Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Daily Grind

There's been a lot to do over the last few days, especially setting up these blogs and the website. At times I've been so excited I can hardly sleep at night. Strange dreams pursue me when I finally doze off, but do you think I can remember any of them when I wake?

Yesterday we had a cool meeting in Second Life with members and guests at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Centre. Chat was compact but intense as we debated the reasons why major publishing houses don't go for inspirational science fiction. One idea was that they shy away from anything that might seem prophetic in nature - and as sci-fi mostly deals with the future, that applies to just about everything in the genre.

Yet none of the classic mainstream SF writers claimed to be foretelling the future. Heinlein, Niven, Wyndham, Asimov. So far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong!) they all wrote of futures born from their vivid imaginations. The same as sci-fi writers do today.

I'm not discounting the effects of suggestion by any means. Last night I pulled up an old episode of Star Trek from the 80's and laughed when I saw the digital photo frame. That was fiction back then. Not any more.

Today I waded through various print and distribution contracts which will need to be faxed to the UK before we can really get going. Also sorted out some office administration stuff. I'm waiting to hear back from the New Zealand National Library about my application for ISBN's. And an author I greatly respect mentioned a manuscript he recommends I take a look at.

So yeah, plenty going on...

Monday, February 23, 2009

What's your line of work?

Since Thursday I've been answering that question like this: "I'm a publisher." It's quite electrifying. While I haven't actually published anything yet - at least not under the name of Splashdown Books - I have now shifted the focus of my full-time attention to the necessary preparations to do so.

I suppose I could be called a "voluntary" publisher, since it's not making any money. My bills get paid by doing one day a week of largely boring translations of German technical manuals. So if you look at the proportions of my time, oh yeah, I'm definitely a publisher as of last week.

Days on the job so far: Three. I've been delving into the maze of printers and distributors and online shopping carts and ISBNs. I'm also very happy to report that the author I made an offer to last week has given his approval to a business partnership. That will all be announced in due course, after we've nailed a contract.

Also check out the new blog for Splashdown Reviews. I get to read a lot of new sci-fi and fantasy novels in my line of work, and often write reviews of them. So it makes sense to gather those reviews and post them since they're eminently related to this other stuff I'm doing. The link is at the top right - whoops, I better go and post something there!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

So it begins...

This was some day all right. After some dithering I've bought the domain and begun the laborious process of constructing the necessary business administration for my company. I spent some time working on the look for the site, which is reproduced in part on this blog.

Also today I've made my first offer to an author. I hadn't planned on doing this so soon, I've hardly begun yet - but this guy's story has got to be read to be believed. Or not believed, depending on your imagination. It was like the tale reached out and wrapped itself around me. I'm waiting to hear back from the author before I make any announcements on that front.

I talked to friends in Ireland and Colorado this morning - one not involved with publishing, but would dearly love to be if it means she can come to live in New Zealand... (sigh). The other, an agent-in-training, gave me some valuable positive feedback on my rather unusual methods of acquiring authors.

Clank got back to me about the cover design for Legendary Space Pilgrims, too - he's doing a great job on the rocketship with Mario and Caitlin inside, peering out into the unknown.

Now that I'm in the swing, I'd rather like to keep building that website. But I should really go to homegroup. Meet some people, all that. You know...I think I will.