Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Getting Published

After a series of failed ideas, and the pressure of keeping a deadline (that only I really care about), I decided to jump ahead 12 subjects and discuss publishing.

This will be brief, but I wanted to give some insight into the world of Fantasy Book Publishing, or at least what little I've experienced.

When it came time to publish my first novel, I knew I had three options.

1. Get an Agent - let them do the work ;p

2. Bother big time publishers - most of which only want already published authors or authors represented by an agent.

3. Bother smaller presses/publishers - people who still have a lot of work to do but take the time to give you attention.

I chose to follow option 3. Upon making this choice I realized that not only did I have to work on a cover letter, a synopsis for my novel, and formatting my manuscript appropriately, I also had to find publishers interested in my work. While fantasy is a popular genre, there still aren't that many publishers who will publish fantasy as there are publishers for other genres. So knowing the pool was already small, I found it was limited more by the different types of fantasy that publishers were looking for (some only wanted contemporary fantasy, some only wanted strong romantic fantasy). So after a long search, I found about 1 dozen publishers that I could pursue. There may be more out there, and I may find them yet, but in 1 year I've found about 12 I can harass about my book. I have found a few publishers which have changed their policies because they have received too many novels to process in a quick enough time so they either stop allowing submissions (for a period of time, sometimes this period is upwards of a year) or they move to an "open submission" period, and if you miss it you have to wait months to catch it again. The funny thing though, is with so many people trying to get their fantasy novel published, the amount of fantasy publishers isn't really growing. But I digress.

Okay, so I had found some publishers, primarily by using the Internet - google searches and this great site: www.ralan.com

I went through the list looking for the ones I wanted to harass first. These, for me, were publishers that were primarily print publishers (not e-publishers, I want an actual copy of my first book not an e-copy). I wasn't too concerned about contract and payment (not for my first book, I just want it on the shelf somewhere), but I was concerned about length of time that they would be considering my novel. So I picked through and ordered my choices based on those criteria. The publisher that came up as number one was Juno books. I really love this publisher because of what they are trying to publish (books with strong female lead characters) and because of their artwork - cover art is also important to me to some degree. I sent my novel out and got back a rejection - which is fine because it came with a personalized response - which was helpful and encouraging. Then I sent my novel to Mundania Press LLC I enjoy this publisher because their books are available through Baker and Taylor (a book lease company which many libraries subscribe to) and because their website was very thorough and helpful when it came to knowing what to provide them with and what the entire publishing process was like (as seen on their submission process FAQs page). They too, declined from publishing my book - which is fine because I received a personalized response - which was helpful and encouraging. Then I decided to go with Leucrota Press This press specializes in fantasy and science fiction and had a quick response time. Recently, I was passed by this press too, but I was not discouraged because they gave me the most specific feedback to date, which will help me to edit my novel once more and hopefully make it stronger and more appealing to the next publisher.

Long story short, as a fantasy writer, there are many publishing options out there. You can even pay to publish your work yourself. Hopefully by glimpsing at my publishing adventures you have found a few publishers to try out and you are not discouraged from your own attempts at publication.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Keep working - it will happen!!