The Holy Grail of Publishing

I have just achieved the Holy Grail of literature.

Some years ago, when the first books of my Arthuriad were published by Headline Review, I was over the moon. My books were about to be released by one of the largest publishers in Britain and they would be marketed worldwide through Headline’s distribution network.

I was disappointed that our agreement did not include North America which is the ultimate market for authors.

Within a couple of years of my first releases, I was compensated when a few foreign translations came on the scene including publishers in Spain, Portugal and other European countries. Then, out of Rio de Janeiro came a publishing deal that would get me into all of South America.

But still, no sign of being able to break into the lucrative North American market.

Then, two months ago, out of a brilliant Queensland sky, came a phone call from my truly amazing literary agent in London.

“I’ve got you into the States!!!”

“Who with?” replied an overawed and incredulous M.K. Hume.

“Simon & Schuster US! They have bought all eight (8) of your novels in an unprecedented eight-book deal covering all of North America.”

As we went on to discuss the nuts and bolts of the offer from this huge company, most of the detail was slipping seamlessly over the top of my head because I thought I was dreaming and I would wake up, pinch myself and be disappointed because it wasn’t really happening.

And then the actuality of it all seeped in as I realised the amount of work that had to be done to get the books into the market place. I would have to proof-read each of the eight books in detail to ensure that they were perfect, despite having previously been on the market for some time. Also, the order of release would have to be changed. While the King Arthur trilogy had been written before the Merlin trilogy, S&S wanted to release the Merlin books first to give strength to the chronology of the period. Merlin is older than Arthur, so his books should start the series off.

Also, I would have to put my latest projects on hold for about a year or so. The new series set in the Old Kingdom of Egypt would now have to wait while, Oh, joy, I get to spend the next twelve months proof-reading and editing.

There are many people to thank for all that has happened in recent months, not least being my agent, Dorie Simmonds. I think I will do the job of thanking my friends and supporters as individuals because I’d never have made it to the starting gate without these fine people to help me along the way.

I thank you all for your support, and hope we’ll all be together for the next fifty years or so.

Marilyn. (M.K. Hume)

August 2012.