October 22, 2010

Publishing in Hungary

As I mentioned in my last post, we discussed this topic after the memoirs and even though I knew it works differently here than there, I came upon a few surprising facts.

First of all, we have Literary Agencies, too, but they don't represent Hungarian authors. My initial question was: 'Then what the heck do they do?' I just learnt that they are the connection between foreign publishers and Hungarian publishing houses.

The other comes from the fact above: writers who'd like to publish their books, go straight to publishers. They pitch their projects to them and if they don't like it, then Writer goes to another publisher. Then another... and another... And when they finally found the perfect match and it comes to signing contracts, well, there's noone to ask advice from, regarding the agreement.
How much advance is normal? What about royalties? If I want to have any say in (for example) the cover, will they change their mind about publishing my book? Will I see the MS after the editor goes through it? Can I have any say about the changes? - And these are only a few questions Writer have to solve on their own.

After these concerns are out of the way and you both signed a contract, then it's usually about 1/2 year or a year before the book is published.
1st: editors edit
2nd: proof-reader goes through the text (this is more strict, looking for grammar mistakes, typos, double meanings, etc.)

What I really couldn't get out of my mind was when the teacher said she works for a publisher and she told us some questions they ask when interviewing new writers. One of them was this: 'How many times did you read your book?'
She said if the answer went on like this: 'I read it, then edited, then got a few friends to read it, too, then edited again...' Then there's a high chance they won't accept the MS. Why? Because they think the words aren't as sincere as in the first or second draft.
For the record, I don't know whether this applies to other publishers in Hungary or not, but I almost asked which one does she work for.

So, you see I discovered another difference! This kept me thinking for awhile, though. But because in the end, I'll always be a maximalist and can't be someone else, whether a publisher likes it or not, I'll be perfecting my MS.

Any thoughts on this topic?

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