You’ve Got To Do Better Than Austen Today

I couldn’t help but post this up, even if it’s a little late: Austen resubmitted.

David Lassman, the director of the Jane Austen Festival in Bath decided to find out what sort of reception the writer might get if she approached publishers and agents in the age of Harry Potter and the airport blockbuster.

After making only minor changes, he sent off opening chapters and plot synopses to 18 of the UK’s biggest publishers and agents. He was amazed when they all sent the manuscripts back with polite but firm “no-thank-you’s” and almost all failed to spot that he was ripping off one of the world’s most famous literary figures.

This sounds uncannily like Why You Will Never Get Published (Through Traditional Outlets) Today – a very depressing post wrapped around a very depressing Guardian Unlimited article.

If publishers refuse to publish Austen … God knows who else they’re refusing to publish.

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Category: Publishing
  • Gloria Hildebrandt

    It seems that publishers’ default response to inquiries and proposals is “no.” They are clearly missing out on good writers, and accepting many mediocre ones. There must be a trick to getting published. You must need to know someone who will champion you. It’s depressing and short sighted.

  • Eli James

    Very much so, Gloria. I’m tempted to say that online lit may provide an alternative, but that would be a lie, at its current state. It has to improve ..

    I’ve been thinking lately on how to create a community of blookers and like minded people – who want to see blooking as a whole advanced and read and taken seriously. Cheryl’s already doing a great job at Blooking Central – she’s keeping track of the many blooks there are out there.

    But it was Richard who pierced the heart of the matter: that comments from blook authors to other blook authors just wasn’t enough, and blogs such as Novelr and Blooking Central can only do so much to advance thought on the subject manner.

    A forum, perhaps? The one at Yahoo groups isn’t good enough …

    Oh, gosh. This should be a post on its own.