Occupational Rumbles

Posted Wed, 01/28/09

I obtain a copy of the revised Writer's Market every year, which provides listings of various publishers in all sorts of formats and genres. Each listing offers contact information, web site and e-mail addresses, submission guidelines and more. The book is a great tool, and each year brings a slew of new publishers – perhaps not new to the business, but fresh to the Writer's Market. The guide contains 1,170 pages and includes listings for literary agents, book publishers, small presses, consumer magazines, trade journals, newspapers, screenwriting, playwriting and greeting cards, along with information about writing contests and awards.

I always concentrate on the book publishers/fiction listings, of course. I spent yesterday doing little else. Near the end of the day I was quite tired of the process because each publisher has slightly different requirements. Some want an e-mail queries only, some want a sample of the first three chapters of the book, others want fifty pages, some want just a synopsis, or a combination of chapter samples and a synopsis, and others refuse e-mail communication altogether and only accept submissions via snail-mail.

At the moment my focus is on submitting Celtic Remnants, which is complete and has been edited through my second publishing contract with Tyborne Hill (which was later dissolved because Tyborne closed). I submit the book here and there in a great burst of numerous e-mail queries, chapter samples and the odd snail-mail submissions. Then I let it rest for a few weeks as I slip back into working on Collective Obsessions.

Near the end of 2008, the owner of Tyborne Hill Publishers contacted me with the news he was closing the publishing arm of his company for a variety of personal reasons. This translates into the availability of Passion Forsaken as both the publisher and I have been released from all legal obligations to each other over the title. One thing I need to mention is the generosity of Tyborne's owner and editor, Raphael Serebreny. Rafe and I are still good friends and very comfortable with one another. I learned such a great deal from him during the five years Passion Forsaken was part of Tyborne's catalogue, lessons that I will carry with me the rest of my life. The value of his advice will never be forgotten and I still hope to work with him in the near future.

It finally occurred to me that I can now resubmit Passion Forsaken as I am no longer legally bound by any contracts. I'm not sure why it didn't dawn on me before now, my only excuse being I was fully concentrated on my current writing and involved in the effort of submitting Celtic Remnants exclusively. As much attention and detail is required to submit written work, now I have two complete and vastly different books to bandy about. This means double the effort, but since it is the fruition of my own blood and tears I don't mind the long hours and the seemingly endless round of submissions.

One sticking point is that I'm incorporating Passion Forsaken into its sequel (s) Collective Obsessions, but since that work is not yet complete I see no reason to hold the "intro" to the story while I finish the rest. Actually, because of the length of Collective Obsessions, the story should be split into different books anyway. Personally, I favor long reads in one go. Some of my favorite authors have written large books that cover many fictional years (Leon Uris, Barbara Taylor Bradford, James Clavell, Ken Follett, Elizabeth Byrd), but that's my preference. As Collective Obsessions far outreached the standard book-length many months ago, I am rethinking the presentation of it. While I may favor long reads, I understand not everyone else does.

That and the rest of the above are currently filling my working week, and I am sure it will overlap into next week and the one after that.

Irish Eyes: Writing

Tags: Celtic Remnants; Collective Obsessions; Writing