New Title Meetings can be hell! (Trust me, I know …)

Eoin Purcell

Eoin's significantly reduced slush pile
Eoin's significantly reduced slush pile

A heavy days meetings
A very long new title meeting on the Friday of the bank holiday meeting is not what I had in mind, but there was much to cover! Some of it good, some bad, some promising! I’m always stressed to hell before these meetings and pretty tired after them, but this time some thoughts bubbled to the surface, that I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, but a little reiteration can’t hurt!

A word (or two) of advice if I may to authors

    1) Always, always, always include you place of birth, your place of current residence and your profession in your submission letter (or your cv). You would be amazed how many times I get asked those three questions at New Title Meetings.

    2) Please think of at least a tag line or snappy descriptions for your book (fiction or non-fiction) when submitting. Yes these are cheesy and might well be over selling the book, but do it, it’ll help your commissioning editor when they pitch the title.

    3) Always include an image in the submission. Commissioning editors don’t care but sales people do!

    4) Know what genre you fit in! Don’t tell me its indefinable, that just means I’ll have a harder time selling it. If you don’t like pigeon holing, draw some obscure comparison, Milton crossed with Thompson, whatever, just don’t claim after centuries of people writing that you are unique, it’s unlikely to be true*!

    5) If your editor accepts digital submissions, send them digitally! I don’t know how often a slice of the text pasted into my proposal has served to showcase the talent of an author (both in fiction and non-fiction) or highlight a key selling point, this is so much easier to do when the text is in a word/rtf or text file!

That’s it! Keep submitting!

* You may have lots to offer and be a new, fresh voice, but your work will trod old ground and plough old furrows. That is not to say people will not love it and thank you a million times for writing! Just know your parameters!

The 360th Anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia

Münster, Prinzipalmarkt

(Libär: VIA FLICKR & CC)

Peace is not made at the council table or by treaties, but in the hearts of men.

Hoover, Herbert Clark on Peace
Quote from Quotations Book

What’s this you say?
The Westphalian System has been the basis for non-intervention for centuries. It has been the key to a system of sovereignty that has excluded non domestic forces from internal politics and religion. But its origins are in the Thirty Years War and religious hatred, chaos and war of the early to mid seventeenth century.

The wars tore apart the centre of Europe engulfing the lands now occupied by German, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and others. Religion and power formed a dangerous vortex for ordinary and minor figures. Even the powerful did not escape death and ruination.

My point in choosing this to remember today?
If I have any is that treaties and peace agreements, even ones as old as 360 years, can impact our lives even now. It is remarkable that the concepts that emerged from Westphalia served as the basis for our ideas of national sovereignty, self determination and underpinned both the positive and the negative aspects of nationalism.

Google Books has quite a few full view books that mention the Peace and offer us an insight too. Like this one, History of the Revolutions in Europe, from the Subversion of the Roman Empire in the West, to the Congress of Vienna: From the French of Christopher William Koch. The embedded image gives a good idea of what that focuses on concerning Westphalia.

History of the Revolutions in Europe, from the Subversion of the Roman Empire in the West, to the Congress of Vienna From the French of Christopher William Koch. With a Continuation to the Year 1815 By Christophe Koch

It’s not a simple path that history takes and we should learn that well.