Tiny Owl Workshop continue to be my favourite small creative business (it just seems limiting to call them a publisher) and they operate in my home town. While their shared-world project the Lane of Unusual Traders is still open, they’ve started a new Christmas themed flash market (for Australian writers only, sorry):
This Christmas, take a walk on the wild side. Swap merry for scary, and get inspired by the chain-dragging, cloven-footed, birch-rod-wielding Alpine myth of Krampus, the Christmas monster who punishes all the children who end up on the naughty list.
We’re looking for Christmas-themed flash fiction inspired by the Krampus myth. Twelve stories, accompanied by six illustrations by artists including Terry Whidborne and Simon Cottee, will be made into sets of ‘Krampus Crackers’, to be distributed in various hot locations around Brisbane this Christmas.
Payment is $60 AUD for flash between 300 and 500 words.
I would like to add that Tiny Owl Workshop continues to produce premium literary art and is the best paying genre market I’ve ever encountered. As word gets around about their projects, expect competition to become fierce.
I don’t much like the exclusivity clause, and the impact on authors who don’t sign up to that. It feels a bit like handing your wages to a bank to manage, but the bank doesn’t care about you, oh and also if you don’t hand your life savings to that bank they stop bothering to maintain your credit history.
Amazon’s hourly list of the top 100 “paid” Kindle bestsellers appears to be under the steadily growing influence of Kindle Unlimited “checkouts,” which are counted as part of paid sales. In this morning’s check, 45 of the top 100 titles are also available through Kindle Unlimited — and 24 of the top 50 titles. Amazon Publishing’s own titles still appear to be benefitting the most, and self-published authors who are not exclusive to Amazon (and therefore not part of KU) seem to have lost the most bestseller slots. (We still have no idea whether this is affecting actual paid sales, or just bestseller list slots.)
Read on for stats here: http://lunch.publishersmarketplace.com/2014/07/daily-update-influence-kindle-unlimited-amazon-bestsellers-grows/
Just an alternative to the well known KickStarter, for authors looking to do some crowdfunded publishing:
Pubslush is a global crowdfunding and analytics platform for the literary world. Our founders were inspired to create a more democratic publishing process after learning about the struggles of authors like J.K. Rowling, whose bestselling series was rejected by the 12 publishers to which it was initially sent. So many great authors have been dismissed to the infamous “slush pile.” Our name is derived from our mission to give authors the opportunity to get out of the slush pile, prove their talent and market viability, and successfully publish quality books.
Check it out: http://pubslush.com/
Interesting science fiction market:
The New Accelerator would like to see stories that include the following motifs/genres and styles: amazing thoughts, brilliantly realised characters and places, thrilling situations and daring ideas, noir and future noir, exploration and explorative ideas and people/places and concepts that dazzle, planets and ships and science and stars and adventure, golden dawns and flaming red sunsets, time-bending and avant-garde creations and theories, and all-round great, exciting, thrilling and wonderful stories that The New Accelerator would be happy and proud to publish.
They’re looking for 2,500 to 5,000 word short SF stories, with occasional acceptances up to 10,000 words. They’re only a token market, but there is a royalty split.
Check the full guidelines here: http://thenewaccelerator.com/submissions/submission-guidelines/
Kevin Peachey interviews Nick Spalding, on eof the UK’s bestselling self-published authors.
Now we all know there is no simple solution to working out whether self-publishing is a good idea for a given author, but getting insights into how it works for some people might just give you the extra piece of information you need to make a call for your particular situation:
Some years ago, he wrote what he admits was an experimental novel, unlikely to be touched by a traditional publisher.
But he then discovered that he could upload his work, and sell it to people reading e-books.
“I remember my aim was to earn enough money for my partner and I to go for a meal,” he says.
“Because it was so easy to do, and because I started to earn a little more money and build up a small following, that prompted me to write another book, then another and another.”
Read it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28268014
Check out the Intergalactic Medicine Show:
We are looking for stories of any length in the genres of science fiction and fantasy.
