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.