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Harper Voyager Books Open for Digital Submissions

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 5, 2012

Between October 1st and October 14th Harper Voyager Books will be open to manuscripts.  (See full details here). They say:

‘We’re seeking all kinds of adult and young adult speculative fiction for digital publication, but particularly epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia and supernatural. ‘ The manuscripts should be between 80,000 to 120,000 words and they should be completed.

This is for their new digital line of books.

This link:

How To Submit A Manuscript
To submit, go to www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com and follow the instructions to fill out the form and upload your manuscript.’

Doesn’t work. I suspect it will be working only in that two week period. And they say if you don’t hear from them in three months, consider your ms rejected.

So you have until October first to polish your manuscript!

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Angry Robot open their doors again!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 26, 2012

If you have an epic fantasy, or sf and fantasy in all flavours for the YA reader, then you may want to submit.

Full instructions are here.

Time frame is April 16th to 30th, 2012.

Best of luck!

Posted in Creativity, Editors, Pitching, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Query Letter and Synopsis, Writing for Young Adults, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Double Book Launch

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 25, 2012

Anyone going to be in Tassie on Thursday 2nd of Feb?

We’re pleased to spread the news that Margo Lanagan will now be joining us on February 2nd for a launch of her new book, Sea Hearts. Margo and Tansy Rayner Roberts will share the evening, making it a very exciting double launch for us — don’t miss it!
Thursday February 2nd
5:30pm
The Hobart Bookshop*
Rowena Cory Daniells will launch Reign of Beasts by Tansy Rayner Roberts.
This is the final book in Rayner-Roberts’ The Creature Court trilogy.
Richard Harland will launch Margo Lanagan‘s Sea Hearts — an an extraordinary tale of desire and revenge, of loyalty, heartache and human weakness, and of the unforeseen consequences of all-consuming love.
 
So if you happen to be around, drop into the Hobart Bookshop and toast to Tansy and Margo’s new books!
*The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
P 03 6223 1803 . F 03 6223 1804
hobooks@ozemail.com.au
www.hobartbookshop.com.au

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Authors and Public Speaking, Book Launches, Covers, Creativity, Fantasy Genre, Nourish the Writer, Promoting your Book, Publishers | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Is that a door opening or are you just pleased to see me?

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 7, 2012

Lyn and Lee Battersby, Photo Courtesy Cat Sparks

Back in March 2011, Angry Robot Books, a UK-based publisher that generally only accepts agented submissions, held their first Open Submission Month, an experiment to see whether there were any unrepresented gems floating around the submitosphere that might be of interest.

In one month, they received 994 submissions. Mine was amongst them.

I’d had a somewhat frustrating time when it came to novels. I’d established a pretty solid reputation as a short story writer, at least on an Australian level: I’d sold a bunch of stories in Australia, the US and Europe, won a handful of local awards, and even had a collection published through an American small press. My reputation had been parlayed into teaching and mentoring stints at various industry associations, and I was pretty confident that, when it came to short stories, I knew what I was doing more often than not.

But therein lay the rub. Increasingly, I was confronted by the feeling that my career, such as it was, had reached a cross roads. I could continue to do what I was doing, and do it well enough, and accept that I had reached a natural level I was incapable of exceeding. But I’ve had a bee in my bonnet for a long time, one that demands I at least move towards a full time career in writing, if not actually achieve one. To do that, I needed to sell novels.

I’d come close with my first attempt, which I’d sent to 68 agents the previous year. One had picked it up, but we parted ways after she was unable to place it and didn’t like my second novel. No blood, no foul, and we separated on good terms. That second novel, an anti-fantasy romp entitled The Corpse-Rat King, was the one I sent to Angry Robot.

