Had a coffee with my publisher yesterday…

Text LogoWow. It feels unbelievably good to say/write that out loud.

After much deliberation and a lengthy discussion with my agent (ok, yes, it was over lunch but we both drank water – honest!) I decided to go with Text Publishing.

In the end I was lucky enough to receive seven generous offers for the manuscript. I can’t imagine that will ever happen again so I was careful to enjoy every minute! And speaking at length with the wise, intelligent and enthusiastic editors from each of those houses has been a genuine privilege.

It was very much a line-ball decision – and I’m sure any of the publishers I spoke with would have been great – but I chose Text because Michael Heyward and the people there really ‘get it’.  They asked smart questions and clearly want to take the manuscript in the same direction I want to go. Their deal includes a second version of the biography, rewritten for a Young Adult (YA) audience. Also and importantly, Text’s backlist is full of books I admire very much, that hit the sweet spot between intellectual depth and commercial readability. The fact that Text is home to authors like Helen Garner, Inga Clendinnen, Peter Temple, Kate Grenville, Clare Wright and Tim Flannery (to name a few) wasn’t a deciding factor but, once again, wow.

Jane Pearson

Jane Pearson

So yesterday I had a coffee with my editor at Text, the lovely Jane Pearson.

Jane introduced me, one at a time, to everyone in the office (they were all very friendly and kind) and then took me into a literary lollyshop – the Text Publishing storeroom. Heaven!  Suffice to say that, with Jane’s blessing and encouragement, I walked out of heaven hefting a Text carry bag loaded with gorgeous new books. I like it here already…

Then we walked down the street to very hipster cafe and spent an hour or so in a wonderfully intense conversation about next steps, the editing process, deadlines, our children, contracts, and – best of all – the party held by Text for writers and industry people during next month’s Melbourne Writers Festival. To which I am invited. Yes, I know.  Wow.

At this stage it looks like the book will be released in 2018.  So if this blog goes quiet over the next little while, with less regular posts, it’s because I’m working hard on my manuscript – the biggest adventure in biography so far.










2018-03-25T13:15:49+10:00 August 12th, 2016|Life, Work in Progress, Writing|25 Comments


  1. Lisa Hill August 12, 2016 at 10:02 am - Reply

    That’s all very good news, but I am especially pleased to see that The Plan includes an edition for younger readers.
    I remember reading Clare Wright’s The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka and thinking, this would be great for school kids but it’s waaaaaay too long. No teacher could possibly expect even the keenest budding historian to read it. So as a retired chalkie, I think the short version of yours is a very good idea indeed.

    • Michelle Scott Tucker August 12, 2016 at 10:10 am - Reply

      Thanks Lisa. As it happens Clare Wright’s book has recently been released in a YA version called We Are the Rebels. So I’m simply following in her (illustrious) footsteps!

  2. Eleanor Limprecht August 12, 2016 at 10:17 am - Reply

    That is such great news, I am thrilled for you. And can’t wait to see the end result. Sending a (virtual) hug!

  3. Nathan Hobby August 12, 2016 at 10:31 am - Reply

    How exciting! Text will be a great home for your book. So important to have that commitment to books with both readability and credibility.

    • Michelle Scott Tucker August 12, 2016 at 10:46 am - Reply

      Yes, I agree. It’s early days, obviously, but I feel very comfortable at Text.

  4. wadholloway August 12, 2016 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Now you’re a fellow writer with Helen Garner, how good does that feel. Well done! (but we still expect you to review all those books in the bag).

    • Michelle Scott Tucker August 12, 2016 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      It’s inevitable. Clearly Helen Garner and I must now become BFFs. Or not!

  5. learnearnandreturn August 12, 2016 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Wonderful news. And I agree with Lisa – what a great notion producing a YA version as well.

    • Michelle Scott Tucker August 12, 2016 at 2:20 pm - Reply

      Yes, I’m looking forward to that part – but I might have to ask Lisa for some hints about how best to write for that audience!

  6. Gail Rehbein August 12, 2016 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Well done Michelle! I imagine making that decision would’ve been quite something – loads of different factors to consider. And it sounds like you’ve found a really good fit for you and your work with Text. This is great news! 🙂

    • Michelle Scott Tucker August 12, 2016 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      Thanks Gail. Yes, it was a difficult decision – surprisingly so. I didn’t ever expect to have the luxury of choosing! And any of those seven publishers would have been wonderful, I’m sure.

  7. robyncadwallader August 12, 2016 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    That’s great news, Michelle. Congratulations. Very exciting, and I look forward to the final result. Go well in the next twelve months or so!

    • Michelle Scott Tucker August 12, 2016 at 2:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks Robyn – and welcome. I read and enjoyed The Anchoress, btw, and have been recommending it to my friends. Spookily, I finished it within hours of meeting Nigel Featherstone for the first time, and was pleasantly surprised to see him mentioned in your acknowledgements. At the time I had no idea of the connection. Small world!

  8. whisperinggums August 12, 2016 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Congratulations Michelle. So exciting – and Text is a great, great publisher of Aussie books (in particular). It’s really happening isn’t it? And you deserve into happen.

    • Michelle Scott Tucker August 12, 2016 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sue. Yep, it is really happening – it hardly feels real though!

      • whisperinggums August 13, 2016 at 8:54 am - Reply

        I can understand that. Just enjoy as I know you will.

  9. Bernice Barry August 27, 2016 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Huge congratulations, Michelle. A bit belated – sorry! Fantastic choice of publisher too. I’ll enjoy watching the next very exciting steps on your journey and look forward to enjoying your words too before too long. 🙂

  10. Bernice Barry August 27, 2016 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Huge congratulations, Michelle! Wonderful news and a great choice of publisher! I look forward to watching the next very exciting part of the book’s journey – and to reading your words before too long.

    • Michelle Scott Tucker August 27, 2016 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      Thanks Bernice. If my biography turns out half as well as yours I’ll be very pleased!

      • Bernice Barry August 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm - Reply

        What a lovely thing to say – thank you! I’m quite sure it will be and I can’t wait. Yours has been a long time in the making/research too so we have much in common.

  11. […] last but not least are the publishing professionals that became part of my life this year.  Which makes perfect sense – it is in everyone’s interests for the book to be as good […]

  12. […] Had a coffee with my publisher yesterday… […]

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  14. […] manuscript must go to the publisher (for editing) in about week, so the last little while has been just a teensy bit […]

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