presenters and sports stars on its books, offering a useful guide to what they consider their market worth to be.

BBC newscasters Fiona Bruce and Huw Edwards are classed as A-listers who expect to be paid an eyewatering £10,000 to £25,000 per engagement.

Meanwhile, Today programme presenter John Humphrys and Daily Politics host Andrew Neil are rated B, who will settle for a more modest £5,000 to £10,000 per talk.

I know who I’d prefer to listen to.

Original article appears here

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