PDA

View Full Version : Approaching Publishers: Any Experience?



MissAnnElk
07-03-2008, 19:46
I no longer have a current copy of Writer's Guide . . . one of those giant books that lists every publisher on the planet and suggestions for submitting work.

I spent my week in Bratislava being gently scolded by friends for not seriously looking for a publisher . . . be it for a book or just a series of articles about being an expat.

Does anyone have any local contacts? A friend at The Moscow Times? PM me if you prefer.

elis
07-03-2008, 21:35
No friends at Moscow Xs. But I emailed you.

anthonycasey
01-04-2008, 05:28
In my experience, if you're looking for a book publisher, you've no chance unless you have an agent. Don't know how it works in Moscow, but I imagine it's much the same.
As for news and magazine work... I started my career by being a complete pain until someone gave me a break. For freelance, just keep hawking whatever you've got around, and take on board any criticism. you don't need to agree with it or take action based upon it, but at least consider it.
Good luck

MissAnnElk
01-04-2008, 09:09
Thanks.

I've done little, local, English-language newspapers in the past. Doesn't pay, but can be fun and good expereince. I usually did it to promote events of friends of mine . . . sort of under the guise of "here's something interesting."

Yeah, an agent seems vital. Have some work to do on that, but some friends (and even a relative) in publishing who might mentor a bit . . .

Does seem like every day I see another story of a discovered blogger. Guess mine just isn't the right blend of . . . whatever sells.

Transparent Theatre
01-04-2008, 13:21
The important thing is to get SOMETHING into print - anything, and quite possibly without being paid for it. Once you're "published", you can build on that. Without even making much effort, new offers come in from people who've read your stuff (provided, of course, that it was great stuff ;) )

Remember to keep your own individual voice and don't allow editors to push you into writing "what's expected" - "good news is no news", so telling the readers that everything they thought is absolutely right will last you just one piece... after your blessing on their ignorance they'll never read you again. The top-paid pundits in the word-bashing game are/were all contrarians - Buckley, Hitchens, Garton Ash etc. But surprise - rather than shock or contradiction - is your best weapon. Tell them things they wished they known, and that they'll be passing-off as their own by tomorrow.

Remember, 90% of the foreign correspondents working in Moscow are here because of politics and international relations. Their writing on other topics is often incredibly poor - the sensible ones don't show their ignorance in print at all. (I saw one piece three years ago, about a behind-the-scenes row at the Bolshoi Theatre, which described world-famous 'cellist and conductor Rostropovich as a "violinist", and that he'd "refused to lead the orchestra").

Don't ignore blogging. Blogging pays. Not very well, but regularly, and it keeps your name in front of other editors who might want occasional pieces once they see the scope and range of your work :)

MissAnnElk
01-04-2008, 13:28
I think I've developed a voice. Am developing a voice. And my ability to structure an essay has improved a lot.

I'm always amazed that people like what I've written. What I think is the most mundane blog entry usually garners the most vocal response. Maybe it touches a common mundane nerve.

What I am trying to do, and maybe it's already been done by the likes of David Sedaris, is to take daily events and transform the telling of them into something more artful. So maybe I shouldn't be so surprised at the reactions to the mundane stuff.

Korotky Gennady
03-04-2008, 02:23
No friends at Moscow Xs. But I emailed you. elis, please email me too...

Korotky Gennady
03-04-2008, 02:26
In my experience, if you're looking for a book publisher, you've no chance unless you have an agent. Don't know how it works in Moscow, but I imagine it's much the same.
As for news and magazine work... I started my career by being a complete pain until someone gave me a break. For freelance, just keep hawking whatever you've got around, and take on board any criticism. you don't need to agree with it or take action based upon it, but at least consider it.
Good luck
Anthony, I am not arguing with you but it's big problem to find an agent here. Russia is not the West though...

Korotky Gennady
03-04-2008, 02:40
Conserning me... personally. I am writing becoz I can't not to do it. Seems Lev Tolstoy said the same thought one time and I can understand him very well... It's funny that with all that... I don't like literature much and I despise utterly all contemporary russian writers :vomit: except Eduard Limonov and one poet anarchist whom I know.

Korotky Gennady
03-04-2008, 02:44
Ann, buy the Moscow Times... Seems that one expat writes the column on the last page there... :11033: He writes about the same stuff you talk about.

anthonycasey
03-04-2008, 03:27
Big problem in the UK too... agents are incredibly difficult to please, acquire and keep. Much like some of the girlfriends I've had.

