Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Well developed tenterhook muscles...

T'was very exciting to see the final pictures for my next picture book on Monday. I don't know what anyone else will think but I am satisfied. They have humour and energy and subtlety. They capture my story. And the good news is the book will be published in June. This is not far away. I popped this manuscript in the post to the publisher on September 28th last year. I have a picture book manuscript that has been under consideration with another publisher since the beginning of last year that I am still awaiting a response on. And if you take from this that no two publishers operate the same (and you would be correct in this) remember to add on that the same publisher may behave differently for different manuscripts. Maybe the best advice for prospective writers is 'expect the unexpected.' Writers are permanently on tenterhooks which is why our tenterhook muscles are so well developed.

And further to my musing on the question of whether being an author from the Antipodes makes any difference to being published outside of Australasia (still unanswered but I'm tending towards 'maybe it does') I now offer a new thought. Getting published offshore has been the Holy Grail for me for many years. That way lies greatness? riches? fame and fortune? Well...the comment from Book Brainz about the comparatively high quality of picture books in New Zealand made me wonder if that Holy Grail is a bit like a dragon - mythical and ethereal. Evidence would suggest that the sheer size of populations overseas makes print runs and therefore advances and subsequent potential income greater. But evidence also shows the difficulties of getting published, of staying published and of avoiding being remaindered are no different in other places. In a larger population where many more authors are being published annually how much harder is it to get noticed and build a name for yourself. I would still like to be published overseas. But the books I have had published here have been beautifully produced and the illustrations wonderful and at least some part of the writing and reading community know my name. I like it here. Why is 'overseas' automatically perceived as 'better'? I have to remember that yes they do have grass over there too but that doesn't mean its greener.

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