This is the first of an occasional series of updates on my attempt to start an e-publishing company. The bridge (apologies to Arthur Miller) is between being a writer and being a publisher. Don't yawn - this isn't yet another story of self-published e-books. This is a real publishing company, publishing other people's books. It's SO not a self-publishing venture that I will reject all manuscripts I submit to myself. I have my rejection letter here ready:
Dear Stroppy Author
Thank you for submitting your story for consideration. Sadly, it does not meet the criteria for our list. One of the criteria is 'not written by Stroppy Author.' Please read our submission guidelines more carefully in future.
The larger of the Two Maggots
Enough time-wasting. The point of this series is to pass on the writer's insights into publishing practice that fall out of this venture. Whether the venture will work, I have no idea. I have run a publishing company before, so I'm not a total novice. But it was a long time ago, and my boss was a balloon (orange) and we were publishing very different things, so most of this is new. For one thing, there is no balloon. Perhaps there should be? I'll think about it. After all, I know I can offset the balloons against tax - I've done it before.
Today's view from the bridge shows..... why it takes publishers so long to respond to submissions. I have answered the queries quickly, and now I have some MSS to look at and it has all slowed down. As authors, we always get impatient and panicky about that. Now I know why it is. It takes a long time to read manuscripts - much longer than to read query emails. And there are plenty of other things to do, such as checking page proofs and looking at editorial feedback. And all the other things are more urgent. If I don't check page proofs, books are printed with mistakes in. If I don't read a manuscript, it just sits there until tomorrow. Important, but not urgent.
Good luck Stroppy! We should all know how much time it takes to wade through manuscripts - given how often we re-read our own! I think the problem is , we think only of our own - the rest of the slush is obviously not so important ;o)ReplyDelete
So true, Kathryn. We never think of all the other MSS the poor editor/agent has to wade through...Delete
You are a brave and intrepid soul, dear Stroppy. Have you seen that Michael Thorn is engaging in something similar?ReplyDelete
As for reading manuscripts... I thought that was a myth... >;-)
I have, Nicky. And I don't see how his business plan can work. Plus, he threatens 'extensive' editorial intervention. I will just be picky about what I take, and take things that need less editorial intervention. We will be doing rather different things, I think.ReplyDelete
Reading MSS - I can tell within a page if it's worth reading. If I've asked for it, I'll read it. If it's sent without invitation, I won't read beyond the first page if it's not going to be good. But I'm not going to ask to see things that turn out not to be reading past the first page :-)
Oh right - so this manuscript reading thing is not a myth. There are really humans out there who read them? :-) You are very brave!ReplyDelete
How exciting! The very best of luck - I'm sure it'll be a success. Maybe one of the criteria could be "must contain a crow somewhere". That'll weed 'em out!ReplyDelete
Every good wish to both Maggots! Hope you succeed beyond your wildest dreams.ReplyDelete
Good luck, Stroppy!ReplyDelete
But you mean you're actually reading all these mss youself? Haven't you discovered the new software yet that automatically filters the next sure-fire bestseller straight into your lap, while generating email rejections for all the rest?
Hooray for you! I've already decided a few months ago that Crabbit Publishing is only going to publish books written by me, because I'm the only author I trust not to be rude and stroppy to me and I also decided it would stop me writing (and many things are already doing that.) I'm full of admiration for you, you power-ball!ReplyDelete
Does the company have a website? I'm interested in how it all works, (what I really mean is, how it would make money. I can't figure out that aspect of e-books)ReplyDelete
Not yet. It will have a website when it has a list. I don't know yet whether it will make any money - I hope so, but it's a bit of a gamble/experiment.Delete
There is no reason why e-books should not make money. The problem is marketing them.