melmurphy's picture
melmurphy from Spokane is reading "Julian" by Gore Vidal April 6, 2014 - 6:46pm

Can anybody recommend any?

I know someone in these forums recommends Grey Wolf, which I looked into but they are closed to submissions. Ditto Unmanned Press and Booktrope.

There must be a ton of indie publishers, right???

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 6, 2014 - 7:09pm
drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines April 7, 2014 - 9:17am

My personal favorites are Future Tense Books and Hawthorne Books. 

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies April 7, 2014 - 8:52pm

depends on what you're looking to publish—literary, horror, f/sf, what? since you said Graywolf, then i assume you mean literary. so i'll toss out Dzanc, Soho Press, Sarabande, Tiny Hardcore Press, McSweeney's, Tin House, ChiZine (leans horror), Perfect Edge Books, Akashic (leans crime), Coffee House Press, Black Balloon Publishing, A Strange Object, Medallion, Black Lawrence Press, Lazy Facist, Artistically Declined Press, and Two Dollar Radio. also, FTB and Hawthorne are great, too, as Drea said.

hope that helps.

one way to do research besides lists is to look at the books you've read, or the authors you love, and see where they're publishing.

melmurphy's picture
melmurphy from Spokane is reading "Julian" by Gore Vidal April 12, 2014 - 8:41am

Thanks. Yes Richard, I'm aware of what genre I'm writing in. Yes, I've looked at many, many of the publishers of books I've liked/read. A lot of them are smaller imprints from the big five publishers that have gone under since the Recession.

I know people that have been published by Tin House. They were without exception, MFA holders and they all had participated in at least one Tin House summer program. I have an indie publisher friend in Portland who knows several of the Tin House directors by name and they've consistently rejected anything and everything he's ever sent them for years.

MattF's picture
MattF from Tokyo is reading Borges' Collected Fictions April 12, 2014 - 9:41am

I don't think Richard was asking if you knew what genre you're writing in, I think he was asking you to share so he could better narrow down options for you.

Pretty bizarre follow-up post.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books April 13, 2014 - 12:06am

I'm pretty sure Matt's right. There really ARE a ton of small presses, so if you want information you can actually use, us knowing what you're writing would help. The more info the better, really. For instance, reading that list Richard gave you, I can spot places I would send my work and other places I know my work  wouldn't fit, even though they all technically take similar genres. I would add that some of my favorite books have come from Perfect Edge and Hawthorne.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated April 13, 2014 - 9:25pm

one way to do research besides lists is to look at the books you've read, or the authors you love, and see where they're publishing.

I've looked at many, many of the publishers of books I've liked/read.

I've wandered if it might be more productive to look more for places that publish work others perceive as being similar to your work, or at least you think is similar.  I'm no expert, but it seems authors often go after publishers who publish things they love that are very different from the work they put out.

Jordan Blum's picture
Jordan Blum from Philadelphia, PA is reading various novels (for review) and journal submissions April 14, 2014 - 4:07pm

I'm a fan of Wragsink. Really great group of people.

melmurphy's picture
melmurphy from Spokane is reading "Julian" by Gore Vidal April 14, 2014 - 7:42pm

Thanks I shall add Wrags ink to my list of publishers to look up. :))

I write mainstream-ish literature with a sprinkling of speculative fiction.

Think: Margaret Atwood (assuming you've read her stuff). Or Richard Matheson. Or N. Lee Wood's stuff (Looking for the Mahdi, Faraday's Orphans, Master of None).

I have a short story up on a site right now: http://www.subtopian.com/?p=65915

I'm shopping a 9-story anthology around right now. It is 6 "mainstream" stories dealing mostly with issues of sexism, racism, etc. and 3 "speculative" fiction stories dealing with a dystopian near-future (see above), some space aliens and a psychic phenomenon facility in the vein of "Altered States."

I know the anthology incorporates two separate loosely defined genres but I'm reluctant to break it up as I think the stories work together. The spec fiction stuff breaks up some of the heavier mainstream stuff.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books April 14, 2014 - 9:16pm

Hmm. Collections can be tough. Are there short story collections you've read recently that you really enjoyed? Its hard to know who will take collections and who won't.

 

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies April 15, 2014 - 12:06pm

collections are a very hard sale, especially mixed genres, unless they all have something in common (all have a bit of the surreal, all are about wolves, all are on an island, etc.) i'd aim for smaller presses, but i feel like the lit presses would pass on the speculative and the genre places would flinch at the lit, maybe. tough call. trying to think of small presses that like both. maybe ChiZine? Cemetery Dance? Also try Mixer, Eraserhead, Two Dollar Radio, Civil Coping Mechanisms, Barrelhouse, Dzanc, Crystal Lake, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, etc.

