Sunday, 12 August 2012

A Salt book on the Booker longlist

I'd have bought this for the cover
alone! Isn't it beautiful?
A couple of weeks ago the Booker longlist was announced, and there were a few shocks; there were four first time novelists on the list for exampl - plus, a personal shock of seeing a book by Salt - The Lighthouse by Alison Moore - also included.

I can't remember when I first became aware of Salt, but I think it was a couple of years ago when I was randomly searching writers and publishers on Facebook. Yes, I was procrastinating, but I came up with a few gems, including Salt. I checked them out, bought a couple of books, liked them on Facebook - and was subsequently friended by owner Chris - and decided they would be a great publisher to submit all my work to. But I didn't. I had a crisis of confidence and stopped submitting anywhere for a while.

Soon after, they lost their Arts Council funding - and shared their grief and confusion via Facebook. I read their statuses every time they wondered how they would cope without that pot of money, what they should cut, how they could move on. I followed their path to downsize and reinvigorate their lists and their business. They had great ideas. In fact, just a few days before the Booker announcement, they made their own announcement about some new short fiction and poetry prizes they are going to establish.

And then... POW!!!!

Everything has changed for them overnight. They have been featured here and here and here. How amazing is that! All that hard work to keep the business running has paid off. They have become sensations. I don't follow Alison Moore, but I imagine her life too has turned upside down - and all before the original scheduled publication date... which was obviously scooted forward pretty quickly

I haven't read it yet, but it's on my list of items to buy this week.

This story has restored my faith in publishing (print and digital), fiction and literature that the whole 50 Shades thing (oh, I know there's a better word to use here, honestly I do!) was slowly eroding. I also think I should have submitted to them when I first thought about it, because surely now, everyone will want to be published by a small family press whose owners really care about each and everyone of their authors.



22 comments:

  1. I work with three different small publishers and I love them. They've taught me lots about editing and the business.

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    1. With my very limited experience, I would imagine the process is much more welcoming and friendly than a great big corporation.

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  2. 'I had a crisis of confidence and stopped submitting anywhere for a while.'

    I think it's not just crises of confidence that prompt us to stop submitting for a while. I think it's necessary to tuck in and take what we've learned for a season before trying something new. This is my current experience, anyway. We have to guard our hearts, if that makes sense, (for out of it spring the issues of life. :))

    And yes, A, that is a lovely, lovely cover.

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    1. That makes sense, Suze. I naturally have peaks and troughs with submitting - it doesn't always make sense, but I go with it, and when I feel the time is right, I strike again!

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  3. Interesting post! I'm glad they were able to rise above their challenges and be actively publishing good books. I am a huge fan of the small press, especially the small literary press, that puts books out in print as well as ebook.

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    1. I think the smaller presses are connected to the story they're selling - larger organisations seem more money-orientated... that might be an incorrect assumption, it's just how I see it from the outside. I'm not sure I'd ever feel my work fitted with a large publisher like Penguin.

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  4. An inspiring story and brownie points for small presses.
    You should try submitting there for I doubt they will change their core publishing ethics too much.

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  5. That's really cool and uplifting!

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    1. It is a great underdog story isn't it?

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  6. Best of luck to SALT - and all those on the booker list! Three cheers for small publishers everywhere - where would we be without them...

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    1. Exactly, those small presses are forging ahead and taking risks that the larger publishers would think twice about... and it obviously works!

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  7. That's wonderful! It's great o hear a story like this as it inspires positive energy. Something we can all use.

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  8. Interesting to learn that some publishers seem to need as much persistence and determination as us writers.

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    1. I know, and we thought they had it easy!

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  9. very interesting and inspiring too. Plus, I would say - don't defeat your self. If you admired them and wanted to submit, why not do it now? Worse they can say is no thank you... or they could love your writing and welcome you to their family. Go for it.

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    1. Because now I'm comparing my work to that level, and it's falling short at the moment. I'll use it to up my game and write better! Thanks for the pep talk Joanne, I can always use one of those :-)

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  10. Great story. I love to see the smaller presses doing well.

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    1. Oops, I didn't see this comment Mary - I think the small presses are so important at bringing us the books that don't fit on the Big 6 lists.

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  11. Hi Anna .. I hadn't picked this Salt story up .. but what wonderful news for them .. they must be so pleased - let alone Alison ... I'll have to keep my eyes open - cheers Hilary

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    1. I think this will secure their business for a long time. It's really great to read a good news story, isn't it?

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