Had a coffee with my publisher yesterday…

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Text LogoWow. It feels unbelievably good to say/write that out loud.

After much deliberation and a lengthy discussion with my agent (ok, yes, it was over lunch but we both drank water – honest!) I decided to go with Text Publishing.

In the end I was lucky enough to receive seven generous offers for the manuscript. I can’t imagine that will ever happen again so I was careful to enjoy every minute! And speaking at length with the wise, intelligent and enthusiastic editors from each of those houses has been a genuine privilege.

It was very much a line-ball decision – and I’m sure any of the publishers I spoke with would have been great – but I chose Text because Michael Heyward and the people there really ‘get it’.  They asked smart questions and clearly want to take the manuscript in the same direction I want to go. Their deal includes a second version of the biography, rewritten for a Young Adult (YA) audience. Also and importantly, Text’s backlist is full of books I admire very much, that hit the sweet spot between intellectual depth and commercial readability. The fact that Text is home to authors like Helen Garner, Inga Clendinnen, Peter Temple, Kate Grenville, Clare Wright and Tim Flannery (to name a few) wasn’t a deciding factor but, once again, wow.

Jane Pearson

Jane Pearson

So yesterday I had a coffee with my editor at Text, the lovely Jane Pearson.

Jane introduced me, one at a time, to everyone in the office (they were all very friendly and kind) and then took me into a literary lollyshop – the Text Publishing storeroom. Heaven!  Suffice to say that, with Jane’s blessing and encouragement, I walked out of heaven hefting a Text carry bag loaded with gorgeous new books. I like it here already…

Then we walked down the street to very hipster cafe and spent an hour or so in a wonderfully intense conversation about next steps, the editing process, deadlines, our children, contracts, and – best of all – the party held by Text for writers and industry people during next month’s Melbourne Writers Festival. To which I am invited. Yes, I know.  Wow.

At this stage it looks like the book will be released in 2018.  So if this blog goes quiet over the next little while, with less regular posts, it’s because I’m working hard on my manuscript – the biggest adventure in biography so far.

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24 responses »

  1. That’s all very good news, but I am especially pleased to see that The Plan includes an edition for younger readers.
    I remember reading Clare Wright’s The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka and thinking, this would be great for school kids but it’s waaaaaay too long. No teacher could possibly expect even the keenest budding historian to read it. So as a retired chalkie, I think the short version of yours is a very good idea indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Lisa. As it happens Clare Wright’s book has recently been released in a YA version called We Are the Rebels. So I’m simply following in her (illustrious) footsteps!

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  2. Well done Michelle! I imagine making that decision would’ve been quite something – loads of different factors to consider. And it sounds like you’ve found a really good fit for you and your work with Text. This is great news! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Gail. Yes, it was a difficult decision – surprisingly so. I didn’t ever expect to have the luxury of choosing! And any of those seven publishers would have been wonderful, I’m sure.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Robyn – and welcome. I read and enjoyed The Anchoress, btw, and have been recommending it to my friends. Spookily, I finished it within hours of meeting Nigel Featherstone for the first time, and was pleasantly surprised to see him mentioned in your acknowledgements. At the time I had no idea of the connection. Small world!

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  3. Huge congratulations, Michelle. A bit belated – sorry! Fantastic choice of publisher too. I’ll enjoy watching the next very exciting steps on your journey and look forward to enjoying your words too before too long. 🙂

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  4. Huge congratulations, Michelle! Wonderful news and a great choice of publisher! I look forward to watching the next very exciting part of the book’s journey – and to reading your words before too long.

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  5. Pingback: The people you meet… | Adventures in Biography

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