Skip to main content

How a publisher meets his authors

Another guest post by Mark Lloyd. Mark was born in 1972 in the small town of Naas, Co.Kildare in Ireland. He studied at Trinity College Dublin where he was allowed to  escape with a BA (Mod) in Computer Science, Linguistics and French.His poetry has been published in Revival Literary Journal, Microphone On! And Boyne Berries. He is a founding member of The Limerick Writers’ Centre, Limerick, Ireland and a member of the Literature Pillar of Limerick City of Culture 2014.
He founded Pillar International Publishing in 2012, named after his grandfather’s erstwhile company Pillar Publishing Dublin.

Pillar International Publishing, though focusing on edgy and absurd humour, has also published several poetry collections, including Heartscald by Alphie McCourt and I Live in Michael Hartnett (featuring a piece by the late Seamus Heaney). In humorous fiction and non-fiction, Pillar have published works by Rhys Hughes, Robin Walker and Thaddeus Lovecraft. Pillar, in 2014, will publish works by Tony Philpott and Helena Close, amongst others and will introduce Pillar Vintage, an imprint that will re-issue 1940’s fiction and non-fiction.

There are two books that an author will rarely be told to read but should. Alas they are not published by me.

The first teaches the importance of proximity and the second the depth of richness offered by time.

Many years ago I ran a small children’s charity that rolled its stone up the hill every morning in its own inimitable style. We received a great deal of funding from one large state body. We received it every year. Not because our mission was that much more compelling than others but because the people who apportioned the money knew that they would meet me every day in the corridor and every lunch-time in the café. We shared a building. They were not aware that this was a deciding factor in their determinations … but it undoubtedly was.

Dragging ourselves forward to the here and now, two of my writers are with me because of very similar reasons. Don’t get me wrong, their writing is marvellous, bordering on spectacular, but they probably would not have been as appealing to me, as interesting to me, had there not been a compelling and regular point in time where our connections would cross.

The first writer I meet online and in person. I holiday in the same small seaside village. We both support Arsenal. The second writer is connected to me through an online community and through Facebook. We both know that in any given day our paths may cross. Compelling reasons to be interested in each other.

Publishing is about personalities, about relationships. If you recognise this, and you act upon it, then you are more likely to succeed.

Go to networking events. Say hello! Join Facebook groups. Say Hi! Attend workshops and festivals. Invest in people. In return, they will invest in you.

Which leads me to my second point. Time. Writing and relationships grow richer with time. Don’t rush it.

For balance, I also think struggling writers should read:

  • Rum Humour Rum Humor by Thaddeus Lovecraft
  • Last Orders at the Changamire Arms by Robin Walker
  • The Young Dictator by Rhys Hughes

…because I published them. (See Pillar's website for more on these books.)


Popular posts from this blog

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Which idiot came up with percentage-based gradient signs

Rant warning: the contents of this post could sound like something produced by UKIP. I wish to make it clear that I do not in any way support or endorse that political party. In fact it gives me the creeps. Once upon a time, the signs for a steep hill on British roads displayed the gradient in a simple, easy-to-understand form. If the hill went up, say, one yard for every three yards forward it said '1 in 3'. Then some bureaucrat came along and decided that it would be a good idea to state the slope as a percentage. So now the sign for (say) a 1 in 10 slope says 10% (I think). That 'I think' is because the percentage-based slope is so unnatural. There are two ways we conventionally measure slopes. Either on X/Y coordiates (as in 1 in 4) or using degrees - say at a 15° angle. We don't measure them in percentages. It's easy to visualize a 1 in 3 slope, or a 30 degree angle. Much less obvious what a 33.333 recurring percent slope is. And what's a 100% slope