Tag Archives: Apocalypse Hope

Epilogue – cover and pre-order special!

So Epilogue goes to the printer today. The book which started life as Apocalypse Hope is nearly done, and it will have been a year from the original idea through to the finished product. While this was always my planned timeline, it’s actually longer than most books I have done – perhaps sensibly so! And still quite quick, compared to how long a project can take to publish with a BIG publisher! I’m very lucky to have had excellent authors to work with, and also magnificent support from designer Amanda Rainey, and marvellous proofers, Elizabeth and Joanne. Really looking forward to this book being out in the world!

You can check out the wonderful cover art and the special pre-order price over at FableCroft!

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On slushing…

Image courtesy of whisperwolf on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

In reading for Apocalypse Hope (working title), this is the first time I’ve opened my slushpool doors internationally. It’s been an interesting experience. I’ve been flooded with submissions from all over the world (particularly the US), and what has been the most heartening part of the process is how well the Aussie subs stand up against the international ones. Don’t get me wrong, there’s been quality submissions from all over the world, but the top Australian submissions are surpassing any from overseas, which is fantastic to see.

I ended up with over 200 submissions (I’ll do a stats breakdown when I’ve finished reading, for gender, nationality, reprint vs original works etc), and with a rather manic month and a half just past (starting with two weeks of being very ill, then school holidays and my mum’s ongoing journey of discovery of illness), I’m down to the wire on the actual reading deadline I gave myself. I plan to have all first round reading done (that is, any outright rejections) by the end of this month. Two days away. Eep. And then I’ve got another stack of second round readings to do, which I don’t want to go much beyond mid-November on. That’s my plan, right at this moment, and I’m so grateful to the wonderful authors who permit me to hold on to their stories a little longer than I’d originally hoped.

I’ve been interested to see how some authors deal with their submission. I really should have had a column for “Didn’t follow guidelines” to put in the stats, because it’s been surprisingly high. Top offenders were stories outside the word count (without query), submission of reprint (without query), multiple (without query) or simultaneous submission, and completely not fitting the theme. There were also plenty of emails without any information in the body of the email (not even a “Dear Editor, please find my submission attached”). Weirdest “Didn’t follow the guidelines” was a snail mail submission from the UK (what the WHAT?!). Typewritten. I kid you not.

Image courtesy of irina slutsky on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons

And it’s also been interesting to have more than one author take rejection very badly. Newbie writers, please take note – being aggressive with the person who publishes the work is a really bad idea. I’m an editor and publisher and sure, I don’t put out a whole lot of anthologies. Right now. At this point in my career. But my goal is to go on to bigger things. And I happen to have lots of friends who are editors and publishers. And we talk. About writers. And unprofessionalism in a writer is something we are interested in talking about, because if you can’t handle the rejection of your precious story (and yes, they are all precious, we understand), the chances are you won’t deal very well with the editorial process. Or, should you make it through that, with negative reviews (the very BEST of stories gets them – live with it).

Read a few pro writer blogs. Read about the rejections slips almost EVERY pro writer gathered when starting out (and may still gather, if they are the most wonderful type of writer who continues to take risks, who writes without contract, who submits on spec, even though they probably don’t HAVE to any more!), and consider their graciousness with this process. Rejection hurts. We all KNOW this. But you have to learn to deal with it if you really want to write.

The thing is too, you sometimes have no idea why you’ve been rejected (such as when the editor is very busy and doesn’t have time to give you more than a standard rejection). It could be that your story was actually pretty good, but just a bit too similar to another story already accepted. Or that the story just didn’t quite fit the interpretation of the theme in the editor’s head. Or any number of reasons (including, yes, that it was just plain bad). And if you behave badly in reaction to the rejection you receive, guess what? You just got crossed off that editor’s list of people she wants to work with in the future. To be honest, the best response is no response; trust me, there’s no point in arguing, and if feedback has not been freely offered, don’t ask for it. There are plenty of online and face-to-face crit groups who will give that to you.

I need to say though, almost all the writers I deal with are fantastic. They are wonderful to edit, respond promptly to email, and handle rejections gracefully. And they are the reason I continue to do this job – the good guys outnumber the bad, thankfully!

Right, so now I’ve got that off my chest, excuse me while I dive back into the slushpool, to fish out some more gems.

If you enjoyed this rant post, you might also be interested in the (more reasoned) post Alisa Krasnostein at Twelfth Planet Press made recently on the same topic.

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You can tell I’m back at work

I’m in that funny stage where I’m spending LOADS of time on the computer because I just don’t feel like doing anything else. Managed to get all the washing done today (although disappointingly, not folded and put away – where are my laundry fairies!), but bugger all else. To be fair, Bub was at perhaps his least co-operative, refusing to sleep and having random screaming sessions. When I tried to take him for a walk though he refused to go further than the corner, and while we played soccer for a bit, he got bored with that too. Clearly still a bit unwell (most obvious by his lack of appetite!). Big kids aren’t much better. Miss Five has a hacking cough and Master Eight’s throat is still very sore (a fact he tried to hide from me by not complaining at all, because he hates the medicine so much!). And now of course I’ve got a snuffly nose and the sneezes. Hopefully a good night’s sleep will put a cork in it. Although with the wild weather we’re having right at this moment, it might be a bit noisy to sleep! I woke at 5am because the rain was so loud, and after a showery, blustery day, it’s back in force again.

Holidays finished as well – Monday was a pupil free day, which I spent half of implementing PD for staff. Didn’t do much good – four of us spent three hours yesterday going through the records (for the survey we PDed) and it was shockingly badly done. Disappointing for educated people to do so badly at a fairly straightforward thing. Also had a mass of books to process that arrived over the break, but my other half at work managed to magic most of them away on Tuesday, so the desk was clear yesterday. Nice!

Other than that, I’ve been doing a lot of work for the Aurealis Awards, as the process starts up again for the year. A few bugs to iron out and all that, but the entries are rolling in already, which is fabulous.

And there’s been a bit of slushing for Apocalypse Hope in there. Am very impressed with the number of submissions so far. Still two months to go!

I’ve also been reading a few books that are not Children’s or YA, which has been sort of nice. A bit disappointed in some, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles I guess. Alex and I finished the Vorkosigan Saga (still a couple of posts to write, but the reading is done!) and just about anything is disappointing off the back of Bujold! Have been trying to read some review books interspersed with “for fun” books in my little gap between CBCA boxes (new one early next week, so only a couple of days’ grace left), because my TBR shelves are a bit ridiculous. And the Book Depository is STILL getting my money, which means more books coming darn it!

Another day at work tomorrow, hopefully a little grown up conversation Saturday (pending the state of everyone’s health) and home open Sunday. Bring it on.

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