I’m baack! (And a few thoughts on the Harper Voyager open submission)

And happily homeless.  For some reason, I never did believe my house was going to sell and kind of still don’t believe it did.  But I gave someone the keys and they gave me a check, so I guess it did.

Tomorrow I’m leaving for a few days of hiking.  (Let’s hope I survive that since it’s already snowing here and the national park I’m going to has narrow and icy hiking trails over a very steep drop…)  Anyone have a base rig I can borrow just in case?  (I kid, I kid.  Although a base jumper friend did recommend the place to me.)

So.  What to write about today?  Two days off and I have so many IDEAS.

But I figured I better write about the Harper Voyager deal since we’re already halfway through the submission period.

First, here’s the link for anyone who has a SFF novel ready to go and wants to submit it:

http://harpervoyagerbooks.com/harper-voyager-guidelines-for-digital-submission/

I think on many levels it could be a tremendous opportunity.

If you’ve already self-published but would like more exposure, they’re taking novels that have already been self-pubbed, so anyone who thinks they’ve written a great novel that just hasn’t taken off for lack of exposure, should at least consider it.

From what I can tell (and it’s no more than what’s on that page), they’re going to select twelve novels, release one a month, and do so in basically all major English-speaking markets at once.

Everyone has their opinions as to how much they’re going to back this thing, but I’m pretty sure they’ll back it hard.  I would if I were them.  All I’d need is one author to take off strong and the next year when I did this, I’d get even higher quality manuscripts.  So, if you can, submit this year while all the cynics are sitting on the side sending in their trunked works that no one else wanted.

(And, yes, that’s a little snide, but also based upon comments people were making on the forums.)  (It’s like the first year of The Apprentice TV show.  I almost applied for that and I think that first year it would’ve been a good thing to do, but not after it actually took off.)

They aren’t going to pay advances, which is unfortunate, but given the likely promotion of these works, I think if you have already gone the self-pubbed route (which is really a net outflow) or were going to, it’s worth considering.  And, yes, you get more money per novel self-pubbing, but you also get more headache.  And quantity of sales count.

Figure if you can sell 1,000 books on your own at $2 with a 70% cut.  That’s $1,400.  Now, figure they can help you sell 10,000 books at $5 with a 25% cut.  That’s $12,500.  Not to mention having a strong credit from a recognized publishing house and potentially an audience for any other works you have out there.

Seems worth the shot to me.

Having said all that, I will not be submitting after all.  I want to go the traditional agented route and I am just now starting down that path.  And the last thing I want to do is to handicap my agent.  The HV thing wants you to submit to them exclusively for three months.  Well, what if (and I’m being very optimistic here) I get an agent before that three months is up?  And what if they want to start subbing the novel?  I’ve effectively put them in a bind if my novel is sitting with HV.

Not to mention that my agent may be able to negotiate a print and e-book deal and if my novel is good enough to get selected by HV then I’ve just put them in an awkward position: Recommend I don’t sign that contract because they could maybe get me something better or get stuck with a fairly inflexible offer.

So, because I want to go with an agent and it’s really my agent’s responsibility to figure out the where, what, and how much of a deal, I’m not submitting.  But I hope some of you (Keri) consider it.  And if you do, I’m rooting for you.

As my grandma likes to say, “Well, I’m sure you’ll succeed.”  (I like to respond, “I’m glad you’re sure.  I hope I will, but you never know.”  Sometimes I still act like I’m fifteen…)

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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