Kevin Duffy, founder of Bluemoose Books joined us to today to talk about independent publishers. Most important thing I have learnt so far is that everyone is different. We all have different views and experiences; this is true even for the publishing industry.
Earlier on in the week, Matthew Connolly, self-publisher of Dancing with Daffodils came in to speak to us. Duffy and Connolly set off on similar paths, they were both writers with the aim of being published. Connolly, after being rejected from the big publishers, decided to self-publish. This wasn’t really an option for Duffy. Instead, he and his wife re-mortgaged the house and begun an independent publishers and it paid off. Since then they have published many accomplished authors who have gone on to win great awards such as Pig Iron by Benjamin Myers won Not the Booker Prize 2012.
Kevin also reminded me why I wanted a career in publishing to begin with. He said “if literature is about anything, it’s about finding new voices”. Bluemoose Books read every manuscript that lands on their desk and then, during the editing process, they go through it line by line with the author and keep them involved every step of the way. The author also has a say on the jacket of the book, as after all, it does only take 0.2 seconds for a book to catch a reader’s eye.
Later, we were given a group task which involved creating meta-data (a book summary and key words) which is required by booksellers, including Amazon. We chose the Hunger Games and although I haven’t read it, I was familiar with the story so I was able to help out. The meta- words we chose where: dystopia, revolution, heroine, totalitarian, romance, violence, but we were informed that ‘young adult’ should go first and the rest should follow, which seemed to make sense.