Sunday, March 6, 2011

The publishing problem

Ah, publishing.  We've been expecting you.

As the story starts to take a tauter, more final shape, it's understandable that my mind has turned to how I'm going to get it out there.  I've always subscribed to the viewpoint that only a "proper" publishing house would do.  A closer look at the current publishing situation though, has begun to fill me with doubt.

For a start, I'm in New Zealand.  Aside from the presence of a couple of literary behemoths, publishing houses here tend to be small and niche.  The importance of the fiction being from New Zealand is continuously stressed.  I, however, am not - and therefore neither is my fiction.  I could change place names to jump through a hoop, but I doubt the result would be satisfactory to anyone.  No, better to not pretend to be something I'm not.

Finding an agent might prove to be something of a nightmare, too.  Almost every agent who's details I've checked out is currently not accepting submissions, the product of a down-turn in the publishing market - which is number three.

I could try and push my book to agents in the UK or the US too, but I would be facing the same down-turn, and probably an even more glacial pace of submission and rejection.

So I have turned my mind to self-publishing, albeit not by the traditional route.  I've been checking out the sales of ebooks for the likes of Amazon's Kindle, and it seems on first and second glance to be a market pregnant with possibility.  The problem, as always, is marketing, but at least I won't have surplus stock with which to insulate my attic. 

I'll be looking at epublishing in more detail in future postings.


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