“Writers: Send us Your Novels”. Finally, A Chance To Make It Big In The Publishing World!

Who knows, that first Publishing deal may not be that far off,
after all. The recently launched Macmillan New Writer Scheme may
be your best opportunity yet to make it big in the publishing

Since the project was launched in February, Macmillan has been
receiving 200 manuscripts a month. And in April next year, six
novels will be published and one or two will be released each

The Macmillan New Writing scheme, though, is not without its
critics. A number of online content providers have blasted the
scheme as a “scam”. The Guardian newspaper’s Arts Correspondent,
Charlotte Higgans (www.guardian.co.uk) branded the scheme “the
Ryanair of publishing; it’s like having to pay for your own
uniforms”. Natasha Fairweather, an agent, calls it “an exercise
in futility”. In contrast, Michael Bernard, Macmillan executive
director, describes the scheme as “a way of giving a voice to
talented new authors”. 

There’s no doubt, though, Macmillan’s New Writer Scheme is a
departure from mainstream publishing. For example, if Macmillan
decides to accept a novel for its list, the terms are
nonnegotiable; no advance will be paid, however, writers
will receive 20% royalties from sales.

Here’s the deal: if accepted, MacMillan will copy edit books,
but if manuscripts need more detailed work, they will suggest
that writers employ freelance editors. Even then, this does not
guarantee publication.

Barnard says, “This is about Macmillan finding new authors. Like
a lot of mainstream publishers we haven’t in recent years been
accepting unsolicited manuscripts, but only ones sent through
agents. And we are not discovering as many authors as we need.”

“There are literally tens of thousands of writers out there –
and we have a responsibility to help them. We can’t do that by
paying a half million advance to every author.” 

According to Barnard, the books will appear in the main Pan
Macmillan catalogue and would be “very posh books” with ribbon
markers, sold at £15. He expected them to become “collectors’

Scott Pack, of Waterstones, welcomes the initiative. “I think
it’s a fantastic idea,” he said. “When books are presented to me
by publishers they prioritise the ones to which they have given
large advances. But the bestsellers are not necessarily the ones
that have had big advances. This creates a level playing field.” 

Pack believes the scheme could be great for spotting new talent,
and points to examples of self-published
books that found success not going the route of conventional

We think if you’ve spent years working on your novel with no
success in finding an agent, then Macmillan’s New Writing Scheme
may well bring you the success you’ve been waiting for.

Pros: Once in a lifetime opportunity 20% of Royalties from Sales
Creates level playing field for new talent

Cons: MacMillan will acquire all rights to new manuscripts No
Advance Paid Possibility sharing of editing costs Less control

More detail about MacMillan New Writing can be found here

Ever wondered how to get published? Self-publishing is
quicker and more profitable than dealing with publishers. Free
guide shows how to publish your own book. Copyright © 2005 Andy
Ballentine and Merlin-Publishing.com. All Rights Reserved.
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