Friday, January 04, 2008

So You Want to be Published? Read On.

What should you do if you want to be published?* Boyd Tonkin, Literary editor of the Independent offers sterling advice.

Here's a snippet:
Should I bother to try to publish my novel?

  • Hundreds of first novels appear each year. Some do well, and not all of their authors are young, beautiful or already famous
  • No agent or publisher ever knows for certain what will work. Their doors, and minds, must stay open out of self-interest
  • Beyond the traditional houses, digital media have widened the choices for DIY publishing and greatly improved its status
  • Serial rejection and long months of disappointment await for the vast majority of wannabe novelists
  • Writing your book, and making sure that friends and family can read it, might amount to as much authorship as you really want
  • Far too many published novels clog an overcrowded marketplace. Even if you made it into print, your book might well sink without trace
*(At least in Britain and the US - as we've seen the publishing industry works somewhat differently in Malaysia)


Lydia Teh said...

Sharon, I'm glad that the publishing industry here works in a different way than in UK and US. We don't have to go through agents and we get direct access to publishers. Not only that, the sales figures quoted by Times (in your previous entry - Don't let rejection get you down) is enough to put a damper on those of us who aspire to be published there. As you said, best-selling Malaysian titles in comparison, have done very well indeed. Frogs under the coconut shell we may be, but it's a big shell nonetheless.

BTW the link is broken.

bibliobibuli said...

link fixed, thanks lydia.

Tunku Halim said...

I'm glad too. Malaysian writers are very lucky that local publishers are willing to take on new writers but are even prepared to nurture them. We local writers should not waste this opportunity for fame and fortune. Hah!

hcfoo said...

I agree chances of getting your work published is very high in Malaysia provided you have a good script or some flair in writing and able to meet deadlines.

And speaking from the educational publishing point of view, local publishers produced many salable library sets each year. For those who just start writing and your manuscript is suitable for students, you can start taking a baby step by approaching these publishers.

Anonymous said...

Actually I thnk chances of your work getting "published" in the US is higher, especially if you live in a really small town :) the chances of making money from it however, is a lot higher here than there :)

lucid frog said...

Dear Sharon,
Thanks for sharing this :) What are your thoughts on the publishing of young adult / children's literature here in Malaysia?

bibliobibuli said...

i'm no expert at all on childrens' and young adults' novels but i know there is a market. suggest you get in touch with daphne lee who blogs here.

lucid frog said...

thanks :)