CapeTalk/702 Eusebius Mackaiser spoke to Thabiso Mahlape, publisher and founder of Blackbird Books about how to get books published.
BlackBird Books is an imprint of Jacana Media and has been in business for a year. BlackBird has published some of the South Africa's loved book. Among them are the likes of Piggy Boy’s Blues by Nakhane Touré, Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi, Pavement Bookworm by Philani Dladla, Exit!, Grizelda Grootboom, Nwelezelanga by Unathi Magubeni.
Speaking about publishing, Mahlape says not everyone who deems themselves as a writer ought to be published. She says it is a subjective field and tastes differ.
You might get lucky with one publisher and not so lucky with ten others— Thabiso Mahlape, publisher and founder of Blackbird Books
As a writer, one needs to find a gap and establish whether stories like yours exist and if they do where does your fit in, how does it help in the discourse. She says writing is like a business.
She advises aspiring writers to keep it simple when they are pitching their manuscript.
Send me a quick email to say who you are, attach a synopsis and the first three chapters and a little biography because it is important that I know who you are. If I like the first three chapters I will write back to say give me the rest of your work.— Thabiso Mahlape, publisher and founder of Blackbird Books
Listen to the full conversation below:
This article first appeared on 702 : Publishing 101: How to get your book published