Posts Tagged ‘submission guidelines’

I always check the publisher of the books my daughter brings home from the library. “When a Dragon Moves In” was published by FlashLight Press. (http://www.flashlightpress.com/index.html) I had never heard of them before. I assumed it was an imprint of a larger, impenetrable publishing company.

I was pleasantly surprised that it was its own company. A little bit of research showed they were owned by a company that published adult books, but it was still small. It was still approachable.

Which means it’s approached by EVERYONE.

Their submission guidelines had changed in that they only respond if they really like it. They said it was because they got way too many submissions, and they couldn’t respond to them all.

That’s the way it is with us writers: Once the door opens a crack, we all rush toward it so the door cracks off its hinges.

There are so few publishing companies out there that actually accept unsolicited submissions that those who do get swamped very quickly. I only hope that my submission stands out from the herd.

What I Learned: There’s huge competition even at the little publishers. The same rules apply: Make it your best effort, and make your book stand out. (This is better than the big ones, in which you can’t even enter the competition.)

Don’t abuse the little publisher that could. They’re nice enough to offer you chances to have your work published. The least you can do is buy their books and keep that door open.

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I submitted my suspense story to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine last week. It had previously been turned down by Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

This submission makes sense since the story was inspired by a story in EQMM which was in turn inspired by Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.”

What’s kind of nice is that the submission guidelines are more about format than style. I’m glad they are less picky about that. Although format guidelines in general are annoying, especially numbering pages. The Hitchcock guidelines are here:

http://www.themysteryplace.com/ahmm/guidelines/

 

The magazine is pretty decent, although sadly much more thin than I remember it being.

I’ve been sending my work to comic book publishers. I did some research and thought I could share it with my readers.

First, I went to my local comic stores and wrote down the names of independent companies I saw. I also jotted down what kind of comics they published (horror, pop culture) and the quality. Then I looked them up online and tried to find their submission guidelines.

Specifically, I was looking at their writers’ guidelines, and if they accept scripts without art, but some of this would be helpful for artists or writer/artists.

On a few of them, I mention they are looking for high concept stuff. What do I mean by “high concept?” That’s a judgment call on my part. It’s like when you can distill a story down to a flashy advertising phrase.

Abstract Studios is just Terry Moore’s stuff.

Alias is now part of Lamppost

Antarctic Press is open to non-super hero submissions from writers. However, they will not pair you with artists. They will keep a promising script on hand. For what I’m not sure.

Ape Entertainment – Open to subs from creative teams. Can’t just be a writer. Have to have it all together. Also does RPGs.

Arcana – Finished projects only.

Archaia – Finished projects only.

Aspen – No submissions

Asylum Press – Horror only.

Avalon/Haberlin – Might just be his own work.

Avatar – Have to be famous

Big Dog Ink – Didn’t look like it needed anything. There’s a submission link that brings you to forums where you can post links to your current works, but that’s it. Might be more for artists to post work.

Blue Water – No writers at this time. Looking for high concept stuff.

Boom – No subs

Campfire – Has a submission queue on web site, but I think it’s more for artists. Tend to have retellings of classic stories, so the Greek warthog story might work. A few originals are still period pieces.

Dark Horse – Looking for finished products

Desperado – Established only, writer artist teams only, now an imprint of IDW

Devil’s Due – Does not seem to be accepting submissions. Definitely will if you’re already famous.

Do Gooder Press – Just his stuff

Dynamite – Send a query. Top names, though. Doubtful.

Exploding Funny Books is just Eric Powell’s stuff.

Humanoids Press – I sent e-mail. They look like they only do top names, but I don’t know. In reply, they said there are no submission guidelines and to feel free to send anything.

Icon – Marvel creators only

IDW – Doesn’t look like they’re looking for anything. They responded to an e-mail of mine that said to submit through the e-mail for letters.

Lamp Post – Christian

Oni – Not open to traditional submissions. “we decided to suspend the submissions process in favor of a more streamlined process-namely, viewing online comics, portfolios, and resumes, reading minicomics, and meeting people at conventions. We are always looking for talent. Come by our booth at any convention and introduce yourself. We are more than happy to talk.”