The deal was simple. Supplicants were invited to submit the first 5 chapters, or 10 000 words, of their novel, along with a synopses. A team of readers would plough through them, and ask to see the full manuscript of anything they believed merited further examination. Should that full manuscript be considered suitable, it would be passed upwards to editing bwana Lee A Harris. If it rocked Lee’s socks, he would take it to the editorial board and make a case for its purchase. Should the editorial board be persuaded then, and only then, would a contract be prepared and Angry Robot Shangri-La be achieved.

No guarantees, but then, only death and taxes and all that (and thanks to superhero comics and Christopher Skase, even they’re not absolutes).

So I submitted my synopses and five, and got on with other things. One of those other things was to continue my pursuit of an agent. I’ve always felt I needed an agent as part of my long-term strategy: whilst I want to write and conduct business to my own benefit, I’m aware of my weaknesses, and time-management is amongst them. An agent could take up much of the slack and apply much greater knowledge than I possess in terms of publishing law, contract negotiations and the like. Not only would I not have to do these things myself, I wouldn’t have to devote the time necessary towards gaining an intimate knowledge of them. I can take care of the creative stuff myself, but a business partner was always going to be a necessary component of building “Battersby, Inc.”

So, while I waited, the novel went out to 58 unsuspecting literary agents. And I got on with other things. Thankfully, I’ve got a lot of good friends who are experienced novelists. I’d been well informed: the novel game is a waiting game. Keep busy, keep working. I was tutoring an online course, and my day job is in the arts, and if you’ve met my family, well… occasionally I slept, and I could just about recite the Monarch Song from Horrible Histories off by heart. Most importantly, I started work on a new novel: Father Muerte & The Divine, a lengthier exploration of the character I’d created in several short stories, and a chance to finally answer many of the mysteries I’d raised in them. I kept busy, and tried not to watch the calendar.

Then word came from Angry Robot. The first reading round was complete. I’d passed. Now they wanted the whole manuscript. I sent it off. Word started filtering back from agents: rejection after dismissal after non-interest. Line after line on my spreadsheet was coloured in appropriately gloomy shades of grey.

I got on with other things.

Four months after submitting, I received a positive response from an agent. Then another. And a third. All liked the book. All were interested in representing it. I hadn’t mentioned Angry Robot. This was all about the book itself. Things looked positive.

Five months after submitting, word from Angry Robot: ‘my’ reader loved the full manuscript, and had passed it on to Bwana Lee. If he liked it, it would go to the publishing board. I’d passed again.

I compared agents, and came to a decision. And got on with other things

Father Muerte & The Divine hit 50 000 words. I joined The Angry Robot Waiting Club, a social forum on the Absolute Write forum boards devoted to the 22 authors who had gone right the way up to editorial and were now just waiting to find out if we were going to take the short, final hop from ‘aspiring’ to published novelist. We waited, together. I could recite all the way up to George IV.

October 26. Almost seven months to the day since I submitted my little package, and Bwana Lee sent me an email.

I’d made it. All the way through. A contract offer was, well, offered. As soon as I signed it and returned it to them, I would officially be an Angry Robot author.

Just one final thing to do: I forwarded the offer to my new agent, Richard Henshaw of the Henshaw Group. And got on with other things.  I was right the way up to Victoria, now.

The contract went back. It went forth. It went back again. For six weeks, Richard and Lee negotiated. Angry Robot announced the first two Open Door month authors. One as even called Lee, damn it! Negotiations continued. I waited. My wife and kids began to comment openly about my crankiness.

They say most people drown in sight of shore.

And then it was all over, so quickly it took me two days after I was announced before I got myself together enough to make my own proclamation. The final contract arrived in my inbox, I signed and emailed it back, and my mug was up on the Angry Robot website in less than 18 hours. The Corpse-Rat King will be published in 2012. A sequel, Marching Dead, will follow in 2013.

All of a sudden, after nine months, I was an author with an agent, a two-book deal, and a deadline.

