Day 11. 74 pages, 36, 906 words.
Right. After both of my steadfast readers / blog companions, Mr. BRKN and Mr. dreameling, encouraged me to dust off my 15-year-old submissions-to-dinosaur-publishers policy and once again look at the possibilities of traditional (aka. dependent) publication, I thought fine, maybe they have a point.
After all, these days I’ve written a series of eight novels, an autobiography, a children’s book and have a novella anthology and another novel in the works. I’ve come along a bit since 2001.
So, since I know nothing about publishers or submitting manuscripts, I’ve decided on this approach. First, as a preliminary starting point, I just grabbed a bunch of publisher names from the Hugo Awards short-list and went to their websites.
I will also look into the possibility of just meeting with actual publishers here in Finland, since they might have a more personal approach to local authors. As Mr. BRKN says, I should just show them my success so far, completely independent of their help and with essentially zero marketing, and ask them what they can do for me. I don’t actually need them.
In case the above paragraph didn’t give you the hint, there is a chip on my shoulder that would be visible from space if it weren’t a metaphor. I have a terrible attitude and sense of self-worth. I’m just throwing all this out for consideration and for me to come back to, but for the moment I’m aggressively uninterested in ‘submitting’, in any sense.
A lot of my attitude below is about the whole “agent” thing, I consider them … well, I won’t go into detail, since I may want to pursue representation at a later date, but for now I’m fine.
Still, nothing to really lose here:
Tor seems to want writing mostly in length and genre formats I’m not interested in, and they’re almost entirely closed for submissions. Sorry Tor, but looks like you miss out (why yes, I do have an inflated sense of my own value!).
However, they do have some sort of submissions deal through Macmillan, which is confusing but okay. This seems to be print-and-post, so I might give that a try.
They get extra points for this: “Don’t send jewelry, food, toys, 3-dimensional representations of anything, or anything that might be construed as a bribe. Over the years, we’ve seen all of the following and more: handmade bracelets and earrings, anatomical models, home-baked cookies, fine fabrics, fancy bookmarks, cocoanuts, fancy manuscript boxes . . ..None of this has any impact on our consideration of your work. The work has to sink or swim on its own merits.” I like a company with a human touch. There were precious few of them to be seen in this morning of surfing.
Pan Macmillan (India)
It’s possible that these guys may accept unsolicited submissions. However, “At Pan Macmillan India we accept manuscripts that have a strong connection to India or the Indian subcontinent.” So *raspberry*.
Pan Macmillan (Australia)
The Australian branch does Manuscript Monday which could be a laugh. “Between 10am and 4pm Australian Eastern Standard Time” for Monday the 1st of May / Monday the 5th of June is 3am to 9am Helsinki time. Which is tough. Shit, it was tough just working out the time difference.
“The majority of our fiction titles are licensed from overseas publishers or acquired through agents.
“At present, we are not looking for any general fiction submissions, (ie novels or short stories) and, in particular, we do not require ideas or manuscripts for children’s books. We are interested to hear from writers who would be interested in working on licensed fiction we have already contracted.”
Yeah, no, my stuff’s better and I’ve just decided you can’t have it.
These guys had a contact form, but they don’t take unsolicited submissions and only open their doors to submissions at certain times. This was more effort than they were worth, so they’re fired.
These also require me to have a middleman. Sorry, I grow weed, I don’t give it to sleazeballs for them to sell on in plastic baggies. Fired.
Hodder & Stoughton
Don’t take unsolicited manuscripts, their loss.
Don’t take unsolicited manuscripts, aside from these guys. They have a pretty relaxed submissions policy but “visionary fiction” is a hard sell. I guess some of my stuff might work? This is at least semi-promising so I’ll add them to my own little short-list.
They call 60,000 words a manuscript, though. That is not a big book. Part one (of three) of my current book is going to be 60,000 words. Effortlessly. Oh well, let’s see.
Harper Voyager US (I went with Harper Voyager UK)
According to their website, they opened submissions for a sort of contest back in 2012 and the whole thing seemed insanely dodgy, with no discussion of payment and no real follow-ups, the whole thing looked like it went nowhere.
Not interested. When a company says “opportunity”, I read “opportunity for us to take advantage of you.”
Don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. Fuck ‘em.
Don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. Fuck these guys too.
Now, there are a few additional possibilities for shorter submissions:
(same as Tor Books, above)
This might be feasible. Will look at submitting a 7,500-worder to these guys as soon as I dig something up.
These formatting guidelines will be useful for most of my submissions, I’m guessing. The same link cropped up in a bunch of these pages, so it’s at least semi-standardised.
Well, “Uncanny Magazine is currently CLOSED to short story and poetry submissions.” Screw you then. Sorry.
Now these guys look promising and look like they know their stuff, they also have a useful what-not-to-do list and a decent handle on things.
They’ve also just turned 10 so I don’t think I’ve dealt with them before (yes, I’m old). Their submissions are max. 16,000 words so I will have to have a think about what to submit.
So, in conclusion, I have the following possibilities:
- Tor Books / Macmillan’s printed submission
- Pan Macmillan Australia’s Manuscript Monday
- HarperLegend’s visionary fiction
- Apex Magazine’s 7,500-worder
- Clarkesworld Magazine
Oh yeah, go big or go home, is my motto.
Now, I’m going home.