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 publishing world.
Since 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 month.
The Macmillan New Writing scheme, though, is not without its critics. A number of online content providers have blasted scheme as a "scam". The Guardian newspaper's Arts Correspondent, Charlotte Higgans (www.guardian.co.uk) branded 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 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, terms are nonnegotiable; no advance will be paid, however, writers will receive 20% royalties from sales.
Here's 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."