Nine months after submitting my package on the last day of the Open Door month, the landscape of my career has changed completely. Far from hoping for an opportunity, I’m in the position of making the most of one. For the first time in a decade, I’m heading into uncharted career territory. I have a sequel to write, and I need to make sure I’ve got novels to follow after it, so that my second book isn’t my last. I need to build a relationship with my agent, and provide him with materiel with which to approach publishers. The door may be open, but the next few years will determine whether it’s at the front or just the workman’s entrance in the alleyway round the side.

Father Muerte and the Divine, 55 000 words old, has been put aside. 25 000 words of Marching Dead have already been written, as of penning this post.  Still, at least I know what I’ll be doing most evenings for the next three years…

(Departs, singing): William, William, Henry, Stephen, Henry, Richard, John, oi! Henry, Ed, Ed, Ed, Rich two, then three more Henrys join our song….

BIO: Lee is the author of over 70 stories in Australia, the US and Europe, with appearances in markets as “Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror”, “Year’s Best Australian SF & F”, and “Writers of the Future”. A collection of his work, entitled “Through Soft Air” from Prime Books. He’s taught at Clarion South and developed and delivered a six-week “Writing the SF Short Story” course for the Australian Writers Marketplace. His work has been praised for its consistent attention to voice and narrative muscle, and has resulted in a number of awards including the Aurealis, Australia Shadows and Australia SF ‘Ditmar’ gongs. He lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, with his wife, writer Lyn Battersby and an increasingly weird mob of kids. He is sadly obsessed with Lego, Nottingham Forest football club, dinosaurs and Daleks. He’s been a stand-up comic, tennis coach, cartoonist, poet, and tax officer in previous times, and he currently works as Arts Officer for a local council, where he gets to play with artists all day. All in all, life is pretty good. More information, and infinitely more lies, can be found at his website or his long-running blog The Battersblog.

 

 

Posted in Agents, Australian Spec Fic Scene, Contracts, Creativity, Editing and Revision, Editors, Nourish the Writer, Pitching, Plotting, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Query Letter and Synopsis, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Terry Pratchett First Novel Award 2012

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 2, 2012

Calling all unpublished writers…

THE TERRY PRATCHETT ANYWHERE BUT HERE, ANYWHEN BUT NOW FIRST NOVEL AWARD

‘Sir Terry Pratchett had this to say:

Anywhere but here, anywhen but now. Which means we are after stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time (see the illustration in almost every book about quantum theory).’

All the competition terms and conditions are available at the above link. Best of luck!

 

Posted in Creativity, Literary Competitions, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

An alert from Writers Beware

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on December 16, 2011

Dymocks have launched a publishing arm. Writers need to be informed when they sign up for something like this. Here’s what Writers Beware have to say:

 

First they quote from the contract, then they critique it.

The Author grants to D Publishing a licence…to exercise, including by way of sub-licence, all rights in the Work other than its first volume and electronic publication rights (Subsidiary Rights). Without limiting the preceding, Subsidiary Rights include:

(a) anthology and quotation rights
(b) condensation e.g. magazines, newspapers and ezines
(c) radio and TV straight reading
(d) sound recording
(e) reprint under sub licence
(f) adaptation in other media, including but not limited to internet, apps or other software, collectively, ‘Licence’.

 

These terms would be a problem if you encountered them in the contract of any small publisher. From a self-publishing service, they are truly awful. And they’re just the start. Dymocks can also change the terms of the contract at will. It reserves the right to publish tie-in editions, if a film or other media adaptation is made. The royalty structure is confusing (and, from the looks of it, actual royalties will be low). The payment terms for subsidiary rights sales aren’t adequately defined. Royalties are paid and accounted only twice a year. And there’s a confidentiality clause that could preclude authors from sharing sales information.

 

For the full article see here.

Posted in Publishers, Publishing Industry | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Calling YA Novelists …

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on December 6, 2011

Do you have a YA book written?

Can you write with an authentic voice for YA?

Then this may be for you.

Hardie Grant Ampersand Project.

