Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Publishers (But were Afraid to Ask)

Josh Lanyon did a guest post on Jessewave’s blog as part of her “Ins and Outs of M/M Romance” series, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Publishers (But were Afraid to Ask). Josh Lanyon is one of the best known voices of m/m fiction, for the Adrien English series among other great books, as well as the author of Man, Oh Man! Writing M/M Fiction for Kinks and Cash, which I have and which has a lot of great info.

As Josh says right off, Before we delve into what to look for in a publishing partner — and what to avoid — I want to point out that this post relates to niche publishing with small and indie presses. Much of what I’m discussing here is a non-issue in mainstream publishing. Running Press and Carina aside, m/m is still dominated by small presses and niche publishers, so that’s where the focus of the article is. That said, most of what Josh talks about is something even folks aiming at New York should at least be aware of.

Lots of good stuff here, and I’m not just saying that because she quoted me. [duck] Seriously, check it out.

Angie

New Release

I have a new story out, a short called Unfinished Business. It takes place right after A Hidden Magic wraps, focusing on a couple of supporting characters — master mage Aubrey and his apprentice Cal — and a bit of unfinished business left hanging after the novel was over. It’s short and fun and sexy; I just had to write it and let the boys finish what they’d been doing earlier. 🙂

Drawing: I’m hanging out on Torquere’s LiveJournal community today, playing host, talking about whatever comes to mind, and holding a drawing. For each of my posts you comment on today, you get a ticket in the drawing, and tomorrow I’ll pull a name and send the winner a $5 Torquere gift certificate.

Sale: It just happens that Torquere’s having a sale today and tomorrow. Enter “prejuly” in the coupon code box when you check out, and you’ll get 15% off your purchase. Add that to the fact of the backlist books’ prices going up on 1 July, and that makes these two days a really wonderful time to grab some bargains. Or to just have your five dollars go that much farther if you win the drawing. 🙂

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From “Unfinished Business:”

After a morning of saving the world, apprentice mage Cal Toscani heads down and works a full day in his busy restaurant, because foiling the bad guy doesn’t pay the bills. After midnight, bruised and aching from the aforementioned foiling, and exhausted from a long day of work, Cal goes home hoping for a hot bath, a nice massage and some sex, not necessarily in that order. His lover and master, Aubrey Fletcher, unfortunately remembers that he’d given Cal a lesson that morning before everything got exciting, and he’s determined that Cal’s going to finish that lesson before anything else happens — yes, right now. Cal finds himself naked in bed, trying to figure out how to remove Aubrey’s spell, while a naked Aubrey does his best to be distracting. Cal’s pretty sure he’s going to explode long before he figures the damn thing out!

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Cal grinned, tossed his jacket onto a chair, then spread his arms and did a slow rotation in place. “No orc bites!” he reported, his expression a parody of relief.

Aubrey just raised an eyebrow, then pointed at him and drew a twitchy little sigil Cal couldn’t quite catch before it was gone. An ominously familiar warm weight on either side of his head made him groan. Those damn ass’s ears again!

“Now?” he griped. “Come on, I just finished work, I’m tired, I want a shower and was kind of hoping for a nice massage and sex. Can’t we finish this tomorrow?”

His master crossed his arms and leaned against the doorway. “Do you think enemies–”

“–will wait until you’re rested and ready?” Cal chorused with him. “No, I know, but come on!”

Aubrey just stared at him.

“Fuck.”

One corner of Aubrey’s mouth twitched and his eyes twinkled up into Cal’s. “Maybe.” He uncrossed his arms and moved closer, leaning in until their bodies touched from chest to knees. “Maybe you need some incentive?”

Cal felt a hand slide between them and rub at his suddenly-interested cock. The hand moved away again immediately and he moaned in protest.

“You have six pairs of ears right now,” said Aubrey. His eyes were still twinkling and the old bastard sounded like he was having a grand time. “They’re quite colorful and rather cheery, but I’m assuming you want to get rid of them. For every pair you banish, I’ll escalate.” He lifted up on his toes for a moment and gave Cal a quick kiss, then backed away.

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Read the Rest

To the Straight Guy at the Party Last Night

I just have to share this. 🙂 Thanks to Zoe Nichols on LJ for linking.

