Finding a publisher

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Richard Holt is an experienced writer, editor and story coach with us here at ASTT, and has just launched his collection of short stories 'What you might' find through Spineless Wonders. We asked him how he found a publisher...

I fostered a working relationship with Spineless Wonders on a number of fronts. 

The impetus is on general relationship building - it's about what you can offer, especially with independent publishers who are always looking at ways to streamline things for themselves. 

My advice would be to look at what skillset you have and whether they add value to the organisation you're developing the relationships with. In my case, I have graphic design skills, that they used for the covers of some of their anthologies. 

But the bottom line is I submitted a number of works to their collections successfully, and that allowed me to develop and work with a publisher I have an affinity for. It started off just with submissions to anthology opportunities.

That’s the practical level that you have to start these things I think. Submissions to competitions, anthologies, journals… getting stuff out there.

I’m the sort of writer who’s happy to work with editors and see the production of a book as a collaborative process. So in that sense I didn’t see it as a challenge, but as a delight, was the reordering of a couple of the stories particularly the placement of the final story. I think it’s the most beautiful ending, and I didn’t see it until the manuscript came back.

These works have been written over a number of years. The challenge apart from honing them, was the act of editing a collection with works of different lengths and styles. But there is a through-line, which the people who read it for me picked up on. It’s within the characters.

I guess I’m aware of the themes as I’m writing generally as a fiction writer, and they’re strongly around character, and characters who are flawed and battling on.

May your words pour onto the page, 

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