Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An Acceptance and Other Writing News

My short story, Blood of Warriors, Blood of Kings, just got accept to Iron Bound Ezine. I'll post a link when it is live. The story is a short fantasy piece that I wrote for one of our shootout competitions. So I got quite a bit of feedback on it, every author in the shoot out made comments. About half of them really liked and about half of them really didn’t. I got comments like- this was great, reminds me of Robert Howard, and I love sword and sorcery this was awesome. I also got- this reminds me of a bad fantasy movie. So if you like sword and sorcery you’ll probably like if you don’t, you probably won’t.
I made it to 5000 words in my new novel, The Blood Plague, and I am hoping to get another couple thousand words done before I go to bed. The novel is set in a fantasy world that is torn apart by a devastating plague. So it’s kind of an apocalyptic fantasy novel, and so far it has been really fun to write.

Finally, I received two more rejections for my novel, The Laws of Summer. One was a personal rejection. All the editors who read it say the same thing "We enjoyed your novel", "We like your writing style", etc. And then the big but comes, "But in the current economy, sword and sorcery fantasy is very hard to market” Sometimes they call it heroic fantasy, sometimes they just say fantasy, or sometimes they say novels in this genre, but they all mean the same thing.
I thought this might be some kind of industry standard rejection but many of the letters go on to talk about specific ways to improve the novel. Which I don't understand at all if it isn't marketable, but my rant about that is a little off topic so I will refrain from going on about it.
My conclusion?

The fantasy stories I like to write apparently aren't what publishers want. This leaves me with a couple of problems.

First, the novels I write are the kind that I like to read. Therefore, the novels I like to read are not "marketable" this must be why I am having so much trouble finding anything that looks interesting, from a new author, at the book store. My “books to read” shelf is growing smaller and smaller.
Second, main stream publishers have absolutely no interest in my novel. I have a few mid list publishers that I want to try, after that I am not sure what to do with the novel. I am not sure I want to send it to a small press. Not because I dislike small presses in any way or have anything bad to say about them. I have read a lot of good stuff from small presses in the last couple of years.

It is because Jessy and I own a small press, and it seems silly to send it to another small press to make 15% royalties when we could do it ourselves and make 100%. On the other hand we did not start Pill Hill to publish our own work. Not that there would be anything wrong with an owner of a small press publishing their own stuff. I already have a few short stories in some Pill Hill anthos (mostly because people didn't return contracts and we wanted to have a specific number of stories).

But if we publish my novel I am always going to wonder if it was good enough to publish. Yeah, I am one of those writers, the kind that thinks everything I write is crap until someone tells me different, then I assume that they also think it is crap but are trying to be nice.

Anyway, maybe I can find a small press that is well respected or one that pays advances. I’ll have to do a little research. If I send it to a small press I want to be sure they can bring something to the table that Pill Hill cannot. Hmmm…Or maybe I can spend half the night blogging in circles because I don’t really have a point and I am not sure what I want to do.

I am going to stop now and write a chapter in Blood Plague. Writing is so much easier than getting published.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool on the IRONBOUND acceptance.

    Best of luck finding a pub you can be happy with for your novel. I suspect we like to read/write near the same things-so I ponder about the fantasy's I hope to market soon myself.