Making money and Emily Brewin on phone calls in cubicles, validation and holding your book in your hand

This week Kate and Katherine talk about how to make money. Inspired by Honor Eastley’s Starving Artist podcast, Katherine pitches three ideas of things they can sell…  Pretty exciting!  What if they become millionaires?!   Stay tuned to what happens in a couple of episodes time when we update you on our successful money making ventures!  

Next, Katherine talks to Emily Brewin, author of Hello, Goodbye (Allen & Unwin) and Small Blessings which comes out in February 2019.

To start with, Emily mentions the RMIT Writing and Editing program. Did you know RMIT are partner for this podcast? It’s true. Kate and Katherine are also students in the same program, though Katherine seems to be on a permanent leave of absence.

In the age-old plotting versus pantsing debate Emily is what you call a pantser, she just starts writing. Her method involves writing a 1000 words a day until she has a first draft. Sounds a big like Nanowrimo, doesn’t it? (Anyone else in that particular hell at the moment?)

Once she had a solid manuscript, Emily gave it to freelance editor, Nadine Davidoff, who ‘took it to the next level’.  Incidentally, Nadine is also involved in the ACT’s Hardcopy program. (ACT Writers Centre also support this podcast!) What a small world, eh?

Once Nadine had looked at the manuscript, Emily made changes and sent it out to different agents, some of whom rejected it. (Seems to happen to everyone.)  Emily even posted a hard copy version to an agent, kissing it before she put in in the mail box.  Jack Heath did the same thing. Must be how you send things these days.

Emily sent her work to The Naher Agency after seeing one of the letters director Gaby Naher sent to a writer she rejected. ‘If the worst I can do is get constructive feedback, I can’t really go wrong,’ said Emily. But it was a lot better than constructive feedback! A week or two later, while on holiday, Gaby called while Emily was in the toilet. Emily didn’t take the call in the cubicle, but what a quick wee it was. Gaby said she loved the book and from there everything moved very quickly, confirming what I have begun to realise: The publishing industry has two speeds: WAITING FOR ETERNITY and YESTERDAY.

Emily’s highlights of publication? Working with editors.  ‘A good editor is a higher being.’ Also, getting the book. (Katherine and Kate talk about receiving the first copies of their books in this episode).

BOSSES TAKE NOTE: Emily is a teacher and her principal let her take the day of her launch off. I feel like this should be an official category of leave. Am I right? Am I right?

What wasn’t Emily prepared for when the book came out?  The publicity.  Radio interviews and podcast interviews can be quite intimidating.  Speaking of publicity, here’s Emily on KYD podcast.  (Also, this article of hers is excellent).

Also, what do you do once publicity drops off?   ‘[You think], “Where do I go from here?”  You’ve had all this attention and then it goes away.’  What do you?   Emily’s advice echoes that of Graeme Simsion: You keep writing.

Unfortunately, all Emily’s been writing lately is grant applications.  Money, i.e. the eternal struggle. Did we say check out Starving Artist?  Katherine asks Emily if she has a plan for being an author? Emily says, no.  (DOES ANYONE HAVE A PLAN, KATHERINE?)

Emily’s advice for first time authors is just enjoy it. You only get the first time once.

Debut novel recommendation?  I was supposed to ask Emily this before she came in but I forgot to so you’ll have to make do with a general book recommendation so it’s  Commonwealth, by Anne Pratchett.

The First Time Quick Five with Emily Brewin

Agent or no agent? Agent

Advance or no advance? Advance

Overseas territories or Aus/NZ? Aus/NZ

Festivals invites or no festival invites? No festival invites

Number of copies sold? Don’t know

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