Most authors traverse potholes on their paths to print.
Publishers rejected big name authors like J. K. Rowling, John le Carré, C.S. Lewis (800 rejections) and now may regret their decisions. Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind was rejected 38 times before publication. Many self-published and were later “discovered” by big publishers. There’s an idea…
Self-Publish or Perish?
At Omega Writers‘ Sydney Conference Awards Night, Burn My Letters was announced winner of the CALEB Nonfiction prize.
Its hero, Karl Johan Back, knew REJECTION. CENSORSHIP.
In 1899, the year “KJ” fled Finland, the Russian regime Board of Censors shut down four newspapers, and seven in 1900.
KJ self-published two books from his safe haven overlooking Byron Bay. In 1920, he tried to present a Morocco-bound copy of The Royal Toast to the visiting Prince of Wales, hoping for patronage.
PR Photo and Reviews
KJ mailed copies to newspapers. Some reviews were kind, others tepid or cutting:
“It should rank as one of the curiosities of Australian literature.”
“Twenty years ago Mr Back could not speak a word of English but now he is a fluent speaker and has absorbed the ideas and ideals of Australia.”
One noted that KJ was no Tennyson and advised against printing further books. Ouch!
KJ plays the Facebook PR game!
His Facebook page channels through his great-niece author, Ruth. OK, he died in 1962–that’s magical realism!
CHRISTMAS BOOK SPECIALS
from our webstore until 25 December!
Celebrate Finland’s Independence
On 6 December, Finland celebrates its Centenary of Independence from Russian overlords. KJ’s brother Edvard fought in the Civil War, and nephew Rolf in the 1040s Continuation War, on ski patrols over the border into Russia (read more in Midnight Sun to Southern Cross). Perhaps KJ’s earlier “pen fighting” contributed in some way?
Christmas Book Flood
In Iceland, books are exchanged as Christmas Eve presents, to be read through the night while eating chocolates. This tradition is part of a season called Jolabokarflod or Christmas Book Flood.
That’s a great idea for a blessed Christmas and rejuvenating rest.