Wednesday 23 August 2017

Publishing and luck

Authors will sometimes say how a lucky break led to their breakthrough publication - being in the right place at the right time. But I often suspect that if they hadn't have been lucky at that moment, they'd have been lucky later, because they were trying to put themselves in the right places anyway. They made their own luck.

I've been lucky with my publishers. Writers sometimes get published by people who soon go bust. It's gone the other way with me, my publishers' growing reputations doing me no harm. They made their own luck too.

Nine Arches Press is going from strength to strength. It's become an ACE "National Portfolio Organisation" for 5 years, and it's been awarded money for a shorter project. Jane Commane has led many writing workshops, co-edits "Under the Radar" magazine, and is co-organiser of the Leicester Shindig poetry series. In collaboration with The Poetry School she runs Primers. These activities feed into each other - running workshops and magazines helps to discover talent and increase readership, and the more people who become involved with these activities, the more that sales increase, which in turn attracts bigger writers and more reviews. The icing on the cake is that Jane has a collection out with Bloodaxe in 2018. How does she find the time? There's an interview online

Nell Nelson's Happenstance won The Michael Marks Publishers’ Award for pamphlet publishing and is gradually publishing more books. Like Jane, there's a strong talent-spotting element to much that she does, and much networking. She's involved with several other activities - writing articles/reviews for Dark Horse and PN Review, judging, tutoring with Writers' Forum, etc - and hasn't given up writing poems yet. There's an interview online

No comments:

Post a Comment