A new blog has been launched to "demystify" the publishing process by showcasing "the personal stories behind the novels" of seven writers, including one of Viking's debuts, Sara Collins.
Entitled "Seven Writers, Seven Novels", the new blog will be updated with monthly posts throughout 2019 from its seven contributors, whose works span multiple genres while their publishers range from small independents to publishing giants.
Intending to update readers on their publishing journeys, Collins - a former lawyer whose debut The Confessions of Frannie Langton was pre-empted by Viking the evening before a nine-way auction - will be joined on the blog by six other writers. They are:
- Brooklyn-based author Leland Cheuk, who will be writing about his experience of publishing No Good Very Bad Asian with C&R Press, due out in September;
- Gabriel Dylan, a secondary school teacher from Stroud, Gloucestershire, whose debut YA horror novel Whiteout published yesterday with Stripes;
- Judith Heneghan, a senior lecturer in Creative Writing, whose first adult novel Snegurochka is being published by Salt in April;
- Helen Kitson, whose debut novel The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson will be published by Louise Walters Books in March;
- Zoe May, who, having already published three books with Harper Collins, will be updating readers on the publication of her latest novel, As Luck Would Have It, due out in June; and,
- Glaswegian author Ely Percy, whose book Vicky Romeo Plus Joolz publishes with Knight Errant Press in March.
As well as providing insight into the publishing process, the blog will present an opportunity for the writers to air thorny issues, for example in relation to contractual obligations and remuneration. Already several of the blog's contributors have shared details of their book deals, including whether and what sort of advance they received on signing with their respective publishers, with two of the seven confirming they received no advance at all.
James Woolf, a former playwright who came up with the idea for the blog and will be running it alongside two fellow writers, Eva Harlsband and Hannah Persaud, explained they had embarked on the project "to find out more about the mysterious world of publishing".
"It should be an interesting year following our seven authors. We want to get beneath the surface, reveal stuff that other writers will want to read, as well as giving some useful publicity to the writers themselves," said Woolf. "The writers may be dealing with book jacket designs, have just attended their launch, or be basking in some great reviews (or otherwise!).
"As well as providing insight on the different routes to publication, although some people think once you get a publisher it is all very rosy and romantic and dinners with your agent, actually, what this blog will also show is that is it can still be very tough ... We want to show the underbelly as well as the good side. Readers will be able to get to know each of the selected writers as individuals, who will be showing the downs as well as the ups of their year."
The blog has already received 900 page views since its launch a week ago. It is available to view here.