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!