They say:

‘ Speculative elements are welcome, so long as they adhere to the rules of the real world. The difference is in the execution; for example, Tomorrow When The War Began is a real-world exploration of war as it could occur today, but The Hunger Games is not.’

Who are Hardie Grant Egmont?

Worth checking out.

 

Posted in Editors, Nourish the Writer, Publishers, Writing for Young Adults, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Montreuil Book Fair

Posted by richardharland on December 1, 2011

Whew! it’s big, this book fair – even though only for children’s and YA. Seems to me there’s about 100 publishers’ stalls. We wined and nibbled at the opening night last night, and managed to talk French with the help of many hand gestures, plus Italian in Aileen’s case. Here’s me with publisher Sophie (on right), editor Gilberte (on left), and Elsa who looks after overseas rights.


Today I had a presentation with a class of school kids who’d all read Worldshaker – I managed to answer their questions in French – at least they said they understood! Then they enacted some tableaux from the novel – here’s the scene where Riff goes to eat the jelly, Col tries to stop her, and Sephaltina is about to faint –


It was a real treat for me!
Later I went to the Louvre. Yesterday I wandered around the Marais and bought some shoes and books. Did I mention I found the perfect steampunk goggles at the fleamarket at St Ouen. They’re actually Austrian army goggles, probably for use on snow, so old they’re probably WW I. I’ll take a piccy, but right now here’s a steampunk Metro station – it’s on one of the lines at the Arts et Métiers stop –

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Authors and Public Speaking, Fantasy Genre, Promoting your Book, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Steampunk | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Lazy morning, busy afternoon

Posted by richardharland on November 27, 2011

Having a great time in Paris! Not as cold as expected (there are still leaves on the trees!), though grey, except for one sunny day.

On the first evening, we went to dinner with my publisher, Sophie Giraud. Here’s a pic –

That’s Sophie next to Aileen (Gilberte, editor, and Valérie, translator, turned up after the photo was taken).

Next day we went to the Musée d’Orsay, then the following day was readings and signings at Les Enfants Sur Le Toit bookshop in Montmarte. Here’s a pic of me with Cirinne and Valérie (a different Valérie), the owners.

Our apartment inParis is near Rue Oberkampf, which is where the young people in Paris come to party. So I was told, and it was true last night. Boy, what a party they were having in the apartment next to ours. Here,s a view from our apartment window –


Today we went to the famous flea market at St Ouen – bought a whole lot of clothes, boots, jewellery for Aileen and steampunk goggles for me (at last!) We’ve been eating great French and Algerian food … All going good!

Posted in Authors and Public Speaking, Book Launches, Creativity, Editors, Promoting your Book, Publishers | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Paris ooh-la-la!

Posted by richardharland on November 17, 2011

Five and a half days to go until we fly out to Paris, yay! My French publisher is flying me over for the big Montreuil Book Fair, plus some other talks and signings, and we get the use of an apartment in Paris for a fortnight. Of course, we had to pay Aileen’s flight ourselves, but she gets to gallivant around Paris with no duties to fulfill. (My publisher says that Aileen belongs in Paris!)
Here’s the team from Helium – a photo from when we had lunch on the Left Bank in 2010.

It’ll be cold, the start of their winter, but who cares when it’s Paris?! I’m nearly about to reach the two thirds point in the next steampunk novel – then I can put my iPad aside (I type up on my iPad!) and start serious preparations. I checked out the apartment on Google – I’m still not sure of the actual building in Rue St Maur, but this is the view onto the street from where we’ll be.

I’ll keep posting here on the ROR site every few days, and I’m very determined to post daily on my own blog at richardharland.wordpress.com

PS I’ll be taking Tansy’s MS with me to read on the iPad – the MS we’ll be critiquiing at the next ROR retreat. Good food, good wine, good reading!

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Authors and Public Speaking, Creativity, Editors, Publishers, Steampunk | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »