Archives for category: publishing

A month ago I volunteered at the Texas Book Festival. As an author escort, I met several authors and listened to their talks. My favorite event was with Eimear McBride, author of the prize-winning novel A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, and Elizabeth McCracken, whose recent collection Thunderstruck & Other Stories is highly regarded.

I bought the last available copy of A Girl at the festival, but I haven’t had a chance to dig into it yet. I’m feeling a little intimidated by it because reviewers (all of whom seem to love the novel) mention Joycean influence (please let it not be as hard to read as Ulysses, which defeated me) and also compare the writing to Faulkner’s. I think it’s an easy comparison based on the fact that McBride employed a difficult stream-of-consciousness style. But more about that book once I’ve read it.

McBride had a hard time getting the book published. She tried for years before giving up. When it did happen, it was via a local bookseller who was starting his own press. He asked to read her manuscript after a casual conversation with McBride’s husband, who mentioned that his wife had a fantastic manuscript that no publisher was willing to take on. I was so impressed by her story and by the initiative of the bookseller that I began wondering about local indie publishers in general. So I researched and found several indie publishers in Austin that I didn’t know before.

A Strange Object caught my interest as they focus on “surprising, heartbreaking fiction.” Sounds promising. Their most recent title, Our Secret Life in the Movies, was released in October and has received rave reviews. I’m ordering it and can’t wait to read it.

Foxing Quarterly publishes a literary and arts journal that also seems worth checking out. I love that they include a variety of genres and modes of expression. Writers take note: they are accepting unsolicited manuscripts.

Timber Mouse Publishing focuses on spoken word poetry: “Our goal is to promote and give voice to the latest and finest artists of spoken word poetry by building a community to print books, cut records, promote . . . ” They help host and promote some great literary events around town. They also are accepting manuscripts.

Are there indie publishers in your town? Please share in the comments. I’d love to check out their offerings.




This year the Texas Book Festival is on October 26 and 27.  I just went through the author list and schedule and made a list of everything (and everyone) I’d like to see.  I’m especially excited about Sherman Alexie, who will be speaking on Sunday. I also saw that three National Book Award finalists will be at the festival! This event is always great—well organized, well attended, and full of interesting panels and authors. And it’s free!

I love this time of year. We get to hear about all of the book fairs, book festivals, and book awards! The finalists for the 2013 National Book Award have been announced, and I’m busily adding titles to my “To Read” list. I already had my eye on Lahiri’s The Lowland, but I’m also looking forward to Tenth of December by George Saunders. In nonfiction, I’ll start with George Packer’s The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, and in young people’s literature, I don’t  know—all of them?

You can see the complete list of finalists on Publisher’s Weekly.

The winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize is Eleanor Catton of New Zealand. She is the youngest winner ever and the last winner before the prize rules are changed to include U.S. writers.

The new rules have stirred more than a bit of controversy; many fear that opening the prize to Americans will harm British writers and make it more difficult for the Man Booker Prize to compete with the Pulitzer and the National Book Awards, two of the most prestigious writing prizes in the United States.