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Old 03-08-2014, 02:31 PM
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So, I am currently re-editing my book, "Absorb". I've always self-published (and I'm a big advocate for it), but I'm thinking I might want to pitch to actual publishing companies.

I'm hesitant though because a lot of places have specific dates to send stuff. So, I'm wondering if anyone can point my in the direction of small/independent publishing companies that...

1. Take manuscripts any time
2. Take YA and/or sci-fi books
3. I'm able to send my manuscript via email.

I apologize if any of this sounds ignorant, but I've literally never done this before. Thanks!

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Old 03-09-2014, 03:19 AM
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First I've heard about publishing houses requesting that you send them manuscripts on specific dates. They might want you to state the date you sent it to them, but that's all.

That said, I've never tried to be published traditionally, but I'd be very surprised if what you said is true.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:33 AM
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It's quite common for publishing houses to be closed to new submissions, actually. Sometimes they temporarily close to new submissions while they clear a backlog; sometimes they have "windows" when you're allowed to submit to them; and sometimes they only open occasionally.

I think that publishing houses' attitude to authors is typically high-handed, arrogant and unilateral, and their attitude is generally un-businesslike.

From their point of view, they're so inundated with submissions, all the time, that they sometimes feel they have to behave like this to manage their own workload----and the submissions are often of such low quality that it's difficult to find the staff to read them all. But that only makes sense when publishing houses are the only realistic option, which was true until about 2009-10. Nowadays it isn't.

Therefore, I confidently predict that what mp3s did to the music industry, print on demand will do to the publishing industry. I expect the majority of publishing houses to go out of business over the course of the next decade, leading to a trickle of pasty-faced and slightly-bewildered former editors emerging blinking into the sunlight to find they have no marketable skills at all and their future therefore involves ringing tills, pulling pints or saying "Would you like fries with that?"
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Non Serviam View Post
Therefore, I confidently predict that what mp3s did to the music industry...
A not very often aired statistic with MP3's is that 99% of all files placed online will never, ever be downloaded. Probably accords with the self-publishing industry.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
A not very often aired statistic with MP3's is that 99% of all files placed online will never, ever be downloaded.
According to whom, please? I'd like to learn more about the source of this statistic.
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:22 AM
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Source, sadly, unknown. It may have been the BMI, I know there was an article about it in the guardian about a year ago.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:40 AM
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At a quick glance:
http://medallionmediagroup.com/submissions/

http://www.sourcebooks.com/resources...uidelines.html

Or contact an agent.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by littlemel View Post
So, I'm wondering if anyone can point my in the direction of small/independent publishing companies that...

I apologize if any of this sounds ignorant, but I've literally never done this before. Thanks!
This is a job for Google =) What you're asking for is research, and that's something you're better off doing yourself so you know what you're getting into. Good luck!
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by littlemel View Post
So, I am currently re-editing my book, "Absorb". I've always self-published (and I'm a big advocate for it), but I'm thinking I might want to pitch to actual publishing companies.
May I ask why?
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:58 AM
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Whisper is spot on. This is research that a writer needs to do and learn to do. We can guide on how to search, but as for actual publishers, you ideally need to learn how to look them up and check them out too. Don't submit to any publisher or agent without getting background information on them.

And I'm as curious as flyingtart too: Why?

You also have some presses that are invitation only. One of the major companies in my genre (Riptide) is. They have a short slot, just a few weeks in the year when new authors can approach them, but otherwise, you can't sub without an invitation.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:16 AM
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I wouldn't expect a reply from Mel, Whiskers and Flyingtart. She doesn't seem to say thanks to anyone (and I'm not on about me, as my reply wasn't helpful). She tends to only reply when something controversial/insulting is said, as evidenced by the Making a Choice thread.

Pretty rude really, in my view.

Moving on . . .

Non, thanks for that information. I know that publishers might decide to not accept new submissions because they currently have too many, but to put a blanket statement out like 'please only send us manuscripts on such and such' regardless of how busy they are? That I've never heard of, and it's how I read Mel's original message.

I agree with what you said as well.

Mike,

To save posting in two threads and bumping another, I've got to admit that I agree with what others have said regarding the quality of self-published works. And I'm pretty much the first to complain when I see a work that's not received a lot of care.