Provenance: this was originally posted to Craigslist in Lansing, MI. Some people didn’t like it, for no specific reason, and flagged it for removal; it’s gone now, and I don’t know who originally wrote it. Truth Wins Out reposted it in its entirety, because it’s just that awesome and needs to be preserved and shared. I agree.

Read it and laugh.

Angie

Heads Up — Prices Increasing

Torquere’s prices are going up on their shorter works — everything below novel length. Apple doesn’t allow any books to be sold elsewhere for a lower price than they’re sold for in the Apple store, so… there you go.

New prices will be in accordance with wordcount rather than by line: up to 10K words will cost $1.99, up to 20K will cost $2.99, etc. Novels will stay the same price as before: $5.95 or $6.95 depending on length.

New books released in June already reflect the new pricing; backlist books will have their prices increased on 1 July. If you’ve had any older Torquere books on your wish list for a while, now’s the time to go grab them.

Best Deal: for anyone who’s been meaning to get my novelette “A Spirit of Vengeance,” Torquere sells it for $2.49 right now, but Amazon has the Kindle edition for $1.99. After 1 July, it’ll be $2.99, so you can save a dollar — one third off the new price — if you can read Kindle books.

Angie

Sale and Misc.

Torquere’s Having a Sale — use the code beach2010 to get 15% off on any purchase between now and Midnight (EST) on Tuesday. Torquere is here, or go here for my page on the site.

Vampire Bunnies — what is it with vampire writers in the last however many years deciding that a vampire’s fangs are his or her incisors? o_O Whenever I read about a vampire’s sharpened incisors extending, or whatever, I have to laugh — I get this mental image of a psychotic Bugs Bunny or an undead beaver something. Definitely not the image most writers seem to be going for. [snicker]

How to Keep Someone With You Forever — gakked through Nagasvoice over on LiveJournal, Issendai posted this piece on how to keep people from leaving you, whether “you” is an individual in a personal relationship, or a company trying to hold on to its employees. A good subtitle would be “How to Create a Sick System.” This is important reading for anyone who might be caught up in a sick system, or who has a loved one who’s stuck in a sick system. But it’s also fascinating as a writer who might want to put a character into an emotionally poisonous situation some time. This is fascinatingly awful, and the fact that it’s real just makes it moreso.

Angie

Anthology Markets

If you’ve just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. 🙂 I do these posts every month, so if this post isn’t dated in the same month you’re in, click here to make sure you’re seeing the most recent one.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, “Until Filled” markets are at the bottom. There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple antho guildelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

Non-erotica/romance writers: check out Extreme Zombie Anthology, Times of Trouble, Panverse, and Horror Library.

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1 July 2010 — Taken — Torquere Press

Fangs. Claws. Ghostly shadows in the night. Taken is about the mysterious compulsion of the paranormal as it plays out in a m/m/f menage. An unearthly white lady who bewitches two handsome knights? A hapless mortal who finds himself the captive of the Faerie king and queen? Whatever the situation, you can guarantee the characters will be taken with each other. We want loving relationships and happy endings, though all sensual heat levels are welcome. Preferred length is 8,000 to 12,000 words. Payment is a flat fee of $75.00 for first time print and electronic rights. Deadline for submission is July 1, 2010. Please submit the story, along with a synopsis, your contact information, and author biography to submissions@torquerepress.com with Taken in the subject line.

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1 July 2010 — Hot Summer Daze — Amber Allure

Series Type: Gay (M/M) — Summertime Love Affairs
Novella Length: 18,000 to 39,999 words
Heat Level: 3+ (Love scenes should be extremely explicit and contain graphic language. Stories may also contain sexual situations or storylines that push the envelope — heavy bondage, spanking, as well as menage, domination and submission, multiple sexual partners, etc.)

Specific Guidelines: Each novella for this “picture/series” should tell the story of a hot and steamy summer affair. Whether your heroes meet at some exotic resort, on a luxury cruise, or even while hanging out at their neighborhood pool, a red-hot romance should develop between them and turn their lives upside down. Although stories should have a contemporary setting only, they may also be sub-categorized as romantic comedy, suspense or thriller, action and adventure, as well as BDSM. All stories should have a “happily ever after” ending, or at least what is considered a “happily for now” conclusion, so show us how the summers will sizzle once your heroes get together and realize what they have is a whole lot more than just a meaningless fling.

