Tuesday, 21 April 2009

A different country in the World of Books

About three years ago, on a sunny afternoon like today, I sat in a garden in the centre of Amsterdam and studied the slush pile of publishing house Prometheus/Bert Bakker. I was an editorial assistant at the time, and no manuscript ended up on the rejection pile after being judged by me alone.

After I had studied it, I would tell pass it on to one of the two editors who would read it as well and bear my opinion in mind.

One can honestly say that publishers take their slush pile very seriously in The Netherlands. But then again, the Dutch book industry is so different from the British one! I was on the London Book Fair yesterday, where a Dutch editor told me that there's exactly one literary agency in Holland!

Knowing that the Dutch editors actually read all unsolicited manuscripts, I suppose there's no real need for aspiring authors in Holland to send their manuscripts to Sebes & Van Gelderen Literair Agentschap.

Or do you think it's just a matter of time before the Dutch market changes as well?


  1. Is that the advantage of being a bigger fish in a smaller pond?

  2. Hi,

    Saw your comment on my blog. I spend about an hour reading other people's posts and commenting once I get home, then once again later on in the evening. I hope that helps. :)


  3. @Gorilla: yep, the tighter the jeans, the more looks you get.

    @Michael: thanks!