The APP Approach to Publishing an Author
You would be forgiven for thinking that the first time an author and APP meet is when a manuscript has been read and we wish to publish the novel. Not a bit of it – by the time contracts are signed, APP and author have been working together for at least a year.
Mark Cheng who penned Father Paul’s War first sent in his manuscript over a year ago. Although the story was strong, there were elements that needed strengthening.
Mark agreed to make the changes to the novel which took him a further year to complete. APP then asked Mark to submit his manuscript to our Literary Consultant who would prepare a written critique. This is designed to hone work for publication and avoid plot, narrative, and character flaws.
Similarly with our next author John Franks we discussed issues of approach and narrative in his novel Watersmeet which took him a year to refine. Following the critique by our Literary Consultant further changes were made until the novel was deemed fit for publication. All the while author and publisher find their relationship deepening. Trust and mutual respect builds between the two parties and they begin to work together as a team.
We still meet regularly with our previously published authors Carolyn Pertwee and Ian Phillips who submit many ideas and / or manuscripts for their second novels, confident that they will receive an honest appraisal. The author wants to write something that he or she is pleased with, and the publisher wants to publish something that sells! Often this can lead to tensions, but at the end of the day no author wishes to publish a novel that does not have a fighting chance of success. So commercial imperatives will always prevail!
APP likes to be honest with our authors (especially when we reject a manuscript), since we know the time and effort it will take to publish a novel with no guarantee of commercial success. When we do sign an author the hard work starts in earnest, since they now have to submit their work to a professional editor who will go through the manuscript in a detailed and forensic manner – querying, checking and challenging.
And publishing the manuscript is just the start, but more on that in my next blog…
Publishing Director & CEO, Alliance Publishing Press