Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Stats of Submitting

Hi all,

Wow. My last post didn't get any comments - guess I was just stating an obvious, well-known fact about the publishing industry. So, now I would like to give you an update as to the progress of my novel submissions. I told you I'd try to leave out the bitterness, but...No. Constructive criticism; and again, probably something every self-respecting author already knows and indeed something I prepared for when doing countless months of research into the industry: AUSTRALIA NEEDS MORE AGENTS!!!
You heard me. It's a pitiful scene down-under.

Why? Well, let me give you some stats:
Out of 21 agents I have approached thus far -

6 - are not taking new submissions/writers at the moment.
7 - are not willing to represent the sci-fi/fantasy/horror genres.
6 - have either disappeared off the face of the Earth or just don't want to respond to queries (and yes, this happens in the industry - but for the scene in Australia I think it's a joke (we aren't as big as the USA yet guys))
and
2 - said 'No' after accepting my query, then looking at my synopsis and 3 chapters.

So there you go.
When people give inspiring talks about a big-time author who had their book rejected 12 times before getting it published, I'm beginning to see that what wasn't mentioned were the countless other dead-ends that author had to pursue before getting 12 rejections. I mean, I've approached 21 agencies and have only had 2 actually look at my work.

What to do now? Well. The rejections didn't post any comments that could make me think about altering my work, so it looks like USA and UK are my next ports of call, while I'm waiting for those 6 full-listed agents in Australia to want new writers.

- CRAIG

Monday, May 7, 2007

Do you know what really clogs my pen?

Rant time...

Today's topic: The idiosyncrasies of The (Australian) Text Publishing Company.

I've thought long and hard about whether or not to write about this irritation. Text Publishing is a great company here in Australia, don't get me wrong. They produce wonderful editions from a varied range of sources, except horror and dark fantasy. Well, they do, but don't. Confused? Yes, I am too, so that's why I'm ranting. Because when I queried Text Publishing for my 'Within' novel, I received a prompt reply that they do not publish horror or dark fantasy. Problem is, the book I am currently reading (just about to finish) is 'Let the Right One In' by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It is 'a vampire love story'. It is a horror novel (dark fantasy really, since the 'creature' is very much an interacting, human-like being who cannot bring themself to feast on the main character, their friend). And here in Australia, it is published by none other than Text Publishing.

A horror novel. In fact, Mr Lindqvist is billed as Sweden's equivalent of Stephen King. So, why don't the Text Publishing Company's publication guidelines and actual publications match up?
I'll tell you why.

'Let the Right One In' was already published in Sweden in 2004 and enjoyed great success. In fact, they are currently making a film version of it. So, it's a no-brainer. A sure-fire hit to make some money in Australia. Why not publish it?

What about Australian horror writers, Text Publishing? We can produce manuscripts of equal, if not better quality, but we aren't even given a chance to present them to you. How are we meant to compete? I'll tell you how, we push our novels to overseas agents and publishers - it seems to be the only way these days. You see, I was afraid of burning bridges writing this rant, but it is you, Text Publishing, who's burning bridges with Australian writers. No wonder 99% of our movie stars and famous writers move to LA, New York, London, etc. The very country they wrote about, they poured their heart and soul into to capture and reflect to the world, didn't even give them a chance. Instead, they gave someone from another country a chance (so, why not do the same elsewhere).

For shame, Text Publishing. Stick to your guidelines, or relax them to see that Australian horror writers are just as deserving.

And that is my rant for today.

- CRAIG.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

More for your perusal

Hi all,

Some more hard work later and I've got my official website up and running too. It can be found at:
http://members.westnet.com.au/accbezant
You will notice this blog and the site are closely tied, as far as content goes, each with a little extra information in different categories.
That is enough web page creating for me...Back to the actual novel writing. You'd think I haven't done much lately but that's only been the last 3 days - apart from that (in the last week) I've written 3 pieces of short fiction and have reached the (roughly) halfway mark of the first draft of my next novel.
A lot of the next part of my novel takes place in Perth and many surrounding areas (the first part had a lot of scenes in Melbourne), so when I move back there next month creativity will certainly flourish.

Enjoy the new site.

- CRAIG.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The e-zine is underway

Hi all,

With a lot of hard work, the new website for the e-zine, Eclecticism, which I've created and will help edit, is up and running. You can find it at:
http://www.eclecticzine.com
I will certainly keep you posted as to its progress. The first issue is likely to come out late July 2007, and we're still looking for contributors.

Enjoy!

-Craig.