Friday, May 25, 2012

notes from the literary gutter

Today I looked at the submission guidelines for Baen Books.
Baen Books is one of the big names in publishing the kind of fantasy and science fiction paper backs that fit nicely into your hand. The kind of books that often have the title in bright colorful fonts and a picture of an almost naked lady on the cover whether or not the book actually has naked ladies in it or ladies at all for that matter. Baen doesn't publish great literature it publish paperback fantasy and sci-fi. Looking at their manuscript submission guidelines though brought back every horror publishing story I'd ever heard every reason why I waited this long to try and publish at all. I'm not good enough yet was what I took away from reading their submissions page.

Right now I'm publishing with Less Than Three Press. They are a small independent publisher who publish mostly books about LTBQ characters, and mostly romances but have a soft spot of fantasy and science fiction. They've been great to work with so far, friendly and helpful. I'm getting to know a lot of the other author's that they publish plus the editors and movers and shakers of the press. Publishing with an independent press is not the same as self-publishing, although I think a lot of people confuse the two. When you self publish you do everything yourself, or you hire someone to help you out; the editing, the cover art, the marketing, the contacting third party sellers ... everything. I find it super impressive when author's do self-publishing and do it well. I mean like anything it's easy to do it badly, but I can't even imagine doing all that goes into producing a book pretty much singlehandedly.

At Less Than Three I submitted manuscripts and they decide to accept it or not. They have their own editors who I work with, they have their own cover artists too who I also get to work with, and they are in charge of getting the book into print (digital or paper they do both). They handle the third party sellers and the accounting, I just get a check in the mail. They also do a lot of marketing although all author's market their own books a lot that's just the way publishing is. I've enjoyed working with them and I hope to work with them more and part of me wants to continue working with indie publishers and part of me (the part that loves a challenge) wonders if I can go toe to toe with the big name publishers in the industry one day and win.

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