Paul Collins

Paul Collins in the Limelight

I recently spoke to Paul Collins, author and owner/operator of Ford Street Publishing here in Melbourne.  Ford Street has a strong focus on the educational publication sector, with books ranging from picture books for children to YA (teens). This interview is a must for aspiring and emerging writers to more fully understand both the Australian publishing sector and the educational publishing sector.

This interview is available in MP4 (video) and MP3 (audio only at the bottom of this page). My planned questions are below the embedded video.

Interview questions:

As usual the questions are not necessarily asked in the same order in the interview as I planned. I think a few questions might have been omitted as we covered the topic quite thoroughly.

Why did you choose publishing as a career?

What does Ford Street Publishing bring to publishing that other publishers (small press, independent and other large publishing houses) not provide for the publishing industry?

What is a normal work day for you as a publisher?

You are also an author and an editor: how do you balance these competing demands for your time?

What is the normal process of publicising a book?

What do you like your authors to do to help with publicity?

How important is it for authors to have a social media presence?

How else should emerging writers seek to build a community and connect with potential readers?

I’ve heard that, for large publishing houses, the amount spent on publicity is determined by the amount spent on the advance: is this true for small press?

How does the amount allocated for publicity affect the publicity process?

Are there any key points or morsels of advice you’d like to give to emerging writers or aspiring publicists?

Are there any other aspects of your work or Ford Street work or role in the publishing industry that you would like to mention?

On to your career as an author: you’ve written a tonne of books. What can you tell us about your various series?

You’ve written for young readers right up to young adult: how difficult is it to change your writing style for the age group?

How do you balance your role as an author with being a publisher?

You’re an editor as well as an author and publisher: how does this work?

Whose work have you edited?

How important is the editor/author relationship?

Having been on both sides of this relationship, what advice do you have for authors and editors?

What are the highlights of your career so far?