Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Small Press Interview

I'm getting quite addicted to listening to podcasts on my music-free (grin) iPod. Driving to work this morning, I listened to a very interesting one from the Writing Show featuring a candid interview with Olga Gardner Galvin. A New York–based freelance writer and book editor, she founded ENC (Emperor’s New Clothes) Press in 2003 with the help and moral support of California writer and publicist Beth Elliott.

(This is from their About page: ENC Press was founded "for the express purpose of publishing original, unusual novels that most mainstream publishing behemoths turn down on the grounds of their questionable appeal 'to the broadest possible audience' ('the broadest possible audience' being whatever an acquisitions editor who hasn’t left Manhattan in thirty years thinks it is)" Love it!)

Some things I found interesting in the podcast:

1. She never sends out books to the big reviewers. She said she might as well just throw them in the trash and save a step! She said that unless you're a big name author, they're not even going to look at your book.

2. She said that even favorable reviews don't help much. She cited the case of someone who was favorably reviewed by the Washington Post and others, but whose book was pulled rather quickly.

3. There isn't enough time in the publishing schedule in mainstream publishing to actually edit the book. They do a copy edit, yes, but don't edit for structure, plot, language, like they used to.

4. She said something like, "It's an open secret that writers have to do their own marketing and publicity" and said that she won't take on writers who won't "support their own books." She even went so far as to say that they need to come up with their own marketing ideas. This is what I've heard repeatedly -- that except for the very biggest name, there is NO marketing budget for the writer. It's all up to the writer. It certainly has been in my case.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I don't know if you read Miss Snark's blog, but she talks about stuff like this all the time. I think her url is She's a NYC literary agent, and her blog is very funny as well as informative. :)