Email Address: After preparing your documents according to the “General Submission/Formatting Info” listed above, please submit the full manuscript, synopsis, and query letter to: submissions_workingstiffs@amberquill.com

[Heavily edited for space — definitely click through for specific guidelines, and take note of the peculiarities in manuscript formatting.]

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1 July 2010 — Extreme Zombie Anthology — Comet Press

Comet Press is seeking novelette/novella length stories for a extreme zombie themed anthology to be published in August 2010 (trade paperback). We are looking for the most gruesome, twisted, disturbing, zombie stories imaginable.

Reading period: From February 1, 2010–July 1, 2010 (or until filled).
Word length: 15,000–30,000 words.
Multiple submissions: Up to two stories per author can be submitted. Please send as separate emails.
Payment: 1/2 cent per word, $150 max, plus contributor copy. Payment will be made upon publication.
Reprints: No reprints.
Response Time: 4–6 weeks. Rejections will be sent as soon as possible. Stories that make the first cut will be kept until the end of the reading period. Authors will be notified right away if their story makes the first cut, then the final stories will be selected at the end of the reading period.

We will send a confirmation that we received your story within 2 days. If you do not get this confirmation, please feel free to inquire or resubmit.

Attach the entire manuscript to email as an .rtf attachment.

In the body of the email please include: your name, pen name if any, address and email address, and brief bio. Include a brief blurb summing up the story and word count. Attache the story in a standard formatted .rtf document double spaced, standard font and size. First line of paragraphs indented, no extra spaces between paragraphs, except for scene breaks. Italics should be italized, bold in bold. Put “ZOMBIE SUBMISSION: TITLE OF YOUR STORY” in the subject of the email. Email to: contact@cometpress.us

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1 July 2010 — Paranormal Month: Halloween Novelettes and Novellas — Torquere Press

Novelettes (Single Shots) 10-20K words, Novellas (Highballs) 20-40K words, on a Halloween theme. Send your submissions to submissions@torquere.com with “Halloween” and the name of the line in the subject line.

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4 July 2010 — Times of Trouble — Ed. Lane Adamson, Permuted Press

Time travel. It’s the ultimate impossible dream: the ability to step through a doorway into tomorrow or yesterday, seeing all the unknown wonders of the future—or correcting the awful mistakes of the past. It can’t happen, of course. Oh, but what if?… And what if something went terribly, irreparably wrong? Times of Trouble, a new anthology of original speculative fiction from Permuted Press, is looking for grim, gritty stories about the unhappy unintended consequences of mucking about with the delicate fabric of reality. That doesn’t mean there’s no room for any note of hope, or the occasional happy ending—in fact, accomplishing such a feat effectively just might greatly enhance the author’s chance of inclusion in this anthology—but the emphasis here is decidedly on the dark downside of time travel.

Times of Trouble most emphatically does not want to see any stories of clichéd wish fulfillment—don’t bother submitting any stories in which Hitler is fortuitously killed prior to World War II—or those using time travel as a convenient plot device to place the protagonist “elsewhen” simply for the sake of a rousing adventure. (The Editor has nothing whatsoever against a good romp with Tyrannosaurs, but the place for such is not here.) Time travel must be integral to development of the story. Unless crucial to the plot, it is not necessary to expound at length on the actual mechanism of time travel. The “how” should be far less important than “what happens next?”

Examples of the sort of stories that will succeed in this anthology are “—All You Zombies—” by Robert A. Heinlein, “A Sound of Thunder,” by Ray Bradbury (oh, look—you can use dinosaurs, if you do it right), and the classic Star Trek™ episode, “The City on the Edge of Forever.”

Submissions open April 04, 2010 and close July 04, 2010, for stories of 3000 to 7500 words, and should be emailed to timetraveler at permutedpress dot com, attached as a .doc (preferred) or .rtf file in Standard Manuscript Format (as described—with many worthwhile pointers—at either http://www.sfwa.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/Mssprep.pdf or http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html, both of which are fine examples for the writer). Submissions that fail to at least make an attempt to follow formatting guidelines will be rejected unread (but may be resubmitted in proper format).

Multiple submissions are not permitted, but authors whose attempts are rejected are not prohibited from making another effort. Simultaneous submissions are strongly frowned upon.

Payment will be US $.01/word for first worldwide print and eBook rights, payable on finalization by the Editor of the completed Table of Contents and issuance of a contract by the Publisher.

