"How's this for a Guinness world record: we and another publisher have just published a book with the same title, on the same day, about the same person, with the same retail price. We've published Kevin Rudd by a journalist called Nicholas Stuart. Penguin have also published Kevin Rudd, in their case by a journalist called Robert Macklin. Our sub-title, though, is 'an unauthorised political biography'; theirs is 'the biography'. Is this coincidence, conspiracy, or cock-up? And what is the significance, if any, of the differing sub-titles? "To get an answer to these questions, sit back and relax while I tell the tale of the bringing of our book to market." Which is just what Henry Rosenbloom proceeds to do on his weblog "Henry's Blog". By way of introduction, Rosenbloom is the founder and publisher of Scribe Publications, an Australian small press. [I reviewed the publisher's Will Dyson: Australia's Radical Genius by Ross McMullin last year.] There aren't many blogs written by publishers in Australia so this one gives us a valuable insight into the inner workings of the industry.
Margo Lanagan is really getting stuck into the revisions and rewrites of her upcoming novel, Tender Morsels, which is still a year away from publication. "I have reached the point in the revisions where, if I'm going out and I know everyone else is going to be out of the house, I lock the manuscript away with the laptop. This is because back in March, our house was broken into, and I've done enough work on the revisions (and not word-processed it yet - I'll do that when I've completely scribbled over the entire manuscript next week) for it to be, not traumatic (and it probably wouldn't hurt the story at all -- hmm, must think about what that implies about the state it's in), but a big bloody nuisance to go back in to the last WP'd version and re-do them." I hope she's keeping off-site back-ups.
"Lit Lists" is one of Marshal Zeringue's many weblogs under the general umbrella of the "Campaign for the American Reader". On this blog he links to book lists supplied by authors to various publications and websites. The most recent entry is from Kate Blackwell who was asked by Powells.com to recommend "five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise." Among those books is The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead, which she admires for its "sheer originality of language and unique vision".
The "Australian Crime Fiction" crew have purchased their tickets for the upcoming Melbourne Writers' Festival and have now published their itinerary. Pretty impressive energy levels. Which reminds me that I have to get tickets for the Ned Kelly Awards night.
Judith Ridge, on her "The :: New :: Misrule" weblog asks: "My question for the good readers of Misrule is this -- how do you define 'voice' in narrative fiction? For writers -- how do you define it, and how do you find it? How do you make a voice distinct from character to character -- especially when it comes to first person?" A lively and informative discussion ensued, which necessitated a follow-up posting.