Welcome Ilsa Evans to Book’d Out.
I am happy to be hosting Ilsa Evans at Book’d Out today as part of my continuing promotion of Australian Women Writers. Ilsa lives in a partially-renovated house in the picturesque Dandenong Ranges, along with several offspring, assorted pets and an ever-expanding colony of uninvited possums.
Yesterday, I posted my review of ones a poner time, Ilsa’s collection of autobiographical short stories: ‘snippets from a half century and counting’. I have long been a fan of Evans, Ilsa has published 8 fiction titles with PanMacmillan in the last 10 years including the Laundry series: Spin Cycle, Drip Dry and Odd Sock; Each Way Bet, Flying the Coop, Broken, The Family Tree and Sticks and Stones,which range from light fiction, set within the mayhem of suburban life, to more serious subject matter such as euthanasia, family break-ups and domestic violence. Her memoir, ones a poner time is Ilsa’s first foray into electronic self publishing.
I invited Ilsa to write about her publishing journey as an Australian women writer, to which she graciously agreed. Read on..
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Back in the mid-nineties, with little more than a manuscript and a growing collection of rejection slips, I received one of the latter that I have remembered verbatim to this day. The note read, in part, ‘while we read your submission with much interest, at this time there is little market for humour in Australia.’ Given I had always found Australians a pretty humorous bunch, and indeed enjoyed the odd joke myself, I found this stance rather puzzling but assumed ‘they’ knew what they were doing. Then along came Bridget Jones and suddenly everyone seemed to be combining a chortle with their reading pleasure. And my next rejection (for the same manuscript) read: ‘this is really very good but unfortunately there are too many Bridget Jones clones around already.’
In other words it took an English work of light humour to make the Australian sector wake up to the fact that there was, in fact, a market for humour out here. And then that gave them a reason to keep knocking similar manuscripts back. It’s a crazy industry.
That’s a long time ago of course, and I’ve had eight books published since. But it’s also one of the reasons I enjoyed my latest publishing venture so much. E-publishing meant having control. Control over the cover, control over the title, control over the pricing. For me it also meant a steep learning curve, which wasn’t quite so enjoyable, but the end result (after three and a half meltdowns and one I-can’t-do-this-what-the-hell-was-I-thinking) was a fully converted e-book. Very exciting and I thoroughly recommend the experience. Especially now that it’s over.
Not quite as exciting has been the promotional side, and I have a newfound respect for publishers in that regard. I’ve also discovered that, when it comes to PR, I am singularly inept and more than a little bit lazy. A lethal combination. But there’s no doubt that the advent of e-books has levelled the playing field somewhat and provided opportunity for many previously denied. Admittedly there are some who have an inflated idea of their playing abilities, or who don’t want to expend the energy to fine tune their output, but there are also many talented players who had been left on the benches for no good reason. Luck and/or timing plays such a huge part in this game.
Ones a poner time was also the first e-book I ever experienced as a reader. And since then I’ve turned into a bit of a convert. I love the slithery sound of the pages turning, and being able to bookmark or insert notes or check words. I love being able to take one hundred books with me on holiday without risking cervical root compression (which isn’t nearly as much fun as it sounds), and I love being able to enlarge the font at will. So much easier than laser eye surgery.
But I also don’t see traditional books as an endangered species. There’s something about the substance of a book, the weight of it, the smell of it – the look of it snuggled against dog-eared companions in an overcrowded bookshelf – that will, I believe, ensure its survival. Instead I see e-books and traditional books existing alongside each other, even complimenting each other, broadening our pleasure. And that’s got to be a good thing. Enjoy!
You can learn more about Ilsa Evans and her work at
onse a poner time is available to purchase at
Her backlist is available in both print and digital
Ilsa Evans if offering Book’d Out readers the opportunity to win one of two prizes for Australian and worldwide participants.
Enter to Win
Prize #1 : Australian Residents Only
1 electronic edition of ones a poner time and
1 print edition of
Flying the Coop and The Family Tree
Prize #2: worldwide
1 electronic edition of ones a poner time
Required To Enter:
Leave a comment
and include your name, email address and country and
indicate for which prize, #1 or #2, you would like to enter
(You do not have to include the email in the comment body as long as you fill in the email field when you comment)
For extra entries:
+1 tweet or facebook this post Use the icons below to make it easier
+1 add ones upon a time to your Goodreads , LibraryThing or Amazon wishlist
Total possible entries = 4
Entries close April 1st 2012
Winner drawn via Random.org