I know that I self-edit and don't use beta-readers. My cover, for Gus in particular, is rather poor too in my view. But I'd put that up against anyone's story with confidence. Granted, it's a lot harder to get a longer work up to a good/great level of polish than it is to get a short work up to that standard, but still . . .
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidGil View Post
I know that publishers might decide to not accept new submissions because they currently have too many, but to put a blanket statement out like 'please only send us manuscripts on such and such' regardless of how busy they are? That I've never heard of, and it's how I read Mel's original message.
You read it right, David.

Like with Riptide, if you are approaching them for the first time, it can only be between those spcific dates that they open to new authors during the year. They do allow subs to special call anthologies throughout the year to both new and estabished authors (I think, (I know mine does)), but do also have a specific timetable for subs (I've seen the cry go up when they say they're open!!!).

Not all do it. Just some. But that's in my genre, and it might not be the same for all. It might just be that you haven't heard of it because your genre doesn't need the restrictions. My genre has a mass of mansucripts going to each and every publisher, so some publishers put these restrictions up to help filter out the good from the bad, in MHO, of course.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:01 AM
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Really odd way of doing things then, in my view, Whiskers. It's not like there aren't enough barriers already for traditional publishing. I think they're potentially shooting themselves in the foot.

You have to wait months to hear back. Sometimes you don't get a reply at all. I see no valid reason, outside of editorial help etc. and potentially a 'bit' of marketing help, to go down that route. After all, there's no guarantee of sales with traditional publishing either.

At least there's the potential of sales when you self-publish anyway during the months you'd be waiting to hear back.

But then again, just my two cents which is neither right or wrong. Everyone's different.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidGil View Post
Really odd way of doing things then, in my view, Whiskers. It's not like there aren't enough barriers already for traditional publishing. I think they're potentially shooting themselves in the foot.
Not really. If you have limited staff to read a potentially unlimited stream of manuscripts, how else do you propose dealing with it?

Bigger publishers get around it by only reading agent-submitted mss; that way they only have to read the stuff that has already been through quality control and which someone else has decided its worth investing their own time and money in.

If publishers introduced a $100 reading fee for every manuscript, there'd be an uproar, but you can bet the quality of submissions would jump by about 500%.

Addendum: If you've ever worked as an editor or slusher you'll know that 90% of submitted work can be rejected after reading a page at the very most. Sometimes just a sentence or two.

The drawback with self-publishing, in my eyes, is that there aren't enough barriers. No quality control necessary, no minimum standard to achieve; straight from laptop to published without the intervention of brain. That doesn't go for all self-publishers, of course, just the 90-ish percent that bring the overall standard down.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:32 AM
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Not sure honestly, Mike. Haven't really given it much thought. But I guess I'd go with what you said, about publishers only accepting vetted works. It just seems counter-productive to me, in the sense that it would just make me look elsewhere (i.e., at self-publishing, or certainly another publisher when their goal should be to make people want to submit to them)

I haven't given it much thought though because traditional publishing just doesn't interest me in all honesty. I like how easy it is to self-publish, but that's the crux of the matter and your point exactly. Something which I fully agree with.

I remember browsing the Kindle boards once, and seeing someone say that they'll keep publishing despite low ratings, amongst other things. I don't think they're aware that they should, ultimately, learn how to write before publishing. Especially if they're doing everything on their own.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidGil View Post
But I guess I'd go with what you said, about publishers only accepting vetted works. It just seems counter-productive to me, in the sense that it would just make me look elsewhere.
Two points here:

many authors will jump through the required hoops, submitting to agents etc, going through the quality control mill, because the potential rewards are so much higher. Would you say no to a 3 book deal with, say, Random House, with an advance big enough so you could give up the day job and be a full-time writer? Sure, its a gamble, but so is self-publishing; quick, easy, and maybe only your mother will ever buy a copy.

The other point; it's not counter-productive. Writers are ten a penny. They get sent more high quality manuscripts than they can print, and can afford to take the cream (let's leave the discussion of perceptions of cream aside for now, please!). If you self publish, it's not their loss, it's a buyer's market.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:09 AM
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Whether or not the OP is still reading this, here's my take.

