Saturday, July 27, 2013

Not dead yet...

For some reason at the moment I seem to be in no-man's land, or all at sea (get your free overworked metaphor here ladies and gentlemen). There is progress with upcoming and previously published books, I am writing (not as much as I would like, but getting some work done) and reading (although only books prescribed by my university course) and getting ready for several upcoming author events (see next post). There have been some disappointments (things I applied or hoped for and didn't get) and then some small surprises (things most unexpected which I will tell you about soon), so business as usual really. But too much multi-tasking is making me a little jumbled. If everything would just slow down for a minute.

But as we all know change is happening all the time. Children keep growing up, publishers keep dropping by the wayside (we bid a sad farewell to Hachette who will be departing our shores in the near future, following Pearson and Harper Collins). And of course Penguin and Random are now a married couple and while it kind of seems business as usual I assume there will be changes there too. And educational publishing seems to have been attacked by the Borg. So far all these departures and transformations haven't impacted directly on me. I wasn't published by most of those folk and in some respects they have created a small vacuum which will in part be filled by those publishers remaining, some of whom are mine. But my friends are affected. And publishing as a whole in New Zealand is affected. And people are shocked and afraid and sad. In some respects we are powerless to do anything about it.

But then there is the news that Eleanor Catton's latest novel The Luminaries is longlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize. And you look at the awards locally and you can't help but notice the writing in New Zealand is in really good shape. Our books are stronger than ever I reckon. And more beautiful. And perhaps gaining more notice overseas. And did you see the crowd funded nominee among the NZ Post Book Award finalists and the fact that the supreme winner of the NZ Post Children's (and YA) Book Awards was self published. So I don't want to despair. Things are a changin' but writing isn't dead or dying. I don't quite feel 'really excited' by all the changes either as some would exhort me to be - I came up through the traditional publication route and there are plenty of things I like about it. There are challenges ahead. I just reckon I'll get further by being positive about it :)


Freya Robertson said...

"Attacked by the Borg" - snort. Resistance is futile!

I know what you mean about the state of NZ publishing - and I guess that's why many of us are now either self pubbing or traditionally pubbing but going further afield.

With the growth of indie and digital in general, it really feels like the publishing world is in a state of flux. But as you say, good things come out of it too, don't they? Indie pubbing can give an author such a sense of freedom, and it's wonderful to have control over everything for once.

I'm mostly digitally published with romance, but my new fantasy is with a UK publisher (Angry Robot) and it's going to be interesting to see what distribution of the book is like here in NZ, and how much difference it makes being on the other side of the world compared to most of their other authors.

It's a Brave New World out there, but it's exciting too!

Anonymous said...

I was teaching at New Windsor School last year, and particularly enjoyed your reading of "The House That Went to Sea" at Milo & Story night. Hope this year is just as much fun!