Indie Publisher – MidnightSun Publishing

20 July 2012 / 3 comments


According to their website,  ‘MidnightSun Publishing has grown out of a disenchantment with the established publishing houses in Australia. We know there are plenty of fabulous manuscripts about unusual topics floating around, but publishing new and unknown writers poses a big risk. MidnightSun is prepared to take that risk.’ 


MidnightSun Publishing launched in February this year and The Hum of Concrete by Anna Solding was published in March. Their second book Pangamonium by Zanesh Catkin launched today. They are actively seeking new and exciting voices in literary fiction (hooray!). Writer and publisher Anna Solding told us more…


What made you decide to set up your own independent press?
The truth is that I was frustrated about my manuscript being shortlisted for three awards, including Best Unpublished Manuscript Award at the Adelaide Festival Awards, and still not being picked up by a publisher. I had an agent for a while but she gave up on me when she realised how difficult The Hum of Concrete was to sell. In March 2011 I had lunch with a good friend, who is a business man, and he asked me why I don't start my own publishing house. I laughed and replied: 'Because I'm not crazy!' But crazy I was. Together with my friend, I founded MidnightSun Publishing and because we suspected that we might make a few mistakes with the first book, we decided to publish my novel first as a test run. We did make some mistakes, but still ended up with a beautiful book, The Hum of Concrete published in March 2012, which is now getting fantastic reviews.




How many manuscript submissions do you receive a month and how many of these may be of a publishable standard?
We receive about 10-12 manuscripts per month, plus many email queries. It is difficult to say how many are of publishable standard. At the moment, we are concentrating on literary fiction, so all the crime, non-fiction and children's books that have come in have been read but rejected as they haven't been outstanding. Of the literary fiction, we have asked for six or seven full manuscripts since we opened for submissions in February 2012.


What advantages does a smaller press present for authors over larger publishing houses?
We have more time for each book as we only publish two or three per year. MidnightSun spends months on marketing and promotion, then we have a fabulous party to celebrate the launch before continuing on with several months of marketing and liaising with reviewers and bloggers. With a small publisher, the writer gets personalised service and has much more input on cover design, web presence and marketing strategies.




What kind of manuscripts are you currently looking for?
We are mainly looking for literary fiction. Good stories, well told. However, if we get an outstanding manuscript in another genre we will consider it. I would love to publish children's books that my own children could read in the future. The things we are not looking for at this point are genre fiction and poetry.


What are your predictions for the publishing landscape over the next 5-10 years, and what does this mean for authors?
I think smaller, independent publishers have an important role to play. Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but I think there is certainly a gap to be filled by publishers such as MidnightSun who aren't scared to take on manuscripts that the major publishers have rejected because they seemed too difficult to market and sell. I think this will be great for authors as they have a wider choice of publishers to send their manuscripts to. You only need to look at the list of publishers on SPUNC's website to see that small publishing is thriving in Australia. Self-publishing and e-publishing will also keep getting easier and cheaper, which will benefit writers.


Anna Solding, writer and publisher
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