Current Calls for Submission

Just Do It

calls for submission

freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles

The pain and anguish of writing a book is topped only by the sheer torture of writing cover letters, synopses, and blurbs. Then, it’s time to submit.

Yikes.

Still, submitting is easier if you know the publishers in question are seeking books just like the masterpiece you just finished. To help you find these gems, we’ve rounded up a small collection of small presses who’ve announced calls for submissions within the last few weeks.

After all, your dreams won’t come to you. It’s up to you to chase them.

Entangled Publishing – Scandalous

Samhain Publishing – Gothic Horror Anthology

Noble Romance – Dare to Be Different

Harlequin Mills & Boon – Rapid Response Unit

Bloomsbury – Spark (a new imprint)

Sirens Call Publications – Flowers are Overrated

Check the due dates and start preparing! We’ll try to bring you more calls for submission as we learn of them, but this should get you off to a great start.

Good luck!

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J to tha M Have the Self-Publishing Blues

This Stuff Is, Like, HARD

self-publishing information

sxc.hu/pygment2

M:  So, I’m considering self-publishing my Ash story

J:  I know it’s been on your mind for a while. It’s not a bad idea. Self-pubbing doesn’t have the same stigma anymore

it’s still tough

and crap. After doing some research to possibly self-pub the oracles, I have a lot of respect for people like Elizabeth Hunter who do it all on their own

M:  we’re jumping in together again

J:  it’s just what we do

There are so many options, too

what used to be considered vanity publishers are now “assistants” to the process

M:  and honestly, the whole stigma thing doesn’t factor into my decision. It’s more about what’s right for me – where I’m at – and the story.

J:  still, it’s easier knowing you’ll get a fair shot

that people won’t immediately set it aside

M:  I think it’s a good story. I just don’t know that it fits into the “formula” that a lot of publishers look for

J:  it does in a way, though

you’re thinking the romance formula

which it does not fit

but the romantic thriller…yes

M:  and I’m not willing to compromise. And I think readers are not only willing to accept non-formula, they like it. I know I do

plus, while a publisher might be willing to look at it despite it being outside the norm, I’m not willing to give up a lot of the rights some publishers want

J:  it really is a give and take. They offer so many things

but they also take

M:  very true

each manuscript and situation is different

J:  My reasons for self-pubbing (or considering it) are more a timing issue, since Morning Star will be ready very soon, too

though, by the time I figure out what the hell I’m doing…

M:  exactly. So many choices and decisions

and while that’s a good thing, it’s also confusing

especially when you’re just in the beginning stages of learning

J:  There are some options for those who want the freedom but not the crazy work

confusing work

M:  yes, so many places offering packages to self-publish, and I’ve heard all kinds of stories, good and terrible

some do all the formatting and distributing

offer cover art and editing services

some take a flat fee, some percentages

some reputable, some not

holy crap

or do you just take it all on yourself and hope you learn as you go, don’t screw up too bad?

J:  that’s what I’m looking at

but whoa

there really is a lot

M:  yeah, whoa

J:  I mean, formatting, distribution, royalties, legal issues

maybe it’s worth finding a company that knows what’s going on

but then you still lose something

that tiny little piece that’s just not your own anymore

M:  or then, what is really the benefit of not having it traditionally published? Where does that line get drawn?

When is one a better decision than the other?

ugh. It’s so confusing

and stressful

I just want to get the story out to as many people who might be interested as I can

and be fair to me, readers, service providers…

J:  well, as a self-published author, you get to make so many more decisions

how much you charge, when to offer it for free

M:  I really like that part

having more flexibility in making it available to the readers

and what I find really cool is you can make changes to the published version at any time

like if you find a whoops, even after the eleventy billion times you’ve gone over and edited

J:  ugh. I hate that feeling

M:  the control you maintain is a pretty big benefit for all the research and uncertainty

and money invested

J:  it is

it’s very inviting

M:  that’s another big thing. With a publisher, you don’t have to invest up front for editing and cover art, formatting and distribution. But you give up control over other things

so many pros and cons to either side. It’s a hard decision.

J:  you know what, though? I’ve paid editors to help me get my shit together before submitting to MSP

it’s an investment you make when you want your book to be as good as possible

I’m willing to go a step further to get the rest of it right

M:  you take your chances with either, sure

a traditional publisher is not a guarantee of a good editor or cover artist, just like hiring one freelance isn’t.

but I think you have a better chance with freelance, because you have choices. You usually don’t with publishers

J:  yes. I’m often gobsmacked at the lack of editing or the terrible cover design on books from big publishers

M: so, it comes down to what’s best for you and the story.

I bet we have lots of people out there with experiences, thoughts, and opinions

we want to hear them!

lay it on us

J:  I’m afraid I’ll just be more confused

but I want to know.

M:  more info, more better

J:  I’m going to get some – more info, that is

M:  You’re so good at that

J:  brb

J to tha M: Spring Cleaning the Brain

Finding Our Passion for Reading and Writing Again

finding passion for writingM:  Ugh. I’m coming out of the winter icks. Been so just bleh lately with all the expectations–mostly my own–and constant struggling to figure out what the hell I’m doing, what I should be doing, blah blah blah.