“Science fiction” includes hard sf, sf adventure, alternate history, near-future, far-future, psi, alien, and any other kind of sf you can think of.
“Fantasy” includes heroic fantasy (based on any culture’s mythology), fairy tales, contemporary fantasy, and “horror” in the sense of supernatural suspense (not gory bloodfests, thanks).
Within these genres, we like to see well-developed milieus and believable, engaging characters. We also look for clear, unaffected writing. Asimov, Niven, Tolkien, Yolen, and Hobb are more likely to be our literary exemplars than James Joyce.
We pay 6 cents a word.
Although they specific ‘any length’, I suspect in practical terms you wouldn’t want to go much longer than 10K words. Turnaround is about 3 months.
Note also that their electronic submission form will send you the details on how to make your submission, not actually accept your submission directly.
Submission guidelines here: http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=content&article=submissions
Alan Baxter talks about the secret ingredient of many published works:
My most recent short story is all my own work supposedly. But it was critiqued by three of my best writing pals. It has significant additional scenes in the middle from one pal’s suggestions, a completely reworked end from another pal’s suggestion, much juggling of motivations from the third pal’s concerns and greatly polished final words from the input of all three. All of those things I’ve just credited separately were actually raised by all three because they’re bloody good advisors. It’s the solutions I used that I’m crediting really, all of them tempered with my own ideas. The best critiquers don’t tell you how to fix something – they just tell you what doesn’t work and maybe why (for them). It’s your job to decide whether to take that on board and it’s your job to fix it.
Read it here. I couldn’t agree more: http://www.alanbaxteronline.com/work-unofficially-collaborative/
Sounds like pretty depressing advice, but sometimes it’s worth reading:
I’ve read a few things over the last month or so which have made me realise what a tiny step towards being an author this getting published business is. First, there was this piece from author Annabel Smith about looking for an agent when you have two published novels and a third on the way. Basically, she says, it makes no difference that you’re published. Nothing has changed, it’s still the case that no one wants you; no one cares. If you haven’t sold big, you might as well have never been published. Other authors talked about how if you haven’t sold big, it might even be an impediment to have been published – all the data about your crappy sales lives on forever on BookScan, where prospective publishers can see it and decide you’re really not worth the risk.
Read on: http://janebryonyrawson.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/when-should-you-give-up/
When talking about writers and their search histories I’ve joked that there are only two types of people who search for ‘How do I dispose of my wife’s body with a woodchipper’.
Jason Cantrell talks about the realities of quite how dodgy a writer’s web search history can look, and how you might end up on totalitarian government watchlists:
And of course, in addition to researching ponies and Mesopotamian slave names, I did extensive research into decay rates of human bodies. As you can see, I spent quite a bit of time visiting multiple websites on this topic. It’s almost as if I’m planning to enslave someone and I want to know how long it’ll take the body to decay when I finish killing her. But that seems unlikely . . . maybe if we go a bit further back, there’ll be something in my search history that will shed some light on this and explain what I’ve really been up to.
I tried to do this to find out what mad story ideas are shown in my own history, but it seems an earlier version of me had proactively disabled Google’s web search history tracking for my account. Good thinking, yester-me.
Click here and check out Jason’s history, if you dare: http://writingpossibilities.com/2014/07/07/how-writers-end-up-on-nsa-watchlists/
You can submit to the Rockingham Short Story comp from July 14th to October 10th of 2014. Work from 1,000 to 4,000 words, based on the provided art piece (see link below) can be submitted in Open, Over 50s and Young Writer categories, with prize money for each.
Authors can submit up to three stories. Entered stories must be inspired by, drawn upon, or use the theme of the artwork “Underneath the Arches, Mangles Bay” by Rosemary Singleton (1988), which can be found on this webpage and on the entry form. Individual stories cannot be entered in more than one category.
Note: submissions must be in hard copy form, with no entry fee.
Read it here: http://www.rockingham.wa.gov.au/Community/Art-and-culture/Writing-and-literature