Visiting Writers Programme author: publishers don’t hold all the power

15 Apr, 2016
 
AUT Master of Creative Writing alumni and Rich Man Road author Ann Glamuzina

Setting aside time to write every week was one of the pieces of advice from Rich Man Road author Ann Glamuzina at the second talk in AUT’s Visiting Writers series.

Glamuzina, a graduate of AUT’s Masters of Creative Writing programme in 2008, said she still meets with several of her fellow Masters graduates every week on a Tuesday.

The graduates initially put the weekly writing day in their schedule as part of their commitment to getting their AUT manuscripts up to a publishable standard – something each of them have since achieved.

Rich Man Road, which was one of the top ten bestselling New Zealand books in 2015, was published by Eunoia Publishing, which Glamuzina co-founded.

“Back when we started publishers still had a real strangle hold on what was published and the alternative was vanity publishing, which – as people who loved beautiful books – was not something we wanted.”

“We thought ‘how hard could it be?’ to set up our own.”

Glamuzina says in practice it was “very hard” but they discovered there was a huge amount of experienced freelance talent out there that they could harness for their publishing company.

For her own book, Glamuzina was able to commission former Penguin publishing director Geoff Walker as her editor and graphic designer Keely O’Shannessy, who specialises in books, for her cover design.

“I think it’s great that some of the power is coming back our way [to the authors].”
Current Masters candidates were also told they would need to commit time to launching and promoting their book once it made it to publication.

“It doesn’t stop once you put your pen down. You need to be available and to get out and talk to people [about your book].”

AUT lecturer Siobhan Harvey, author of Cloudboy, established the Visiting Writers Programme to give Masters of Creative Writing candidates the chance to hear first-hand advice and insights from writers and arts practitioners. The next speaker in the 2016 series is poet Gregory Kan, his book This Paper Boat was published by Auckland University Press earlier this year. Check out the upcoming event here.