J:  heh. I’m in a blah mood about the time part of writing this week

well, all the time, really

M:  It just seems like we’re pushing so hard all the time. I’m sad it takes the joy out of reading and writing

but, it’s true for just about everything, so eh

J:  yeah. once anything becomes a job, it’s a lot less fun

M:  I’m going to take a couple weeks and see if I can’t just have fun with the stories and characters again

It’s like spring cleaning for my brain

J:  I need some kind of recharge, too

a reset button or something

M:  I used to get such a good recharge out of reading, but lately, I’ve been more or less forcing myself to read stuff, for whatever the reason, and it’s really blah’d me. So, reading is my personal thing, even if it is “business” related now. I’m not going to force myself to read anything if it doesn’t grab me, just like I’ve always done

J:  that’s exceptionally good

there’s not enough time in the day to read a crappy book

no matter who wrote it

M: and it’s about finding those gems

they’re out there, it’s just holding out until you find them

I’ve found a couple of good ones, but man, it’s depressing to see how many just don’t appeal to me lately

J:  it’s a lack of quality, for one thing

I used to be able to get past anything if it was a good story

but it’s hard to do that anymore

M: I can overlook some things if the story is awesome. Just haven’t found many of those, even

J: perhaps it’s just general discontent. it happens sometimes

M: My own personal tastes, I guess

I’ve found an awesome one every now and again, and those are those gems I’m talking about

J: right. I think that happens all the time, though. I’ve had some big pub books that just lost me

I have an Evanovich in my bag that I keep swearing I’ll finish

but meh

M: I like her Stephanie Plum ones

they’re easy fun reads

J: I kind of feel like I’m reading the same thing over and over, though

this is the Diesel one

the magic series

M: oh, I haven’t gotten into those as much

J: it just feels like Stephanie Plum with magic

and all those thing we pay such close attention to: show vs. tell and active vs. passive

it’s just not there

M: Yeah, I don’t like the Diesel storyline anywhere near as much as the Stephanie ones

I can overlook a lot if the story grabs me enough, but when it doesn’t – yikes.

J: So what isn’t “yikes” lately? Anything amazing? You made abundantly clear how much you loved Qhuinn, so give me one better.

M: I did love Qhuinn. There were some things I would have liked more or different, of course, but overall it gave me the happy sighs like I haven’t had in quite a while. But I’m head over heels for that boy, so having most of the focus on him was…sigh.

I read Ben Monopoli’s book that KC Beaumont reviewed (loved her review), and omg was that just a hell of a lot of fun. I loved it. Loved! I mean, Boots McHenry. That’s just all kinds of absurd awesomeness for a main character name, and the entire story lived up to all that and so much more.

J: I love hearing that!

M: I highly recommend. I went and got his others, started Cranberry Hush, and it’s amazeballs (so to speak, heh) too.

And then I’m reading a couple of serials I’m really enjoying. The stories are released in parts every two weeks until they’re complete, about eight or nine parts, I think. You pay one price and then get the installments automatically delivered to the kindle. Falling for Frederick by Cheryl Bolen and A Hero Lies Within by Patrice Wilton. I’m having fun with them so far.

J: See, Monopoli is a self-pub gem. Proof that awesomeness can happen without a big house. The serials sound like a good idea, too. Maybe small bites are what I need. I should go buy some books…

M: Whaaaa…?

J: I know. I know. I’ve just been waiting for the right book, and Mr. Monopoli wins.

brb

The Benefits of Small Press Publishing

Weighing in on Alternative Publishing Options

Guest post by David J. Kirk

publishing options for fight for your write

Stuart Miles for freedigitalphotos.net

I would like to thank Jen and Melissa for allowing me to guest post on this great new site.  Being a small press author, I am here today to talk about the benefits of publishing in this venue.

I have to begin by admitting that, yes, I have submitted to the big six (or five, or however many there are now).  I also received five or six very nice rejection notices, mostly on postcards so my mailman could read them.  Like many of us who have been submitting for years, my first goal was to get published, and how wasn’t a major concern.  However, I started to look into independent publishers as I became more realistic.

University and small presses have had their famous authors and best sellers.  The Dummies and Chicken Soup books started out this way.  Plus, the independents may also be willing to take a chance on an offbeat story or an unknown author.  I hear they give smaller advances, if at all, although I don’t know this from experience.  However, keep in mind that advances are not bonuses; they are just what the word implies, advances on royalties.  If you receive a generous advance, and your book starts out slow, it may be quite a while before you receive a royalty check.

Generalities aside, I can only speak of my experience with my publisher.  I signed with Martin Sisters Publishing and my experience couldn’t have been any better.  I entered into an agreement with them on April 1st and my book was released August 11th of the same year.  My first expense was the purchase of my marketing copies.  Editing, proof reading, cover design, and formatting were all completed by the publisher.  I was highly involved in the editing process of the entire book via email.  My book is now available in almost every online selling point imaginable in this and several other countries.  I have also placed it in several retail outlets through buyback agreements.

While my publisher did not take out full-page ads in the New York Times, they did keep me involved in the development of my release press kit.  I was allowed input in personalizing press releases to the targeted markets.  I am also free to purchase copies at the wholesale price and sell them as I see fit at signings and other events.

My overall favorite aspect of small press publishing, however, is the almost family atmosphere of the whole organization.  I’m never more than an email away with any question I have for my publisher.  There is just no substitute for the personal attention I receive.  I also have access to a group of accomplished fellow authors, my host Jen Barry being one, who have literally taught me this business.  Many of us MSP authors stay in touch and help each other out with promotion.

I just can’t say enough good things about this publishing venue.  I hope you give it a try.  I also hope that you keep reading this blog as I’m sure Melissa and Jen have many more great things to come.

David is the author of Particular Stones by Martin Sisters Publishing which can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other online outlets.  His author page and blog appear at djkirk.net and please follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.  Watch for his new book Cornerstones.