Thursday, September 11, 2008

A stable of writers...

So I 'invigilated' yesterday and am happy to say I survived. Have now couriered off exam answer sheets etc... to the UK and hope I didn't make too many mistakes with the way I conducted the whole thing. Time will tell but i do hope it was good enough to get paid for it. It was a strange day yesterday and my friend blamed that particle collider experiment happening on the other side of the world. Seeing as some people thought it would create a black hole that would swallow our lovely planet I am relieved that a bit of weirdness was the only tangible result for those of us outside the scientific community.

I have been contemplating today (in lieu of actual writing of WIP) whether the current publishing trends in NZ will include a move towards publishers wanting to keep their writers to themselves. I know of at least one australian publisher who operates this way and with the recent changes in NZ in submission policies, the sale of publishing houses and booksellers, and the economic recession I just can't help thinking this might be one more strategy added to the pile by publishers over here. Even if a publisher and I worked equally hard for eachother I'm not sure how I would feel about having only one publisher looking at my work and then, if acceptable to them, publishing it. As I've said before when thinking about loyalty I don't think one publisher would want all the things I write. My writing projects can be so different and in the long term i don't want to be restricted to a particular selection of genre, age groups, etc... And what would i do with the stuff they didn't want? Would I be prevented from sending it elsewhere? I want to challenge myself to try new things and explore different voices. Would a single publisher dictate the topics and styles I worked on? At the moment it goes against the way I work. But if this was the only way to get published would I do it? What would I do to stay published? I never say never, but right now its hard for me to imagine working this way. And if this way of working was adopted wholesale by NZ publishers is there anything I could do to influence how its applied to me or the way it works in general?

1 comment:

Penny said...

Hi Melinda

I think you'll find that several NZ publishers already have clauses in their contracts that an author has to give them first right of refusal on their next work. Not us, of course - we realise that it is unfair to restrict an author to one publishing house, when another may be more suitable, and just hope that we get on well enough with our authors that they will want to publish with us in the future! :-)