A recent press release covering the decline and fall of Jill Marshall, until recently CEO of PearJam Books, sends creepy things running up and down my spine.
Who can you trust these days? Even the mighty Fonterra has fallen face down in the cow-yard slush. Their resounding crash will have taken the publicity heat out of Jill Marshall and her broken dreams. But what of her innocent clients, all too often not only out of pocket, but out of patience, out of product (books) and out of mana, due to the sloppiness of the more recent editing and printing.
So what went wrong? Is this a case of Murphy’s Law or just a minnow pretending to be a shark in the publishing/ editorial world? New Zealand’s tiny population and consequently the ‘self absorption’ of publishing houses to an ever-diminishing degree has created a vacuum for writers. Consequently their course-plotting for any port that offers apparent shelter and the eventual publication of a treasured manuscript, seems the only way to go.
What is to be done? Should a writer be looking overseas at larger more sturdy publishing houses, perhaps Australia?
Is this a warning that online publication is the safer way ahead?
Modern technology is a mine-field to the older writer and the more than scary prospect that completed ms will have to be handed to the techno-savvy for good or ill.
Anyone who has an answer for current NZ writers who might right now, be putting out feelers to one of the few remaining publishing houses in this country, is invited to respond to this blog. Those of you who have experienced a disheartening and down-right dishonest state of affairs such as Jill Marshall and her PearJam Books failure, are welcome to record your plight and if possible what was done to rectify the matter.