lose some, win some

Posted on Posted in journal, nulla dies sine linea, the wages of salt, writing life

In the lose-some department, news from my agent is that one of the UK publishing houses considering Shadow Queen has decided to pass. C'est la vie.

In the win-some department, Google Alerts is a dangerous wonderful thing. Today it informed me that Issue #18 of PostScripts Magazine will be released in Spring 20091, and will contain my story, "The Wages of Salt". Okay, so this isn't new news, since this is a sale I made long enough ago that I've long since been paid and spent said payment, but it still counts, because I'd forgotten about this story and am excited to see it slated for a firm publication date.

In the er…oops department, I really shouldn't have had that bourbon and coke. Now I'm sleepy.

  1. I'm presuming this is Northern Hemisphere Spring, so April-ish next year []

6 thoughts on “lose some, win some

  1. So am I! And if it weren't for the tagline you gave me to keep me straight in the revisions, I don't think I would have been able to rewrite it well enough to sell it. H'm. I may get you to write me a tagline for all my stories! šŸ˜‰

  2. Silly UK publishers.
    More seriously, I have heard rumours that at the moment it's easier for Australian authors to sell their books in the US market than the UK, and that UK publishers appear to find it more difficult to connect with Australian writing. Almost the exact opposite used to be true in 1960s'-1980s, so if it's true at all, I'm not sure what might have changed. The publishers or the writers. The mind boggles. If it's possible to comment tactfully, what do you think?

  3. It's such a huge issue, I wouldn't know where to begin. I've not researched the market in any depth, but when it comes to selling a manuscript to publishers, they're always thinking of the bottom line, and whether they can sell it to lots and lots of readers, or at least enough readers. Keep in mind that the UK publishers traditionally consider Australia/New Zealand as one of their markets, so having a publishing deal here already means they've lost some market share before starting.

  4. Publishing markets sound appalling and fascinating at the same time. It does my head in at this early stage! Still, surely the same rule would apply for American authors trying to break into the UK market and vice versa – I wonder if the success rate of new American authors is like there in comparison to new Australians, and what that might mean? (not expecting an answer, this is just idle speculation!)
    I don't mean to shoot myself with my own cultural cringe just yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion that given the vast numbers of books published about New York vampires or London New Weird, that either most people prefer to read about a place they've heard of and this kind of gains momentum over time, or that publishers assume they do. That those 'legendary cities' accrue their own mythic status through stories, movies and the like – gazillions of dollars of free PR that cities like Melbourne could only dream of. And a self-fulfilling prophecy is born.
    The solution for writers who are not 'on the map', or writing about those places, seems to be to either create an entirely new city of their own or create a new world. New worlds seem to travel better than tales of 'lesser cities'. Unless you are the kind of writer who can make the remote exotic, like Annie Proulx. Or unless you're Margaret Mahy, who seems not to care, and who makes the reader not care either.
    Ah well, for a bit of enjoyable myth-making about Melbourne, I'd recommend Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher books. šŸ™‚

  5. The US/UK interaction is different to the Aus/UK interaction, because we're a Commonwealth country, so it comes down to the difference between reprinting a book in a new market, or importing it into a smaller subset of the larger market, if that makes sense. Even though we have publishers of our own, an awful lot of shelf space in our bookstores is UK imports.

    As for the known/unknown setting phenomenon… that's a huge issue, too. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? šŸ˜‰

Comments are closed.