I asked why she wanted to approach a trade publisher after being (apparently) happy about self-publishing because if someone is a big advocate for SP it strikes me as odd to abandon it.

Actually this is a very hot issue for new writers, including myself. Until recently received wisdom was self-publishing equals vanity equals poor quality. Trade publishing provided a badge of quality. But the decline in publishing and bookselling has changed all that. Publishers have cut back so much on editorial staff quality is no longer guaranteed. The larger presses have already ditched their midlist and are frankly not interested in signing anyone without a proven track record, so unless you are a celebrity you might as well forget it. Some small presses, and even larger ones, do little or no promotion so an author would be just as well going it alone. New authors may still crave the security of a publishing deal but it can be a trap, tying them into exploitative contracts.

So if you are going that route, for God's sake do your research. The internet is a wonderful tool for finding out about anyone you want to go into business with. Use it.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidGil View Post
Really odd way of doing things then, in my view, Whiskers. It's not like there aren't enough barriers already for traditional publishing. I think they're potentially shooting themselves in the foot.
Publishing houses, especially big ones, tend to already have an established target audience. They're not really looking for new and exciting, but more of what their readers want, so more of the same, in order to keep their revenues up. Sometimes they might take a chance on something new, but if a house has 500 authors currently writing for them, what are your chances of getting the necessary support and exposure as an outlier? Not very good.

Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
If publishers introduced a $100 reading fee for every manuscript, there'd be an uproar, but you can bet the quality of submissions would jump by about 500%.
I disagree. I think the only thing that would accomplish is edging out a lot of authors who can't afford to pay a reading fee, and the publishers would make it a business to make money off submissions rather than sales, which in the end serves all the wrong people.

Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
Would you say no to a 3 book deal with, say, Random House, with an advance big enough so you could give up the day job and be a full-time writer?
As I understand it, this is has become a myth. Advances from what I've read online range between $5,000 and $50,000, which is nowhere near enough to quit one's job over, let alone buy a house or whathaveyou. And even if it were to happen, I don't think I'd take it. At least not unless I already had those three books written, or close to being done. But that's just me personally. I tend to be of the opinion that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Whisper View Post
I disagree. I think the only thing that would accomplish is edging out a lot of authors who can't afford to pay a reading fee,
I agree it would be a bad thing, but people would have to be 100% committed to their work before they submitted.


Originally Posted by Whisper View Post
As I understand it, this is has become a myth. Advances from what I've read online range between $5,000 and $50,000,
I think the average advance last time I saw any stats was around $5,000, but that takes into account all the houses that pay nothing up to the big money advances.

Huge advances are rare, but I personally know two authors who earned advances big enough to give up work (one of them went out and bought a Mustang, paid cash, barely made a dent). Last year Graeme Simsion got an advance of 1.2 million (nearly $2million). There were several other authors whose advances were 5 figure.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by flyingtart View Post
Publishers have cut back so much on editorial staff quality is no longer guaranteed. The larger presses have already ditched their midlist and are frankly not interested in signing anyone without a proven track record, so unless you are a celebrity you might as well forget it.
Do you actually know what you're talking about? Can you actually provide any evidence of the above or are you just repeating gossip?
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
I agree it would be a bad thing, but people would have to be 100% committed to their work before they submitted.
Commitment doesn't necessarily guarantee quality. But we could keep going in circles about this forever =) I think everyone who submits anywhere is committed, that's why they submit in the first place. It's a matter of not knowing how to make it any better (in some cases) or expecting the editor/publisher to fill in the blanks (in others).

Huge advances are rare, but I personally know two authors who earned advances big enough to give up work (one of them went out and bought a Mustang, paid cash, barely made a dent). Last year Graeme Simsion got an advance of 1.2 million (nearly $2million). There were several other authors whose advances were 5 figure.
Damn, lucky them.
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Whisper View Post
Damn, lucky them.
The better your book, the luckier you get.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
The better your book, the luckier you get.
These days it seems to be, The better marketer/business person you are the luckier you get.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:54 PM
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Indeed, and if you have both...
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
Indeed, and if you have both...
...you can TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!
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