Many of you have been asking questions about Maverick House, the publisher of my book “The Boy with a Bamboo Heart”. Here are some answers. Writers, make sure you read the answer to question 8 attentively.
1. Why does an Irish publisher take interest in the Asian book market and Thailand in particular?
Maverick House isn’t an Irish publisher. Our offices are just registered in Dublin for tax purposes. Like most trade publishers, we publish books for worldwide consumption. We publish authors who write on a variety of subjects. Our relationship with Thailand goes back over a decade. We have published a number of bestsellers in Thailand so the country is very important to us.
2. Maverick appears to publish many first time authors, is that a strategy or coincidence?
Most publishers judge submissions on the writing style. It doesn’t matter to us whether or not an author has been published previously or not. We are solely interested in the story and telling it. If a book needs to be re-written or tightly edited, we tend to do this to ensure the story works. We don’t have any strategies to attract authors as to be honest we don’t need one. We receive dozens of manuscripts each week.
3. What is Maverick’s greatest annoyance when working directly with writers?
Authors should always check to make sure their submission meets our criteria. I received a beautifully packaged book from the US this morning. It was a children’s book aimed at 3 to 5 year olds. It’s now in the bin.
4. Deloitte has predicted that in 2015, 80% of worldwide book sales will be print books. They conclude “…E-books are not replacing print books in a big way.” (www.deloitte.com)
E-books are as important to us as print editions. Books are about words and content. How you read words is almost irrelevant. I’m saying that we do put a lot of effort, time and expense into our print editions. Whether people chose to read books on tablet devices or printed books is almost irrelevant to us.
5. The book industry is in flux, many authors are choosing to self-publish. What are Maverick’s views on self-publishing? Would Maverick buy a title that an author has already self-published and why?
The problem with self-publishing is the writing. We have come across some excellent titles that have already been self-published, but they are almost always badly written, full of errors or constructed in a way that makes them unreadable. Authors make the worst editors as many cannot see the mistakes they make in terms of writing style. Whilst there are some notable exceptions, most self-published books fall flat on their faces as they are poorly written and littered with mistakes. We have acquired some books that have been self-published but it’s the exception to the rule.
6. Maverick is quite active on social media. Publishers offer mixed reviews on the value of authors engaging in social media. Does Maverick believe that social media sells books? Does Maverick believe their authors should be active on social media?
Yes…yes…yes. Anyone who believes they can promote anything without social media doesn’t know what they are talking about.
7. How many titles does Maverick publish a year?
We used to publish an awful lot but the projects we now commission require more effort and planning as they are bigger. We now publish between 6 to 10 titles a year but we are also managing the sales of our back list and the various translations.
8. Is Maverick currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts? What is Maverick currently most interested in?
We are always looking for new material. If you have a book on Asia, true crime, human rights abuses or a stunning memoir send it our way!
9. Maverick acquires titles from writers in different countries. Does Maverick recommend that writers look beyond their own country to find a publisher?
Absolutely. Find the right publisher no matter where they are and follow their submission guidelines.
10. Maverick has recently released “The Boy with a Bamboo Heart”. So far, what has been Maverick’s favorite part of acquiring this title?
We don’t have favourite parts to publishing these days. We are getting old now, we are almost publishing teenagers, but we were pretty happy with the overall production, especially the cover which captures the essence of the book.