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Half Potential

The other day I got an email from Sean Wallace who told me that there was a sudden spike in Black Sheep sales in June. He had no idea why, and neither did I, though I figured it had everything to do with German students who read the excerpt in their exam.

I found the information somewhat frustrating, actually. Ever since I found out that the book was used in the exam, I've had this half idea of a notion that there's a touch of a potential audience within the country, and I'd like to try getting the book to a publisher there, either in English or German. It feels like an opportunity, though if it is one or not, time will show--but at the moment, I have no way of getting into the market. I don't know it well, obviously, and my attempts to find someone interested in representing the book have met with silence. I can't rely on a current agent either to press the matter, since I left mine a couple of months ago. There's really no gossip to be had. I'd been there for a while and it just wasn't working out for me: A Year in the City was too Australian and the contacts weren't there, and in eight months, one publisher read Beneath the Red Sun. It's a bad time in publishing, but I'd like to be working more, so I figured I'd try my luck, picked up my bags, and went looking round for what was out there. No harm, no foul: nothing works out all the time, and they were nice guys. Others had success, but it wasn't mine.

So now, I'm out on my lonesome, and there's things I know, and things I don't, and one of the latter is the German market, and it frustrates me some. It feels like I'm cut off from being able to try my luck, and that's the suck, as they say.

That's probably the worse part of being a writer, actually. The publishing industry is its own little community, much in the way that any job is, but after you've written the work, you can feel as if there's no real time or place for you. It can be made worse by the fact that it can feel so large and so fractured, divided by the boundaries of genre, place, commercial interests, personal quirks, and country. This, of course, is no different to how any job out there is, but then I was never a fan of that in other jobs, and it's part of the reason that I work for myself.

Ah well.

Time to look round some more, say hi, and see how I go. Drop me a note if you know a person or place in Germany worth trying.

(crossposted)

Comments

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girliejones
Jul. 1st, 2009 05:50 am (UTC)
Welllll.... I noticed that your book was on the front page of his new website. That could have helped?
benpeek
Jul. 1st, 2009 08:58 am (UTC)
i think if it were that, wallace would've said. i think it's probably more likely the german thing, given how many germans came by the blog and such.
oldcharliebrown
Jul. 1st, 2009 11:31 am (UTC)
It's unlikely that the sales would be related to the new website, which only just went up recently. These sales were definitely from . . . elsewhere.
benpeek
Jul. 2nd, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
like a horror movie 'elsewhere'.
call_me_robert
Jul. 1st, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
Have you tried talking with black13 Jens Altmann?

I'd think maybe the two of you could mutually benefit; Jens has a few novels that might do well in the Australian market, and could maybe even do translation work to get more of your stuff in German.

Considering your previous forum connections to each other, I'd have thought you two would already be collaborating or at least exchanging ideas.
benpeek
Jul. 2nd, 2009 12:35 am (UTC)
yeah, steff mentioned him to me, so we'll see how it goes...

i doubt i'd be any use to anyone in the australian market. it's never been open to me over here--the majority of my publications have been in the states.
sickbobby.blogspot.com
Jul. 2nd, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Hey!

Stupid firewall at school/work won't let me post comments here so I have to wait until I get home *oh the drama*!

Can't offer anything except for a big thumbs up and hoping things work out for you. It's time handsome men like us got a break.
benpeek
Jul. 3rd, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
yeah, i'm in agreement that us good looking guys do need a bit of a break. maybe with bikinis.
brendanconnell.wordpress.com
Jul. 2nd, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I am not able to post here either.
benpeek
Jul. 3rd, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
weird. i wonder why?
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