Submissions with Harry’s Salvo’s soup in Woolloomooloo.



Did you know that there are lists of both good and bad publishers? No matter what transcribes in the world of books and publishers you can find all about it on ‘google.’ I seem to have submitted a 300 word synopsis to a publisher who is on both lists. How can that be? Not only that. Some want it on PDF and others on anything but PDF. I bandy about files, submitting to everything and nothing, lolling about hither dither as if a drunken sailor.  You can’t imagine what torture I suffered getting files changed.  I can understand how so many of us end up sleeping rough. Manuscripts fluttering about the concrete pylons of the M5 underpass

You click on ‘recommended publishers’ and the next thing you know a world of deceit, corruption and muffled screams during the night,opens up. The shadowy underbelly of something out of a production of Danish Nordic noir. You’ll be lucky to get out alive. I check the vertical blinds now and keep the lights switched off. A man wearing dark sunglasses was seen lurking in front of St. Luke’s community Hall during a performance of Dvorak’s 6th symphony. Is there a connection between that and my submission?

One publisher makes the threat that hard copies of book submissions will be ‘re-cycled,’ meaning shredded. Can you believe it? Most of them send you an automated message that runs along the lines; ‘If you don’t hear from us within four weeks, we are not ‘pursuing’ your submission,’ followed by the cheery message; ‘we do not enter ever into any discussion or give reasons.’  Most of them make it also very clear that no submissions of poetry, film scripts, alternative medicine, children’s books, the super-natural or chucking Chakras will be accepted.

Then there are publishers that will fleece you by pretending they just love the book so much they want exclusive rights which they will grant you if you send them your BSB and account number with pass-word so they can deposit a first payment.

Apparently, most reputable publishers do not accept first timers at all. The ‘better’ the publisher, the more the disdain for books and literature. They are so exclusive and behave so esoterically, that they have taken to not ever  be seen reading words, and just look up from their leather swivel chairs  blowing some very expensive rarefied air.

You have to get and woe an agent instead. It sounds as if you have to get a cookie before dinner first. But, what about the time? It will take years.  I can see that the self-publishing is a form that must be competing with paper-book publishing. Take the matter in own hand. I mean to wait for four weeks in order not to hear anything is hardly much of an encouragement.

Next time when you see someone queuing at Harry’s hot soup van in Woolloomooloo, consider that the bulge in his worn ruck-sack is not just a Smith-Family blanket, a stale packet of Arnott’s biscuits, (to keep warm under, next to the concrete pylon) but also a rejected manuscript.

In any case, it is heartening to see that most publishers are loosing revenue with profits down for most. The Chinese are rapidly becoming the world’s largest publishers. Some have turn-overs in the billions. Amazing!


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35 Responses to “Submissions with Harry’s Salvo’s soup in Woolloomooloo.”

  1. auntyuta Says:

    Want to get something published? It does not seem straight forward at all. I admire you, Gerard, for wanting to persevere with it. I wished someone could show you the way how to make it a bit easier for you. Maybe self-publishing would be best for you after all?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. roughseasinthemed Says:

    Take the matter in own hand. Uh..

    I liked Woolloomooloo. Did you know they had bars open at 5am?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I went to a bar once at Woolloomooloo. Many years ago. It was like taking your life in own hands. They were open at all hours to cater for sailors. One wrong move and you’d end up on a cold slab.
      Yes, one has to take things in own hand.


  3. Carrie Rubin Says:

    Querying is a time-consuming process, no doubt. Every site wants something different. Some like attachments; others want it in the body of the email. It can take an hour just to query one agent. And when we finally hit ‘send,’ we pray we haven’t missed anything, only to land in the reject pile before they’ve even read the goods. Ah, but when we get a request for a full manuscript? That’s the treasure at the end of the road.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Your post, salve on the soul, Carrie.

      Glad I am not the only one to find the submitting electronically ‘challengeing.’ Even to get the file embedded in an e-mail is mind boggling.
      I try to not sink under the desk when having to describe the whole of my first caboodle in three hundred words. I mean, so wanky.


  4. Patti Küche Says:

    Sounds easy enough to get and woe an agent, it’s the wooing that’s the hard graft! Good luck with it all Gerard – I wonder how much it would take to do a talking book, with a podcast? Seriously entertaining!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mary Cathleen Clark Says:

    I didn’t know the Chinese were into publishing. All countries, or just their own?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lottie Nevin Says:

    Like your etching A LOT. How about trying some UK publishers? Maybe a literary agent would help? I know what a bloody nightmare it is as I’ve an American pal whose written some cracking children’s books and she’s encountered exactly the same problems as you. Oh Gerard, I wish I knew what the answer was – even better, I wish I could wave a magic wand. Please don’t despair, some publisher out there (not one of the ones on the rotten list) is going to love it. Hold That Thought

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Fancy that Lottie,
      I just sent my synopsis off too ‘Two Roads’ Publishers in the UK.

      How did you know? Your magic has crossed the Atlantic or is it the Pacific?

      I will try a Dutch publisher tomorrow. Each day I will send one off. I think it is terrific.

      Even though many publishers warn that after 4 weeks without a reply means a reject. Even a reject is better than none.