Korotky Gennady
03-04-2008, 03:51
Big problem in the UK too... agents are incredibly difficult to please, acquire and keep. Much like some of the girlfriends I've had. Find less fastidious boyfriend then ! :trampoline:

Gypsy
03-04-2008, 07:37
MAE - I really don't think the market for your writing is here. We are living the experience you write about. I like your blog and I like your style, but it would have far greater impact in your home town, for example, than here.

If it was me trying to get published I would approach your local paper at home.

Most americans never leave their own city let alone the country so I can see enormous potential there - especially if you add pics of Baboo et al. in situ. Newspapers are good at picking up talent and syndicating, so start where you have an edge - home - and build from there.

And I'll have 15%.

MissAnnElk
03-04-2008, 08:44
If it was me trying to get published I would approach your local paper at home.

I think you're on to something here. I'll check that out.

Thanks.

Transparent Theatre
03-04-2008, 11:14
Entirely agreed. Russia's been an "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma" (Churchill) to most of the world for centuries. We who are here all KNOW what it's like, because it's around us every hour of every day. But in the bigger world, they haven't a clue. We all know this from the utter crud we see written about Russia in the foreign media. (I saw one piece which told readers definitively that Russian didn't have a word for "mobile telephone", by way of implying that Russia's a technologically backward country....). Major foreign newspapers will jet some journo in, and in 5-6 days this person has become an "expert" on Russia, and what they write is considered "authoratative". The lifeskills and street-smarts we have all picked up living here are not just useful - they are saleable material for pieces about Russia :)

elis
03-04-2008, 11:24
agents are incredibly difficult to please, acquire and keep.

Often it's not so much that they're difficult to please. It's that authors are often so egomaniacal and difficult themselves, that agents have no desire to keep them. I've seen agents dump what could be promising authors just because they're such PITAs. The ROI on the time spent dealing with them just isn't worth it.

Korotky Gennady
03-04-2008, 15:50
Entirely agreed. Russia's been an "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma" (Churchill) to most of the world for centuries. We who are here all KNOW what it's like, because it's around us every hour of every day. But in the bigger world, they haven't a clue. We all know this from the utter crud we see written about Russia in the foreign media. (I saw one piece which told readers definitively that Russian didn't have a word for "mobile telephone", by way of implying that Russia's a technologically backward country....). Major foreign newspapers will jet some journo in, and in 5-6 days this person has become an "expert" on Russia, and what they write is considered "authoratative". The lifeskills and street-smarts we have all picked up living here are not just useful - they are saleable material for pieces about Russia :)
It's true... But Russia is not a big mystery at all for people who want to understand it... and it will be mystery forever for one who doesn't want to understand it. So i'm sure that one should start to read the russian serious literature not the street-newspapers in order to comprehend it.

Korotky Gennady
03-04-2008, 15:55
Often it's not so much that they're difficult to please. It's that authors are often so egomaniacal and difficult themselves, that agents have no desire to keep them. I've seen agents dump what could be promising authors just because they're such PITAs. The ROI on the time spent dealing with them just isn't worth it. Yeah... all writers are big bas..ards.

Transparent Theatre
03-04-2008, 16:02
So i'm sure that one should start to read the russian serious literature not the street-newspapers in order to comprehend it.

In a moment I expect you to quote Tutchev, Gennady :) But I can feel it, I really can feel it :)

Sadly the majority of Brits (I can't speak for other nations) don't even read their own serious literature, let alone the serious literature of other countries. You know how "Chekov" looks?

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:F1GrocuOJ1FRLM:http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/en/images/thumb/f/fd/PavelChekov2267.jpg/200px-PavelChekov2267.jpg

:(

mandelstam13
04-04-2008, 21:46
.

anthonycasey
11-04-2008, 01:05
Often it's not so much that they're difficult to please. It's that authors are often so egomaniacal and difficult themselves, that agents have no desire to keep them. I've seen agents dump what could be promising authors just because they're such PITAs. The ROI on the time spent dealing with them just isn't worth it.
Yeah, but those writers are fools to themselves. In the end, it's a business, you've got to be businesslike. No good turning up in ostrich feathers demanding a pint glass full of blue smarties before you shift a comma one way or the next; the writers who make a living are the ones who accept that they have the words and the agent/publisher has the buisness nous.