Friday, 27 March 2009

Authonomy Signings: Another Update

Edited to add: I jumped quite firmly to the wrong conclusion here. Miranda Dickinson very kindly added her own comment to this piece and cleared up my confusion: I apologise to her for being so foolish, I freely admit to having screwed up, and I hope that she’ll forgive me.

I did think of just deleting this whole post but I've decided against it: instead, I'm going to leave this post up because I don’t like to pretend that I never make mistakes; and Miranda’s explanation was so very good-natured and courteous that she deserves for it to remain in place.

You might remember how Authonomy announced a couple of months ago that HarperCollins was going to publish three books which had spent time on Authonomy's shelves. When it was discovered that only one of the books had actually been discovered in the Authonomy slush-pile, and that the other two had been taken on via more usual routes, outcry ensued.

The single book which was reportedly discovered on Authonomy's shelves was Coffee at Kowalski's, by Miranda Dickinson. But in a post on the Authonomy blog today Dickinson writes,
Having said that, submitting my manuscript for the second time was ridiculously scarier than it was the first time. I think this is because when I sent Kowalski’s to Avon last year I honestly didn’t think that I would hear back from them – let alone anything else. This time, much more is relying on the structural edit being good enough – and I felt the weight of that responsibility resting heavily on my shoulders throughout the process, although this was entirely self-imposed!
Bolding mine. Avon is an imprint of HarperCollins. Draw your own conclusions.


Barb said...

If they're not going to pick up any new authors from this site, then I am a bit lost as to its purpose.

jue said...

i think if you read all three blog posts, when Miranda refers to sending it the first time, she means before Xmas after she was contacted by Avon, who saw her work on Authonomy and requested the full. The second time is this year, and she is nervous about sending it back after making edits.

No conspiracy as far as i can see.

Jane Smith said...

Barb, me too. Mind you, I am often perplexed.

Ju-ju: I've now read through all of the blog posts but am still suspicious. Mind you, I am suspicious more often than I am perplexed and so it's possible that you're right, and that I'm reading more into this than there is. And if that's the case, all I can do is apologise, hide in the corner, and hope that no one has noticed this. Damn. I do so love a good conspiracy theory!

Miranda Dickinson said...

Hi - just to clarify... ju-ju is right...

In my blog I mentioned sending Kowalski's to Avon for the first time, I was referring to sending the manuscript after they had seen Kowalski's on Authonomy and contacted me. I'd only partially uploaded my manuscript to Authonomy and when I got the email from Avon saying they would be interested in reading the full manuscript I had to complete my book in three days and send it to them!

Sorry for the confusion! If you read my first blog for Authonomy, you'll see the timeline of how things happened in a bit more detail. Hope this helps to make sense of my ramblings!


Miranda x

Jane Smith said...

Look, Miranda, can you just not be quite so reasonable here? Lord. You should have come in shouting and threatening legal action over my mistake, not been all nice about it. Frankly, you're no fun at all.

Joking aside, sorry for my foolish mistake: I hope it hasn't caused you too much trouble, and thanks for visiting and making things more clear. Congratulations on your deal, and more on getting through the editing so calmly: and (while I have your attention) if you'd take the time to consider this other post of mine, I'd be very pleased.

catdownunder said...

I am all for conspiracy theories Jane - life is much more exciting that way. (Of course we cats lead complicated, multi-faceted lives not likes dogs devoted to one owner.)

Pen Pen said...

They're always messing with our heads!

Damn you, publishing world!!!!

Derek said...

Miranda, congratulations on your success.

Jane re Draw your own conclusions: They're obviously not finding what they're looking for. Every publisher in the world would love to have a book that flies off the shelves, regardless of how it first came to them.

Pat said...

Hi Jane - maybe you should amend or add an update to your post admitting your mistake, for Miranda's sake at least. Seems only fair, because your readers won't know unless they dive into the comments.

Why's everyone so suspicious of authonomy? Hang around on too many authors forums and it seems like writing and paranoia go hand in hand these days...

Jane Smith said...

Pat, great minds and all that--I was editing the original post when you commented here, but thank you: it was a very good point, and I'm glad you made it. Miranda was very gracious in her comments, and I appreciate that she took the time to do so.

As for everyone being so suspicious of Authonomy: my main concern with it isn't suspicion, just that it seems to me to be a great diversion-activity for most of the members involved.

As a writer, writing seems like a far more valuable use of my time than networking in order to get to the top of a chart which, so far, hasn't resulted in any publications (that's rather convoluted, but I hope it makes sense).