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 Because when I queried Text Publishing for my 'Within' novel, I received a prompt reply that they do not publish horror or dark fantasy.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.


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