Peregrine – Just their stuff

Red 5 – Open to relative unknowns, as long as you’re established. But you must have a team.

Slave Labor – Finished only.

Tokyopop – Closed

Top Cow – Finished projects. Top names only.

Top Shelf – Finished projects only.

Top Shelf 2.0 – Web stuff. Finished projects only. There’s an anthology thing online. No special guidelines, e-mail reply from editor: just send me a link or small attachment!

Udon – Doesn’t seem to publish anything but a few licensed properties and their own stuff. But can be hired as an art studio.

Viz – only Japanese

Zenescape – If you have an artist draw it first, “we’ll strongly consider it,” but there’s no room in the publishing schedule to do other people’s work.

Someone wrote on their guidelines: Web sites like Digital Webbing, DeviantART and Penciljack are excellent sites for connecting with other creators.

Charlesbridge is a kind of publisher that I’m never sure I’m good enough for. They have a lot of books that impart a gentle lesson.

I’m not real good on lessons.

Often, my subtle lesson is really really subtle. More often, I just tell (what I think is) a good story with no lesson. So, we’ll see.

 

The first part of their guidelines are here:

http://www.charlesbridge.com/client/client_pages/authorguidelines.cfm

Last week, I submitted a sword and sorcery mini-series to Dynamite Entertainment. Their submission guidelines are here:

 

http://www.dynamite.net/htmlfiles/editor.html

 

Dynamite Entertainment is another company that focuses on the cream of the crop, both in terms of creators and characters. Most of the main characters you will have already heard of, from Blackbeard to Darkman. And the people putting out those comics you’ve probably heard of as well.

 

And of course, no one has heard of me. I plugged the fact that between my YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge) and this blog, 20,000 people viewed my work last month. Maybe that counts for something. So, we’ll see how this submission goes…

 

Also:

My suspense story was rejected by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. I e-mailed it in July 12, and received the response July 21. At least they were quick…is that a good or a bad thing…?

I had sent a board book script to Child’s Play International. A few months later, I received the following e-mail:

Many thanks for sending me your manuscript which I enjoyed reading.

Unfortunately, the Child’s Play publishing programme is complete for the

foreseeable future and we are unable to accept your work for publication.

 

Because of the large number of manuscripts we receive every month, it is

impossible for us to offer criticism on individual projects.

 

Best regards

Sue Baker

Child’s Play International

 

Looking at their publishing list (http://www.childs-play.com/bookshop.html) I don’t know that my storybook would have definitely fit in. And maybe that was my mistake.

 

 

 

Every week, I try to send something out to publishers. Finding markets, my opinion of them, writing queries and cover letters – I’ll write about it here, every Submission Sunday.

 

When I find a book I like, I check who published it. A lot of times I’ve seen those little eyeglasses logo peering up at me. So I’m sending my next book to Chronicle Books.

My picture book is about an event told from the point of view of my two cats. It’s quirky, and has personality, and that’s why I chose this particular company. I think they’d “get it.”

So, I tailored my cover letter toward them, keeping in mind all the books I’ve seen by them, crossed my fingers and tossed it in the mail.

In other news, I received my rejection from Interzone this week as well. They have very well written rejection e-mails.

(https://whatilearnedbywriting.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/post-apocalyptic-scifi-to-interzone/)

Every week, I try to send something out to publishers. Finding markets, my opinion of them, writing queries and cover letters – I’ll write about it here, every Submission Sunday.

Last week, I sent out a post-apocalyptic story with a really disturbing ending. My wife hates this story.

I first checked out The Absent River Review, a collection of fantasy, horror and science fiction. The work on this magazine was very clean and professional. I read “Gnawing At The Root” by Kevin Pinkham. The required word count wasn’t right.

But Interzone had the right word count. I sent it there for consideration. One thing I like about their submission guidelines:

  • Please include a covering letter but don’t worry too much about it, just introduce yourself and list any relevant credits, things like that. If you’ve never been published before tell us that too — we’ve published many debut stories over the years.

After everything you read about submissions, it feels good when a prominent publisher says “relax.”

Every week, I try to send something out to publish. I’ll write about it here, every Submission Sunday.