Friday, June 10, 2005

Making of a Book

There is an interesting story, How to make a book, that gives you an insider look into the book publishing industry. In the story, Oliver Burkeman follows the 18-month-long journey of one novel, from the author's flash of inspiration in a pub, to the moment it hit the shelves at Books Etc. It is a must read for all wannabe novelists.

Sam Binnie is the winner of this year's Harpers & Queen/Orange Prize for Fiction short story competition. I guess her story, The Dress, is experimental and could easily come under the category of creative non-fiction. If you haven't read it, you can read it here.

6 comments:

Susan Abraham said...

The wonderful thing about Harpers & Queen,(UK) Zaf, is that its such a classy magazine and while they deal primarily with fashion & style, they never forget their own love for the arts. They were also the first magazine in England to jump on to Arundathi Roy and gave a good few pages (at least 4 or 5), on her life and the way The God of Small Things came to be published. Being the visionary magazine they are, they did this for her just as her book was to be sold for the first time in the UK and way before she would win the Booker. Thanks for the marvellous info today, as I didn't even know about it.
*cheers*

Susan Abraham said...

Hi again Zaf,
I have actually just read the bit about the making of a book. The Paterson story and the 'tapping of the pencil against the teeth' bit was really funny. Claire is an agent that stresses specifically exactly what she wants and is actually at the moment very keen on looking for childrens' book authors. That's why when posting my manuscript, I gave her a miss though she sounds welcoming.
Many in the slush pile don't often follow the instructions or may not have written a letter well, skipped a synopsis. There are many simple rules that get pushed aside - that's why many 'writers' get rejected even before their manuscripts are read. Which makes the ratio of rejections look frighteningly large when in actual fact, the 'proposals' that come in are rejected for all the obvious reasons. Reasons that could have been well avoided if a few simple instructions are dutifully followed.

Susan Abraham said...

Zaf, some wrong grammer there...I meant at the end ....if a few simple instructions were dutifully followed and NOT are dutifully followed. I'm doing it again.

Zafar Anjum said...

Thanks Susan for your wonderful comments and insights. You are right about the agent's slush pile. Enthused writers make mistakes and straightaway land in the slush pile.

Hey, don't worry about the grammatical mistakes! It is ok here.

Susan Abraham said...

Zaf, I like this new template and presentation. So much better. I wonder what our Asya will say.

Zafar Anjum said...

Thanks Susan. The template looks fresh.