Edinburgh Writers’ Club now meets in the Wash Bar and we had a cheerful crush of members and guests last night to hear Janne Moller of Black and White publishing talk about Publishing.
It’s always good to hear how it is on the other side and Janne was clear about the constraints and challenges facing today’s publisher.
Her advice to those wishing to submit was equally clear. Don’t send me several pages of your backstory, is rule number one. When an editor is receiving around five mss a day, she doesn’t have time for that. Instead do send:
A short and interesting synopsis of the story and a few sample chapters
Your name and contact details.
A reply won’t come back too quickly and in the pressurised weeks around August – early November when the Christmas market books are going out, it is even slower. A quieter time to submit is December, January and February.
Janne cautioned against sending mss that are not visible in a house’s list. Black and White, for example, don’t publish poetry. This should tell the poet to go elsewhere rather than make him think, “They need me.”
Black and White publish around 45 books a year and about 10 will be fiction. Janne said in reply to a question that she was looking for contemporary women’s fiction with global appeal. As she is the foreign rights sales’ person, she wants to know the story will travel.
She used an expression I haven’t come across but might pin up over the wall behind my pc:
“microcosm within the macrocosm.”
Isn’t that what interests us all? How our individual story or drama sits within the global?