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15 July 2010 — Healing Hearts: Charity Sip Blitz — Torquere Press

Doctors Without Borders is our chosen beneficiary for Healing Hearts, the Charity Sip Blitz 2010, and now we need writers to bring life to the project. We’re looking for m/m stories with a medical, healing twist–and an international flavor is encouraged! All heat levels are welcome, and happy endings are strongly preferred.

Manuscripts should be original works of 3,000 to 8,000 words; no reprints, please. Authors will sign a one-year agreement to donate all royalties to Doctors Without Borders, with the understanding that Torquere Press will match all donations 100%. Deadline for submission is July 15, 2010. Please submit your story, along with a synopsis, your contact information, and author biography, to submissions@torquerepress.com with Charity Sip in the subject line.

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15 July 2010 — Makeup — Torquere Press

Three-story mini-anthology of short, sexy m/m stories on the theme, 3-7K words, 35%/25% of cover price from publisher’s site/vendors, divided among the three authors. Send attached file to Submissions@torquerepress.com. (Halloween or Goth themed more than welcome, but not necessary.)

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1 August 2010 — Paranormal Month: Halloween Shorts — Torquere Press

Short Stories (Sips) 3-8K words, on a Halloween theme. Send your submissions to submissions@torquere.com with “Halloween” and the name of the line in the subject line.

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15 August 2010 — Thrill Ride — Torquere Press

Fast cars, jungle cruises, crash-landed spaceships. Thrill Ride is all about action and adventure, however you slice it. Make us gasp at your characters’ near misses and fan ourselves at their heated, clandestine moments. Wrap it all up in a m/m/f package, and let us fall in love. We want loving relationships and happy endings, though all sensual heat levels are welcome. Preferred length is 8,000 � 12,000 words. Payment is a flat fee of $75.00 for first time print and electronic rights. Deadline for submission is August 15, 2010. Please submit the story, along with a synopsis, your contact information, and author biography to submissions@torquerepress.com with “Thrill Ride” in the subject line.

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15 August 2010 — Pour Some Sugar on Me — Torquere Press

Decadent and sweet like the finest chocolate, Pour Some Sugar on Me is an exploration of the luscious side of love. Edited by Michelle Rode, this e-anthology features sensual, highly romantic m/m love stories, 3,000 to 8,000 words. Payment is a flat fee of $35.00 for first-time electronic rights. No reprints, please. Deadline for submission is August 15, 2010, with publication projected for December. Please submit the story, along with a synopsis, your contact information, and author biography, to submissions@torquerepress.com with “Pour Some Sugar” in the subject line.

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15 August 2010 — Bondage Mitts — Torquere Press

Three-story mini-anthology of short, sexy m/m stories on the theme, 3-7K words, 35%/25% of cover price from publisher’s site/vendors, divided among the three authors. Send attached file to Submissions@torquerepress.com.

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UNTIL FILLED — MM and Menage Steampunk Antho — Ed. Leigh Ellwood, Phaze

Call: M/M and Menage Steampunk Anthology, Title TBA
Edited by: Leigh Ellwood
Projected release date: late 2010
Format: eBook (with possible print release)
Publisher: Phaze Books
Payment: $50 for one-time electronic and print rights, plus copies

Hey, all you steampunk enthusiasts, grab your goggles and get to writing! Phaze Books is planning an M/M (and bi-M menage) steampunk collection for eBook publication in 2010. If you have a yen for 19th century history with a touch of good humor and technological innovation (and a whole lot of manlove!), we hope you’ll send us your hottest steampunk erotic romance of 10K – 20K words. If you’re not sure about the genre, check out this Wikipedia entry for steampunk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk) to get an idea of the style of stories we’re looking for. Think H.G. Wells or Wild Wild West, then turn up the steam factor with an incredible M/M or MMF/MMM match-up!

This call is open indefinitely until the spots are filled. Contributors will offer one-time electronic and print rights to their works and receive a one-time payment of $50 and contributors copies (eBook and/or print, if the book goes to print).

To submit to this anthology, please follow the Phaze Books structural guidelines at http://www.phaze.com/submissions.html and attach your RTF submission to Leigh Ellwood, c/o Phaze Books at submissions @ phaze (dot) com. Please use STEAMPUNK ANTHOLOGY is your subject header.