Jake Leroy's picture
Jake Leroy from Kansas City is reading Jesus' Son, by Denis Johnson, and Hot Water Music, by Charles Bukowski April 15, 2014 - 1:13pm

Mel,

It sounds like these stories might be the favorites you've accumulated, and that's great, but they don't fit into one singular category, and that's tough. By the way, you've mentioned an anthology twice. An anthology is by multiple authors, by one author it's a collection. It sounds like your collection crosses into perhaps three genres. I'd echo that those are difficult to sell (it's what I write too), but next to impossible if they cross genres. Everything seems to be narrow focused these days. You lose nothing by trying, it only costs you time to submit, but if you strike out with publishers, why not publish yourself on CreateSpace and KDP? You might sell a few, could build a following, and have something tangible to shop around/use as an example of your work. Alternatively, go back to the publications that first published a story of yours. Sometimes they publish books on the side or might want to start. You might be able to network your way into a contract.

melmurphy's picture
melmurphy from Spokane is reading "Julian" by Gore Vidal April 15, 2014 - 6:28pm

Richard: thanks for the additional press names, I'll add them to my list.

Jake: Interesting about anthology vs collection. Thanks for input. I was always told "chapbook" is poetry and anthology is short stories. Didn't realize it applied only to multiple-writers.

And yes, I'm looking into self-publishing (print and e-book). I just met with a former writing instructor last night who mentioned "Elder Road Books".

As for CreateSpace, I'm actually trying to get a freelance editing gig with them right now.

I'm just really, really suspicious of e-publishing on Amazon.

Anybody had any success with Amazon e-publishing? Horror stories? Comments?

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore April 16, 2014 - 9:05am

Three books through CreateSpace, in both print and Kindle. Can't claim "success" from any sales perspective, but the interactions with the company have been easy and painless across the board for me. Then again, I know what I'm doing technically when it comes to the layout and design and whatnot, and I think that's where some folks struggle in the DIY realm.

Jay.SJ's picture
Jay.SJ from London is reading Warmed and Bound April 16, 2014 - 3:13pm

queens ferry press are a publisjer that only do collections

 

 

melmurphy's picture
melmurphy from Spokane is reading "Julian" by Gore Vidal April 16, 2014 - 7:48pm

BTW, I submitted my short story collection via snail mail last week to Soft Skull Press. I had visited their site a bunch of times and on their submission page they said 'we no longer accept electronic submissions' ... but then they listed a snail mail address and basic instructions, including the standard 'allow 3 to 6 months for a response'. Sooo, I laboriously printed out my 195-page manuscript, and shelled out for a mailer and postage.  (Included standard 1 1/2 page synopsis/cover letter, D/S, S/S, 12 point font, etc., etc., etc.)

 

They sent me an email response FIVE DAYS later, as in probably the minute it landed in their mailbox. In the email, they said they were unable to get to my manuscript (or anybody else's?) due to the volume they had received.

 

So I complained to Duotrope about it. Basically said, 'if Soft Skull isn't accepting any submissions right now, why not just say that on the website and save everybody money and time???'

 

Jake Leroy's picture
Jake Leroy from Kansas City is reading Jesus' Son, by Denis Johnson, and Hot Water Music, by Charles Bukowski April 16, 2014 - 10:23pm

Mel, your experience with Soft Skull had to be frustrating. I just published a book using CreateSpace for print and Kindle, and I must say it was pretty easy. I know other writers who have used it successfully. A friend of mine has written fourteen books, used to have a publisher and an agent, and now exclusively publishes on CreateSpace. My favorite writer, the legendary Harlan Ellison, who has won every sci-fi award imaginable, has more books in print than I can count, has switched to CreateSpace for his new work. That says something. I would love to hear what your concerns are. Like everything, it has its good points and bad, but on balance, it is fast becoming the way of things.

melmurphy's picture
melmurphy from Spokane is reading "Julian" by Gore Vidal April 17, 2014 - 5:08pm

Thanks Jake. Wow, had no idea Ellison was a) writing new stuff and b) it was on CreateSpace.

Jake Leroy's picture
Jake Leroy from Kansas City is reading Jesus' Son, by Denis Johnson, and Hot Water Music, by Charles Bukowski April 17, 2014 - 6:22pm

Ellison has always been brilliant and visionary, and not just as a writer. He currently has small publishing houses doing reprints of his earlier works and has created his own imprint, Edgeworks Abbey, for his CreateSpace generated new properties. Anyone can create their own virtual imprint on CreateSpace for free, it's essentially just a name you use that doesn't infringe on anybody else's. Ellison has started back up again after becoming deeply depressed and announcing he wouldn't write anymore. He was able to find medication that has helped him immensely. He'll turn 80 in May.

Technology is making all kinds of new approaches to publishing possible. CreateSpace already licenses files to EDC partners rather than printing themselves. The growth of technology like Espresso Book Machine will eventually lead to POD kiosks available everywhere.

Good luck to you in finding someone to help publish and distribute your work.

Jordan Blum's picture
Jordan Blum from Philadelphia, PA is reading various novels (for review) and journal submissions April 18, 2014 - 9:39am

Booo Soft Skull Press! That's awful.

melmurphy's picture
melmurphy from Spokane is reading "Julian" by Gore Vidal April 18, 2014 - 7:36pm

Jordan, I'm not mad at Soft Skull per se. I was just annoyed. If they're swamped with submissions and unable to accept any new ones at this time, that's totally fine. Just don't waste my time or anybody else's by not saying that on your website.

http://softskull.com/submission-guidelines/

 

Booktrope isn't accepting anymore and neither is Unmanned Press. They both say so right on their websites.

Jordan Blum's picture
Jordan Blum from Philadelphia, PA is reading various novels (for review) and journal submissions April 23, 2014 - 11:23am

Valid point.