Hokay, so life begins to assume the vague semblance of normality -- we have arrived on our remote islandd after many misadventures, epics and general chaos. Of course our container is still sitting in Melbourne, and the Ferry has run aground (it was supposed to meet us, but the promises of movers are of a par with those of used car salesmen (and right now those don't rank too high)) but we can haz house and internet. So with the eee and a hairdresser's chair I am back in business(the ex-occupier was a hairdresser - ergo I am voluntarily in a hairdresser's chair. Just don't touch my hair.)
I must admit I hadn't realized just how important place and stability was to my writing. I do now. My admiration for travel journos who write cheerfully through having their tents blow away with the poles exploding is now very deep. But anyway, to fill in on Amanda's normal role - here is a Wall Street Journal article http://tinyurl.com/yflozta which I found myself in profound irritation if not entire disagreement with. It is true that most Publishers have abandoned the slush pile - which I came out of (thank you Baen Books). I still am not sure if this strategy will save them money at all, but it is a reality that we have to deal with. The other idea contained in the article I found myself laughing at -- that an author needed to deliver an audience to publisher if he wanted to be published. Hello? Why would they want a publisher if they HAVE a large audience? Or am I missing something. The obvious corollary is that... the larger audience you have the less you need publishers and the less profit you will be willing to let them make (rather like if publishers hand slush over to agents, it may save hassle... but not money, as agented work costs publishers and authors more, ergo authors want more from their agents (who in turn take more out of publishers), and if authors or agents become big enough, will cost publishers more.
Ah well... maybe I am missing something. But I do wonder if one of us is not seeing the wood for the trees. Or electronic publishing coming.