Angry Robot (The Waiting Club.. fingers crossed)

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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MurderOfCrows

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I -- am never going to be ready in time, but MAN, that's awesome. I hope it works out -- and that it might happen again.
 

HisBoyElroy

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This is fascinating. Apparently, SF/F houses are not getting what they're looking for from agents, do you suppose? Seems the only publishing houses open to unsolicited mss are SF/F. What gives?
 

waylander

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I think the SF/F editors have always been closer to the writer/fan community than most other genres. Many UK editors are regulars at UK conventions
 

Miriel

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TOR, PYR, DAW, and ROC all accept unsolicitated mss last time I checked...that seems like a pretty nice handful of markets. Most of the SFF markets.
 

Filigree

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Yes, but the caveat for unagented submissions is that a writer can wait longer than a year for any response from these publishers. And you cannot submit multiples at the same time. So if there are only nine or ten really great large and small-press genre publishers, a writer following the unagented route can be ten years at it.

Most won't. Good work gets found quickly. Bad work gets shelved, and the writer either vanishes quietly or writes something better.

How is Angry Robot, anyway? I've been considering Pyr, but AR may be a better match for one of my finished mms.

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ZMShah

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Yes, but the caveat for unagented submissions is that a writer can wait longer than a year for any response from these publishers. And you cannot submit multiples at the same time. So if there are only nine or ten really great large and small-press genre publishers, a writer following the unagented route can be ten years at it.

Most won't. Good work gets found quickly. Bad work gets shelved, and the writer either vanishes quietly or writes something better.

How is Angry Robot, anyway? I've been considering Pyr, but AR may be a better match for one of my finished mms.

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No simultaneous submissions? You sure? I would think if they ask you to wait 6 months to a year, they should allow simultaneous submissions. I understand that agents don't allow it once they ask for your manuscript, which makes perfect sense. But publishers too?
 

joeyc

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Here's a question:

Can I submit my completed book to these guys in March while continuing the agent hunt for it, or once it's with them, am I pretty much stuck for six+ months?
 

Anne Lyle

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Yes, but the caveat for unagented submissions is that a writer can wait longer than a year for any response from these publishers. And you cannot submit multiples at the same time.

I don't know how long AR will take to respond, since this is the first time they have done this, but I would expect less than 6 months. Admittedly I met them in person and was asked to submit, but it took less than a month before I heard back.

Re multiple submissions, not full ms, maybe, but AR only want a partial. That's standard for UK agents and publishers, many of whom have not yet adopted the "query letter" model that's common in the US. Multiple partials are generally OK, AFAIK.

Here's a question:

Can I submit my completed book to these guys in March while continuing the agent hunt for it, or once it's with them, am I pretty much stuck for six+ months?

You can absolutely look for an agent whilst your ms is with AR. I queried an agent after AR asked for my full, and unsurprisingly said agent got back to me straight away - nothing an agent likes more than hearing that someone is seriously considering your book!

Remember, they're only one small publisher, so you haven't exactly burned your bridges if they don't bite - there are plenty of editors left for your agent to submit to. Also, at least one of AR's existing clients, Aliette de Bodard, got her agent and her book deal at around the same time, so they will be used to this way of working.
 
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Anne Lyle

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How is Angry Robot, anyway?

I'm not sure I understand the question. Marc and Lee have both been a bit poorly this winter, what with all the flu going round, but the company seems to be doing well, with plenty of books lined up through to 2012.

They have a website and they're both on Twitter - look them up :)
 

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I was more interested in reviews of them as publishers: how they're marketing, what's their distribution level, how do they handle royalties, how do they treat their writers, etc.

They have good reputations, as far as I can tell.

RE UK vs. US publishers, I'm glad to hear they're still accepting multiples on partial submissions. For US genre publishers, they generally want to see the
whole thing in the slush pile, they want an exclusive on it, and then it sits there.

I once had a mms at DAW for 22 months. Of course they didn't take it. I should have burned the thing the moment I finished it. But the rejection letter startled me, because I'd nearly forgotten I'd sent them anything.

For my current project, I will not submit directly to publishers until I've gone through my entire list of genre agents. And even then, I'll probably accept the critique and focus on other mss.

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hillaryjacques

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Here's a question:

Can I submit my completed book to these guys in March while continuing the agent hunt for it, or once it's with them, am I pretty much stuck for six+ months?

You can continue to query, but pay special attention to agent guidelines. A few ask you to divulge in your query if you've submitted to publishers.
 

