Sunday, May 22, 2011

Whoa. Emails.

I got several emails this morning. The best one was from Angry Robot Books, who emailed to let me know Bell-Men has made the next cut and has been advanced from the slush reader to an editor. Every time I think about it, I start to hyperventilate.

Two of the other emails I got were from small publishers. One was a royalty statement letting me know that I'd sold zero books in the last quarter and earned zero dollars. One was a form rejection for Evil Outfitters, Ltd. I think there is a lesson to learn from these two emails.

Evil Outfitters came very close to being published by a large commercial press several years ago. It's a quirky, humorous fantasy set in the same world as Jack of All Trades, and I think it's awesome. But it's made the rounds and I can't interest any other publishers in it. I was trying to find another small publisher to send it to earlier, and the thought of finding a publisher, sending it off, waiting several months, and finally getting another rejection so I have to start all over--it just makes me tired.

I think I can probably manage to sell zero books in a quarter on my own, without a publisher. So maybe I'll self-publish Evil Outfitters, although...well, the thought of formatting, figuring out a cover, navigating the contracts for various online venues, reformatting for each venue, spending cash money on an ISBN and listing fees, etc., just makes me tired too. That's why I want a publisher. Ugh. Maybe I'll just trunk it.

16 comments:

Richard said...

Ooooo... Angry Robot has some big titles in there. Hell, they printed Winter Song--something I bought off the shelves at B&N and reviewed for Skunk Cat. Yikes; I may hyperventilate myself.

Evil Outfitters was a blast, and deserved to be printed; my only real complaint was that it ended before I was done reading. I need a sequel or at least another twenty thousand words or something. Definitely merits getting into print somehow.

K.C. Shaw said...

I just did an edit of Evil Outfitters and tinkered with the opening, which was kind of clumsy. It may be those first few pages that were keeping editors from reading further.

I've read (and reviewed) at least one Angry Robot title too. They're a newer publisher but definitely one of the big boys. Fingers crossed!

Danielle Ferries said...

Congrats on Bell-Men. Fingers crossed for you.

Diana said...

Good news from Angry Robot. :)

Check out Lulu dot com. I know several people who went that route with their books. It might be easier than Kindle Direct Publishing.

K.C. Shaw said...

Danielle--Thanks!

Diana--I've used Lulu a couple of times and it actually is easy to figure out. I'll consider it for EO for sure.

Michael McClung said...

Smashwords?

Jarmara Falconer said...

How lovely to hear such good news, K.C. Maybe you will have better luck next time you send the others out somewhere else.

K.C. Shaw said...

Michael--I ended up sending it to a small publisher last night just so I could stop thinking about it. Smashwords is an option, though.

Jarmara--Thanks! I hope so too.

Aaron Polson said...

Good luck, K.C. Angry Robot has quickly established themselves as a class outfit.

(and I want my copy of Bell Men!)

K.C. Shaw said...

I want you to have a copy of Bell-Men too. :)

Cate Gardner said...

Angry Robot... Bloody Hell. I heard somewhere that not many submissions had survived the first cut so extra kudos. I shall keep everything crossed.

Oh, and you already know how much I want to read Evil Outfitters.

K.C. Shaw said...

Yeah, I'd heard only a handful out of the, what, 800 or so submissions they received? That's why I keep hyperventilating. Holy crap!

Michael said...

You sound like the right person to go indie. My own story was similar, with multiple agents on multiple books and plenty of near misses. I started publishing my own stuff in January. Fifty thousand copies sold to date, and I'm not looking back.

There are no guarantees, but the world has changed to the point where you can keep shopping your stuff to the traditional publishers while you make an attempt to go it alone.

K.C. Shaw said...

50,000 books sold, dang! My main problem is that I'm bad at/uninterested in doing promotion the way I'd really need to if I self-published. I don't know. I'm going back and forth on it.

Kristal Shaff said...

Hey KC,

How long did it take them to go from full request to notification that it is being passed to editors? I got a full request about 2 months ago.

Thanks!

K.C. Shaw said...

I think I got my full request around March 6--I was one of the earlier people to hear back. I guess it was about two and a half months afterwards when I heard it had been passed on up the line. But I've heard that they don't always notify authors who make the next cut; it depends on who your contact is, probably. My contact person mentioned in her email that she'd passed my manuscript along a week or two before, too.

Good luck! It's awesome to even get the full request. Obviously you're doing in right. :)