I received an email today from the Brit Writers Awards, essentially inviting authors of completed fiction novels (sic) to apply for their Publishing Programme:
We are looking to work with 15 unpublished authors over the next 12 months on an intensive one-to-one basis, who we guarantee will be published with a top publisher before Christmas 2011.
These 15 writers will be sharing their progress on the BWA website, while at the same time, behind the scenes film footage will document their journey to getting published.
What will this programme include?
- Guaranteed to get your work published with a top publisher within 12 months or your money back.
- A senior personal consultant with you throughout the process, who will act as your agent, mentor and will be on-call for you to provide support and guidance until you are published.
- Formal fortnightly planning and review meetings with you until you are published.
- Facilitation of meetings and advice from a range of top experts from the publishing arena for you.
- Developing you, the author as ‘The Brand’
- Critiquing and developing your concept
- Editing (prior to publishing)
- Production of the book including cover design
- Sales and marketing strategy
- Promotion through our networks, partners and recognition at the next BWA gala awards event.
- All legal, ISBN, copyright services as required
· All of the above for a one off fee of £1,795. This is fully guaranteed and fully refundable if you are not published within 12 months.
OK. This troubles me. How many aspiring novelists are there in the UK that would spend that kind of money for ‘guaranteed publication within a year’? I imagine there are thousands.
I have put my main questions to the Brit Writers. Thanks to Zareen for her replies which you can see below. See what you think:
Questions to the Brit Writers Awards:
1) What do you mean by a top publisher?
BWA: “The BWA works with a number of traditional publishers and many imprints. This will not be a self-publishing route.”
2) It often takes more than 12 months for a novel to go from being contracted by a publisher to hitting the shelves. How can you bypass this length of time and still have an effective book/career launch?
BWA: “This is why we have specified that the draft needs to be complete or almost complete. We are working with some fantastic experts from the publishing industry who are all confident that this can be achieved and we will obviously only select/take on books that we think we can succeed with.”
3) Would the 15 chosen novelists have any further expenditure before their ‘guaranteed publication’?
BWA: “Only their travel to meetings, gatherings and phone bills.”
4) What kind of publication contract can they expect?
“A traditional type of publishing deal.
We believe that this will work and that’s why we’re offering a full refund if we fail. We have even committed to document the progress with a behind the scenes film – so everything will be completely transparent.”