Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Here, in no particular order, are a number of thoughts and links which arise from previous posts and comments upon them.

Science fiction

A correspondent tells me that the University of Minnesota has put up a series of mp3 files which are recordings of a set of lectures on science fiction and fantasy. I have not dipped into them myself, but my correspondent tells me that they are ‘worthwhile, knowledgeable, and accessible.’

Macmillan New Writing

One correspondent tells me that he submitted a ms to Macmillan New Writing back in May, since when he has heard nothing. Well, maybe that’s a bad sign. On the other hand, when a publisher hangs on to something it is sometimes an indication that he/she is taking it seriously.

Meanwhile, Roger Morris has not only submitted a novel to MNW but has had it accepted. There you go, see. Keep the faith. To celebrate, Roger has started a blog, which he refers to as a plog because it largely exists to plug his forthcoming book. Which is in my view a very smart thing to do.

I see from yesterday’s post that not only has Roger signed the contract but he has had proofs delivered. Hot damn, they must move fast at MNW.

Furthermore, Roger tells us that Jordan – aka Katie Price and author of what is currently the hottest ‘autobiography' in town has been signed to do two novels! Wow. I can’t wait.

Having dipped into other parts of Roger’s plog, I find that he has another one: Taking Comfort. He also says that, since Macmillan have been so niggardly with the advance, they have been generous with their punctuation, adding lots of commas and a few hyphens. Well, that’s publishers for you.

It all seems good-humoured and well calculated to arouse interest. Which, given the MNW slimline approach, he is largely going to have to do himself.

Beyond You and Me

W.S. Cross (not sure if that’s he or she) has sent me details of the erotic novel Beyond You and Me. Now what could possibly have made Cross think that I was interested in erotic fiction? Well, maybe it was the piece I wrote about Mitzi Szereto, or the one about books on sex.

Anyway, Cross is another author with a blog and a determination to tell the world about the new novel. This one isn’t sold yet. In fact I don’t think it’s even finished. But hey – it’s never too soon to start plugging, right?

I can’t say that I have actually dipped into Beyond You and Me because I got distracted by the long list of links to other erotic sites which W.S. Cross provides. But then Mrs GOB caught me at it and I was sent upstairs without any supper.

The Celebrity Café

The Celebrity Café wrote to me on the basis of no pretext whatever, but to point out that it is the internet’s longest-running entertainment magazine, read by 3.4 million people a month. Under the links section there is a section for authors, and for a consideration – e.g. a reciprocal link – they will no doubt give you and your book (whether out or forthcoming) a mention.

The Intellectuals and the Masses

Paul Vitols read my piece about John Carey’s book on the intellectuals and didn’t entirely agree with it so he wrote his own extensive comments on his blog Genesis of a Historical Novel. Well worth a look.

Gerard Jones

The great Gerard, whom the gods preserve, is still working on the audio version of Ginny Good. I particularly enjoyed the Introduction (bottom mp3 file on the list), which includes some of Joan Baez, and also a story about a man who was bitten on the neck by a deer which was in the back seat of his car. Look, you just have to listen to the story, OK? And it’s free.

Gerard is absolutely unique and if the internet had been invented solely in order to publicise his book it would have been worthwhile.

Cantara Christopher on Murder in the Genre

Cantara Christopher has commented on various of my posts in the past, and today she has a piece on literaryrevolution.com. Warning. This piece is seriously disturbing. It reminds us that the blogging world is but a shadow of the real world and that the real world contains a great deal of unpleasantness. The stuff that I write about – books and publishing – scarcely qualifies as real at all. But if you want to read something by someone who is prepared to face up to the difficult issues surrounding murder, motherhood, and grief, Cantara’s piece is for you.

Laraine Anne Barker

Laraine has some kind words to say about my essay On the Survival of Rats in the Slush Pile, which she is recommending to beginning writers who seek advice on her FAQ page. Laraine is the author of The Obsidian Quest and other novels, details of which are on her web site.

And, er, that’s about it for today.


Anonymous said...

"...if the internet had been invented solely in order to publicise his book it would have been worthwhile."

Ha! Hey, wait, ain't that what all them dweebs built the sucker for? I think so. Thanks. G.

W. S. Cross said...

Thanks for the virtual ink about Beyond You & Me. While it's true the novel is unsold, it is not unfinished. I am only excerpting parts of it on the 'Net so there will be something left for its fans to purchase when the book comes out.

And come out it will, one way or the other. Apparently agents and editors extoll the Internet as the next great frontier of publishing, but with the exception of Miss Snark, I don't know of many agents or editors who actually VISIT the Internet. Certainly they aren't interested in publishing a book that already has a pre-sold audience of readers.

Am I puzzled? Yes. My "day job" is in marketing, so I like properties that have a buzz about them. Books are often left on the shelf because they lack any publicity, yet here's a case of where the agents and editors don't want to know.

Could that mean my book is inferior? Perhaps, but there is plenty of inferior writing already getting published. Are they saying they'd rather put out a good book that won't sell than put out an inferior one that will? What kind of business model is that?

Bernita said...

Thank you for the Cantara Christopher link. I happen to agree with her - on the lines and between them.

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