      In four weeks time, I might well be wandering the streets of Bowral at night; shouting incoherently, ‘show me your synopsis and I’ll show you mine.’

      Liked by 2 people

  7. berlioz1935 Says:

    You are a brave man, diving into the pool of publishing where the editors and selectors are circling like Piranhas.

    You can write, and this very post is clear evidence of it, but can they make a buck with it?

    An agent is the first sentinel who can be helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you, Berlioz.

    Perhaps impatient might be a better term than brave. Many publishers urge prospective writers to keep polishing the manuscript, even after lots of burnishing, they urge ,’let it rest for a few weeks!’ ‘Put it under some straw or spineless feathers’. ‘Sit on it like a wise Leghorn would do.’

    Many writers walk around for years, manuscript in satchel. Wives keeping a look out behind the lace curtains, so loving but keenly anxious.

    At my age, my hatching days are getting so short. I am not sure if I am sitting on a dud egg.

    To get an assessment of the manuscript has also reared its head. But, when you pay someone to give you an appraisal, would/ could it be impartial?

    We shall see and keep going. Something will come of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. shoreacres Says:

    Do you know Chase Jarvis? Regardless, I came upon him early on, and took him as a mentor. I even told him so, and he was kind enough to respond.

    Find a biscuit and a nice cup of tea, or perhaps a couple of fingers of something stronger, and have a read of what I wrote about the good Mr. Jarvis. I just re-read it myself, and found it rather bracing.

    As for Woolloomooloo, I haven’t a clue what that is, but I’m off to find out. It reminds me of a chapter in one of Paul Theroux’s books: “Walkabout in Woop-Woop.” (Ah — got it. A district in Sydney.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, you did a great post and a wise man the good Mr. Jarvis. I was insanely euphoric last night. A favourite response back from a UK publisher. And then…I checked on the publisher instead of going to bed with a smile. I should have checked in the morning!
      A litany of disgruntled authors. I was suspicious and could not understand the lightning quick response. There I was, all happy to wait the four weeks for a non-response with total silence. Perhaps I am wrong but would be most grateful for another opinion.

      “Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd

      CGC-33-01, 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LQ”


  10. Curt Mekemson Says:

    It’s always comforting to Google famous authors whose work was rejected. The list goes on and on… –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    So entertaining this twisted convoluted journey you are on to publication. I hope it will happen for you – anyone who can survive Woolloomooloo is tenacious! And it does sound like it is progressing. Maybe you should approach SBS radio. They should be very interested! Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      In the early days not many survived Woolloomooloo. The aboriginal name for ‘Fields of Blood’ refers to tribal fighting and a sacred burial place.
      After white man came and built houses the place became working class, and being on the harbour meant many sailors would come ashore.
      The pubs were legendary places of drunken riots. In the mornings after, ear-lobes and finger bits would be routinely hosed down the footpath and into the kerb. This was before body parts could be re-attached.
      I was so curious about the wild reputation of the ‘Three Bells’ that I just had to experience it myself. It was rumoured that in room 23, above the bar there were two lesbian women that would give a ‘show’ each Friday night after the pub closed at 10pm.

      I survived but also never went upstairs to room 23. Woolloomooloo is now gentrified and houses wealthy crooks and belching real estate merchants.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I’m surprised that no one commented on your impressive etching! It’s quite marvelous.
    Even Ernest Hemingway had a tough time at first. You have a loyal group of supporters here though.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. shoreacres Says:

    Such a muddle, all this. Did you happen to see this video made by a fellow who had some dealings with Austin Macauley? It’s quite interesting, really.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Big M Says:

    My first memory of Woolloomooloo was as a young kid, seeing the builders labourers standing on roofs and chimneys, in the famous green bans, when they refused to knock down historic buildings to make way for concrete monstrosities.

    I have never tried to get such a body of work published, but have short research paper to my name, co-authored with five others. Even in the world of medical journals authors are treated like kindergarten children, with editors wanting one or two words altered, or, expecting the authors to pay for ‘ extras’, such as tables or graphs. Now with the world of the interwebnet, I am notified every time someone reads this on- line. Disappointing, really, a few dozen have read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Trying to get anything published has a life ot its own, Big M. Nerve wrecking really.

      I thought the business of writing and publishing words would be free of skullduggery and conniving crooks. You know, people peacefull discussing and whispering the benefits of Franz Kafka’s book (propped up against that first cup of coffee,) or the delights of Kant’s or Heidegger’s .

      Instead, no sooner do you search a publisher’s name and up pops all sorts of tales of intrigue and financial pole vaulting, reinforced by videos with dire warnings from angry red faced authors having been lifted or stolen from.

      You are lucky to have a published medical research paper in your name. So far, all I have in my name is a Driver’s license and the gas bill. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  15. sedwith Says:

    I don’t relish the thought of publishing – it’s a minefield alright! Sorry for enjoying your exploits so much 😨


  16. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    It does takes years. Self-publish and you can do it within a year.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I am just a bit over a week in sending a few off to publishers. One publisher, a small one, insists that the author give an overview of three hundred words of a book most liked, that was published by this publisher.
      I suppose an overload of submissions. They call it ‘a sludge.’


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