Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Author in a hurry - part deux

This author has also written with more information - and it turns out her two different publishers are quite specialised. So I've somewhat wrongly accused her of being in a hurry - although I don't know her personally, so I really can't say for sure. She has also written that she 'certainly didn’t mean to sound like I was whinging about not being able to enter competitions! The "big break" is definitely being published, but for me it’s also about being able to establish a career of sorts ... It’s not about being published by as many publishers as possible or being in a ridiculous hurry, but about being proactive and knowing the limitations of my current relationships with publishers.'

Given what she's told me about her existing publishers - both with no presence 'in the trade', as we like to say - she is right to send submissions to other (trade) publishers. But here's my big warning: now is a really bad time to be submitting children's picture books. Or illustrated books for adults. Those books are expensive to produce, both in terms of paper and production, and the amount of time involved, so they're not the sorts of books publishers are rushing to take on in 'uncertain' times. Australian publishing is doing okay at the moment, but our northern hemisphere colleagues are cutting people and projects all over the place. Some of those colleagues work in the head offices of large multinational publishers who may soon turn their gaze south. And as the illustrated books usually come from the larger houses - as they have the bigger budgets - now is really not a good time. So if this author wants to make relationships with other publishers, she should ideally do it with non-fiction that doesn't need thick paper ...

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