Anne Lyle

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I was more interested in reviews of them as publishers: how they're marketing, what's their distribution level, how do they handle royalties, how do they treat their writers, etc.

Over here, they have a distribution and marketing partnership with Osprey (a small but well-established non-fiction house) which seems to be getting their books into the book chains; in the US they do something similar through Random House. Ebook versions are available from their website and on Amazon Kindle.

They also arrange book signings (generally only in the author's home country), have their own podcast hosted by Mur Lafferty, blog and tweet regularly and encourage their authors to do the same. All in all I think their marketing is at least as good as any big house's SF imprint.

I have no idea about royalties, but I imagine they are industry-standard. I do know that when it comes to translation rights, if you don't have an agent or your agent doesn't handle non-English rights, Marc will act as your agent in this respect (which is why he attends the Frankfurt Book Fair). He's been in publishing a long time, and no doubt has lots of European contacts from his days with Games Workshop.

I only know one of their writers, Mike Shevdon, but he seems pretty happy with them. My dealings with them so far have been very friendly, and that seems to be typical of their management style. Sure they're in the business of making money, but they also seem to want to make the process as much fun as possible!

I recommend listening to the first Angry Robot podcast, which is an interview with Marc and Lee, otherwise you could be in for a culture shock :)

RE UK vs. US publishers, I'm glad to hear they're still accepting multiples on partial submissions. For US genre publishers, they generally want to see the
whole thing in the slush pile, they want an exclusive on it, and then it sits there.

Well, so few publishers are open to unagented submissions, I haven't looked into it, TBH. If you can find another UK publisher with an open slushpile, I would check their submission guidelines.

Make sure you check Angry Robot's, too. They are very specific about the sort of material they're interested in.
 
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Kate Thornton

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Slightly off-topic, but I love MIKE SHEVDON'S work - he's with Angry Robot.

SIXTY-ONE NAILS and THE ROAD TO BEDLAM kept me reading way past my bedtime - fantastic stories, and I can't wait for the third book, which I understand is in negotiations now at Angry Robot.

Can't recommend these books enough.

,,
 

Anne Lyle

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Looks like I need to get me a blog pretty quick.

Yup! I would recommend wordpress.com for a free account with good features - and if you can get your writing name as your username, that would be a smart move. A domain name is even better, though if your name is common, it could be tricky. Luckily mine is rare - I registered it as a domain about three or four years ago, and now my website is the top hit on Google for my name.

ETA - as the robot says, regular posting is essential. I've made it my goal this year to post every Wednesday without fail! Luckily Wordpress allows you to write posts in advance and schedule them for publication on a given date and time, so you can build in a safety net. (I also post on the first Saturday of every month, as I'm doing a monthly book giveaway this year - how-to-write books and fiction, to clear my shelves a little!)

I love Twitter - it's so much less hassle than Facebook, and I follow some really good people who tweet links to useful information on writing, publishing, etc. Obviously I follow the guys from AR (that's how I came across that Q&A) - having Marc follow me back was a little unnerving at first, but now he's retweeting some of my blog announcements, which is way cool!
 
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LunaFancy

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A blog?

Before you have a book to flog? Really? I'd always assumed you left that sort of thing until you were trying to market your novel.

*sigh*

I can barely be bothered with FB and have never been near Twitter. Total lack of interest, and now I need a web presence for them to be interested?

What does one blog about when one is unpublished anyway?
 

Anne Lyle

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A blog?

Before you have a book to flog? Really? I'd always assumed you left that sort of thing until you were trying to market your novel.

The idea is to get some practice with social media and engage with your peers, so you don't come across as only interested in doing it in order to sell books. SF&F is a tight-knit community that's very active online - you can ignore that if you like, but it's not in your best career interests to do so.

*sigh*

I can barely be bothered with FB and have never been near Twitter. Total lack of interest, and now I need a web presence for them to be interested?

Welcome to the reality of 21st-century publishing :)

What does one blog about when one is unpublished anyway?

Some writers (published and unpublished) blog about writing, but personally I think that's preaching to the choir. I do have an old blog where I chart my progress on my latest book, but that's really only of interest to my writing buddies!

In my main blog I write about things that interest me that I think would be of interest to my future readers: reviews of other alternate history novels (esp. fantasy ones) and favourite movies (historical, swashbucklers, Shakespeare adaptations); conventions I've been to, research trips for my book, and just general thoughts/opinions on fantasy fiction. I'm not getting a great deal of traffic at the moment, but I've only been doing this weekly posting since the beginning of the year.

I admit it takes discipline to do this on a regular schedule, but that's what being a pro is all about.
 
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