Don't Go Into Publishing

Peter Haynes lays out the joys of publishing.

7/26/20231 min read

Don’t get into publishing, they say. It’s a fools’ game, they say.

And yes, we are those fools!

When we first put our heads together to decide what it was we wanted from regional publishing, we had some very clear ideas that have stayed with us all the way through the process of putting together our first anthology (Digbeth Stories) and will carry on to future projects. The notion that we’d be foolish enough to keep on going happened fairly early on in the process of producing Digbeth Stories, and all three of us were onboard with it. Eyes open.

In brief, our aims were and remain:

To discover new talent, writing high quality prose in the West Midlands area and give them a spotlight.

To make the end product as high quality as possible. Our intent is serious, the writing is serious, so we want the end result to be taken seriously.

To boost the profile of Birmingham and Midlands writing in general. There is a void of dedicated prose publishing in the city left by Tindal Street and we’d like to fill some part of it.

To pay for contributions. This is important.

To be open and transparent about the timescales involved. We often feel that publishing can seem to move about as fast as molasses - we wanted to do it relatively quickly, which we can do if we concentrate on one project at a time. We also wanted to be clear about our milestones and the expectations that go with them.

To be communicative about the process. Every author who submitted to us gets a response, whether it’s an acceptance or a rejection. We have tried to provide feedback in all cases, and have engaged with writers on a one-to-one basis during the edit process. We wanted to communicate the next steps (where we knew what they were!) and accept feedback. Everyone works better when they’re fully informed.

To learn from our experience and get better and more efficient going forward.

We don’t think any of that sounds foolish at all.