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UNTIL FILLED — Panverse Three — Ed. Dario Ciriello, Panverse Publishing

The anthology will be open to submissions until we have enough good stories.

Looking for pro-level novellas of between 17,500 and 40,000 words. Stories should be Science Fiction (except Military) or Fantasy (except Heroic/High/Superhero/S&S). We’ll also look at Magic Realism, Alternate History, and Slipstream (whatever that is). The story should be original and unpublished in any medium (this includes web publication).

Depth of characterization will count for a lot – however clever the idea, if we don’t care for the protagonist, we’ll bounce it. We like stories that instill wonder. Subject matter is pretty wide open. If we care, can’t put the story down, and find no big holes in the plot or worldbuilding, you’ve got a good shot.

What we don’t want:

Military SF, High Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Horror, RPG, superhero, or shared-universe stuff, etc. Vampires and Cthulhu-mythos stories are strongly discouraged unless you’ve done something absolutely original with either theme. No gratuitous or wildly excessive sex or violence: what this means is that sex or violence which serves the plot is okay, within limits; the same goes for language. Think R-rated rather than XXX-rated.

[NOTE: there are some unusual bits in their formatting and cover letter requirements. Nothing ridiculous, but definitely click the link and read the full guidelines before submitting.]

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UNTIL FILLED — Horror Library, Vol. 5 — Cutting Block Press

Cutting Block Press is pleased to announce an open submissions period for the 4th Volume of its Horror Anthology Series, +Horror Library+, to be published in trade paperback during 2009.

We’re looking for the highest quality examples of all forms of Dark Fiction, running the gamut from traditional horror, supernatural, speculative, psychological thriller, dark satire, including every point between and especially beyond. No Fantasy or Sci-fi unless the horror elements are dominant. Read +Horror Library+ Volumes 1-3 to see what’s already pleased us. Special consideration will be given those pieces that we find profoundly disturbing, though blood and violence on their own won’t cut it. While we will consider tales of vampires, ghosts and zombies, we tend to roll our eyes at ordinary ones. They’re just too plentiful. Your best bet is to surprise us with something that is different, while well conceived and tightly executed.

Guidelines: Stories will range between 1,000 and 6,000 words, though we’ll look at longer works of exceptional merit. In that case, query before submission. Buying 1st worldwide anthology rights. No reprints. Paying 1.5 cents per word, plus one contributors copy. For established authors, rates may be negotiable. Response time: six months or sooner. Deadline: We will accept submissions until filled. All Queries to horrorlibrarysubs@yahoo.com.

Manuscript format: 12 point courier font, standard margins, left side of header: name, contact info, right side of header: word count, top of first page: title, author

Variances from traditional manuscript format: single space, NO INDENTS, ONE EXTRA space between paragraphs, use bold, italics and underline as they are to appear in story

Subject box: Short Story submission – title of story

Attach story in MS Word Document or RTF (only). Please paste your cover letter in the body of the e-mail. Send submissions to horrorlibrarysubs@yahoo.com.

[See the web page for a special offer on copies of Horror Library Vol. 1 for writers doing market research.]

May Stuff

I did more fresh writing in May than I did in April, but still not a significant amount. :/ The good news is I’ve done about half as much so far in June as I did in all of May, so that’s good if I can keep it up.

I did four story submissions, to various pro-paying markets. No sales yet on that end, but I got two excellent rejections — about the best kind of response one can get that doesn’t have a check attached. [rueful smile] Both editors said very nice things about the story they’d read, and that they were looking forward to seeing more from me. If I can’t have a check, I’ll take an invitation to submit again instead. 😀

I went through edits on the novel again — proofreader’s mark-ups this time. And actually I did it a third time when I got my contributor’s copy a couple of days before the book went up for sale. I figured I’d scan through the PDF to make sure there weren’t any obvious formatting errors, and even with the quick click-click-click on the scroll bar to page through, my eye lit on a couple of small editing mistakes that I, the editor and both proofers had all missed. [headdesk] Back to the top, read it through again more slowly, found a handful more. My gratitude to Shawn for incorporating my last-minute fixes and re-doing the variously formatted files before the page went live for sales. 🙂

I’m not claiming points for that last edit, though, ’cause that would’ve taken me up to 32 points for the month. In a challenge where the top scoring tier is 9 points and up, 32 is just showing off. :/ As it is I got 18.

Koala Challenge 9