ZORAN ZIVKOVIC ON AIO PUBLISHING
This is the first of several guest posts from Zoran this week. You can find more information about Zoran on his website, where you'll also find his complete bibliography and this bio note:
Zoran Zivkovic was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, in 1948. In 1973 he graduated from the Department of General Literature with the theory of literature, Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade; he received his master's degree in 1979 and his doctorate in 1982 from the same school. He lives in Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro, with his wife Mia, their two twin sons Uros and Andreja, and their four cats.
Zoran won the World Fantasy Award for his novella "The Library," which appeared in Leviathan 3.
This is a brief account of how and why I got my new American publisher—Aio Publishing. You might think that "Aio" is an acronym, but actually it isn't. Aio—pronounced IO, or eye-oh, is Latin for yes. (If you would like to take a step back and learn more about how I started my US publishing adventure in the first place, you might find the afterword to my novel The Fourth Circle an interesting and amusing read.)
Prior to Aio Publishing I had as many as four other US publishers, but for various reasons none of them seemed quite ideal. In any case, they all published only one of my books each. We don't live in an ideal world, of course, but I was still hoping I could find a better publishing solution.
I had no illusions about being accepted by one of the publishing industry majors, primarily because my writing is rather far from what they mostly appreciate and bring out. If my prime ambition had been to get rich, I would have tried to produce something closer to their standards. But I have always had other ideals in the ancient and noble art of prose writing.
I first learned about Aio Publishing through my friend Dean Thompson with whom I occasionally discuss various aspects of the US publishing scene. He emailed me about a year ago to tell that there was a recently founded publishing house I might be interested in considering as a perfect home for my books. He suggested that I should visit its website.
It was enough for me to read only two sections at the site to realize that I was indeed in the right place: "Our Values" and "Our Creed". All my publishing—and not only publishing—ideals were splendidly summarized there. If anyone ever decides to compose an alternative publishing movement manifesto, its main principles are already formulated in these two pages.
I am experienced enough to know, though, that ideals don't always go hand in hand with reality. I was therefore greatly relieved when I found out that with Aio's books the match was impeccable. They seem to be objects of art in themselves, regardless of their contents.
I was fortunate enough to find what I had always been looking for among US publishers, but it was only half of the task. The feeling should be reciprocated, of course. What if my writing didn't fit Aio's preferences? Not without some trepidation, I got in touch with Tiffany Jonas, editor and publisher, and sent her a number of my books.
Before long I heard back from Tiffany. She decided to take not only one but three of my books, to appear in annual intervals between 2006 and 2008: Seven Touches of Music, Steps through the Mist and Impossible Encounters. It is my first multi-book deal in the US so far.
Seven Touches of Music is just officially released and it is without doubt the most beautiful of more than eighty foreign and Serbian editions of my prose books. I can now only humbly hope that the contents won't betray the perfect form...