Tuesday, October 24, 2006

In defense of Macmillan (and other treats)

If you caught my brief comment on Macmillan's New Writing program last week (a sort of where are they now update), you may get the impression I was hammering Macmillan. I was. A little. Though I have always had high regard for the publisher.

Well, I received a cogent response from Ian Hocking, author of DEJA VU, a POD-dy pick from 2005. Being in the land where Macmillan has more of a presence (England), he could offer a more valuable insight. Ian had this to share:

Just read your post about Macmillan New Writing - I think your comments are a little unfair. The UK press have been pretty hard on the outfit, but the imprint has put has put its money where its mouth is re: publicity and editing. The books are widely available in branches of UK bookstores (virtually impossible for POD and self- published stuff). I've read a couple of them, and the overall quality is high - both content and general editing. I wrote a review of Roger Morris's book here. Morris has a recent blog entry in which he gave details of his first royalty cheque. I don't know too much about PublishAmerica, but it might be a little unfair on Macmillan to put the two in the same basket. BTW, I don't have any connection to Macmillan NW (in fact, the gits turned down my latest novel). You might also be interested in my review of the book written by Michael Barnard, who set up the NW imprint - a couple of the other NW authors responded to my critical comments.

Click to all these links. The royalty link is of particular interest. And I can tell you the sales and figures are pretty close to your average American midlist novel. Excellent stuff.

Carol Hoenig, author of the lyrically haunting (and 2005 POD-dy pick) WITHOUT GRACE, has won yet another award for her book, this time taking the fiction award at the 2006 DIY Book Festival.

And if you thought self-publishing might be a dead end (and while the odds are in great favor of that), you just never know. Check out this recent book deal from Publishers Marketplace:

Rights to Teri Woods's originally self-published TRUE TO THE GAME, plus to two sequels and two stand alone street novels, to Karen Thomas at Warner, in a major deal, by Marc Gerald at The Agency Group (world).

For those of you who don't know, a "major deal" means it was worth a minimum of $500,000--which is the entire financial career of a midlister.

And if you think I am insane for trying to wade through the sea of POD / Self-published titles, here's a guy with an even greater mental defect than I: The Unsung Critic. Instead of self-pubbed novels, he wades through screenplays. He's going to need a life-preserver for sure.

Also - check out this very cool interview with Jeremy Robinson, author of THE DIDYMUS CONTINGENCY, where he discusses at length his writing and the impact of POD.

Lastly, check out this unpublished author who uses an econometric forecasting model to determine the publication date of his novel. For one out of 5,000 of us, it is simple: never.

Tune back in first thing tomorrow when I uncover one of the best jewels of 2006 so far!