Monthly Archives July 2010

A companion volume

July 26, 2010 Uncategorized

While there is no news on Firestorm, there has been one development I can share. As I mentioned, one of the items in the offing was the possibility of an anthology of short stories.Over the weekend, this got discussed in some detail. As anthologies rarely draw much attention, the current suggestion is that the anthology will be a POD and eBook release only. It would be a selection of stories set in and around Brooke's Vale, broadening the background of the characters and giving more information on the setting. There is even a title under consideration.So I am sitting down and penning short stories about my characters. To be honest, it makes me a lot more hopeful that Firestorm will get a good release.

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Another reason for Pseudonyms

July 23, 2010 Publishing

I've covered the basic reasons for using a pseudonym before (genre confusion, privacy, shelf position), but recently I encountered one I had not considered. I was talking to a professional contact about some work, when he asked what I'd been doing with myself for the last few months."I've been working on a book deal," I replied."Oh, excellent! You're publishing a book on ! Put me down for one.""No, it was a novel." Even down the telephone, the suddenly screech of brakes and mental reverse was obvious. After a bit of stammering from him, I mercifully changed the subject. And then people wonder why I don't discuss my interests outside work...Once the work issue was done, we discussed his reaction, why it wasn't unexpected, and he gave permission to blog about it as long as he was not named.

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Somewhat down

July 22, 2010 Uncategorized

The post arrived early today, and as expected there was no news. However I also received a note from one of the locations requesting ARCs who are very keen to move ahead with an ARC and a review. Last night I got a message from the Growler ( who were interested in a copy and review for their September issue.This kind of interest, and I am still working on getting a publisher. It is somewhat depressing.At the moment, unfortunately, everything is still up in the air. I will let you know as and when I receive news.

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Acquisitions & editors – an odd irony

July 21, 2010 Publishing

Getting through the editor isn't the last stage either. Once an editor likes it, they have to put their case to an acquisitions board which includes sales, marketing, distibution etc. The acquisitions board then decide if the book is worth buying. These boards often meet once or twice a month.I am trying hard not to remember that my first book got through all the editorial levels with one publisher but was rejected at acquisitions as they did not think they could market it. If I'd known then what I know now - how rare it is for a first novel to get that far - I'd probably have sent it to more than five agents and one publisher. Instead I trunked it, and wrote the one that's now on submission as "Firestorm".It is rather ironic that my first book failed to get published because of potential

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Content aggregation online

July 20, 2010 Uncategorized

There are several sites which say they can take all your online content and aggregate it into one profile. I have tried out tumblr which many people swear by, but unfortunately it turned out to be something I would swear at, since it didn't work very well.I've just gone back to Redgage. It's slightly slower, and doesn't take straight RSS feeds in, but on the other hand I have used it before and I know it works. My new profile is here: the book front, there is now a set-up ready to take pre-orders when we know what is happening with publication, and an online/mail order games company willing to put flyers in each of their sales to promote the book. That should help sales whoever publishes it.

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Does no response mean No?

July 19, 2010 Uncategorized

This is an odd one. On the one hand you have agents and editors who say that no response means no. On the other there are editors who won't even look at a manuscript until they have been chased the first time. To complicate matters, there are other editors who will dump a manuscript unless you do chase them.This is the bit where you need an agent who knows what the particular publishing house's rules are, and also when they break them. For example, I had an agent who said that no response in three months means no and then sent me a rejection eight months later.Without an agent (not for lack of trying) I'm a little lost, but with the end of the four weeks coming up on Friday I need to make a decision. The choice is surprisingly easy, although it might be my professional background talking:

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Hope for the best – Part 2

July 16, 2010 Firestorm

There is a problem with my post in part 1. The worst case scenario isn't that the publisher says no, it is that they say nothing.This could occur if the manuscript or SSAE gets lost in the post, although that's unlikely. I may joke about them, but Royal Mail are usually pretty good.The more depressing alternative is if the manuscript gets stuck in the slushpile and left unread. For a good assessment of how this could happen, see "The Sobering Story of Myrtle the Manuscript" by Tappan King. It's a good read, not just amusing but also useful for anyone considering writing. However it's a completely nerve-wracking article if you have a manuscript on submission. Be warned.This worst case scenario comes with the difficulty of politely and delicately chasing an editor about a book, while not

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Hope for the best – Part 1

July 14, 2010 Firestorm

As you probably already know, the book is sitting with a publishing house at the moment, and with luck I will hear back later this month about whether they want to publish it. Given that, why all the contingency planning?Hope for the best, plan for the worst.The best is if they pick the book up. The worst is if they pass.If they say yes, then great. The book gets published by people who can make the most of it. My marketing and distribution (trivial compared to what a publishing hosue can do) are simply there as a base that they can take over or integrate with their own contacts.If they say no, then the book is adrift. If I haven't planned ahead, then all the marketing and distribution I set up is lost. At that point, final galley or not, the book simply becomes another unpublished

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Why so nervous?

July 12, 2010 Firestorm

I had an interesting chat last night about getting published, from a friend trying to give me a pep talk. After all, he said, since the manuscript's already been through this once, why be so nervous? Surely it can make its way through the slush again, and at least we already know it is publishable.Well, I definitely have good reason to be nervous, because the answer to the second question is both yes and no.There is a brilliant analysis of the slushpile and what it takes to get out of it on Slushkiller by Teresa Nielson Hayden (scroll down to 3. The Context of Rejection)Going through her fourteen point list, I don't need to worry about items one to ten (covering illiteracy, plagarism, and authors with "problems") which are the reasons for 95-99% of slush rejections.This leaves three more

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Publishing options

July 9, 2010 Uncategorized

After getting a few questions on chat about how I intend to proceed, I will cover the details here.The full manuscript is currently with a publishing house. If they pick the book up then release options and marketing will obviously change; and improve a great deal since they have significantly more options.However, if they don't and I end up going with the local imprint, here are the pencilled in details (obviously subject to change):The book will be released in print and ebook formats, including Kindle, with a short-run printing rather than purely POD.Pre-orders will be taken online through established ecommerce partnerships.The release would be late Q3 prior to christmas, which gives a few months to release ARCs and galleys, and build buzz.As mentioned, if I go with them I'd be doing a

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