Wednesday, September 5, 2018

#TheIWSG September and the Publishing Path

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Creator of IWSG: Alex J. Cavanaugh aka The Captain

Optional Question:  What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

Publishing Path - Indie Publishing and Small Press Publishing

So far, I've taken the Indie and Small Press publishing path. When I looked around at publishing houses, agents, and other places to send my work between 2010 and 2013, I couldn't seem to find any who took Christian Fantasy and Christian Scifi. Since I had a Christian Fantasy novel for YA, I grew desperately concerned. 

I couldn't seem to find anyone who published Christian Fantasy or who agented Christian Fantasy unless the authors already had several books of non-Fantasy writing under their belt, or several books of secular Fantasy under their belt. I remember seeing several websites saying they would only look at Christian Fantasy by established authors. What? I didn't want to write Christian Amish Romance (the Christian bookstore shelves teemed with those books at the time) in the hopes of writing Christian Fantasy someday. 

So, I started researching Indie Publishing aka Self-Publishing. I spent two years combing the web for information, checking sources, finding books at the library, and then, with what I thought was great preparation, I self-published and set up a book blog tour and a book signing. The first month felt like a great success! The second month kind of bombed. I didn't know how to sustain sales. I didn't know how to market. I had troubles with my product (I have a post about that), and I floundered, but I kept on writing and working.

Several Indie-Published books later, I still can't say I have great financial success, but I do have awesome readers. And, four years ago, a small press who I knew through an Indie film project  asked me to turn an episode from one of their other projects into a novella. We had good communication at the start of the project, but it fizzled when the book was published. I didn't even know the book was out. (It still is, but I rarely advertise it.) 

However, I know that there are many small press publishers out there and some are excellent communicators. Dancing Lemur Press publishes the IWSG anthologies and since I had a story published in the 2016 IWSG anthology Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life, I've had the opportunity to discover that every communication with Dancing Lemur Press is professional, timely, and helpful. 

In the future, I hope to query agents, send work to small presses, and continue Indie publishing. I don't think there's a need to write myself into just one kind of publishing box.

And, by the way, I have found one small press which does specialize in Christian Fantasy and Science Fiction: Enclave Publishing. Do you know of any others?


The next anthology contest is open!!! 
Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Young Adult Romance

A Masquerade can be a false show or pretense, someone pretending to be someone they aren't. It can be a ball, a fancy dress party, it can be a mask. Open to interpretation.

Submissions accepted: September 5 - November 4, 2018

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges who will be announced September 5.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

Tyrean's News

I'm going to Poland to watch my daughter race her kayak! 

Ashes Burn, Seasons 1-7 (the whole, experimental, micro-fiction series) is available for pre-order via Smashwords.

What publishing path are you on? 


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Why would a publisher of Christian fantasy want you to have already published non-Christian fantasy first? That makes no sense.
We don't do this to get rich, we do it to share our work with others. If you have happy readers, then you are rich indeed.

Patricia Lynne said...

Your troubles with finding a publisher sounds like a catch-22. They want new authors, but only if they're established? That's going to be hard to find.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - I know. It was just weird. They really just wanted to have an experienced author and I got the sense that they really didn't want fantasy. I was looking in the wrong places, I guess.

Patricia - I know. It's like any career path: need workers, but they must have five years of experience. Hmm.

krystal jane said...

Have fun in Poland!! I love how supportive you are of your daughters. I also love that masquerade theme for the anthology! I have a thing for masks. ^_^ I think it's great that we have so many publishing options these days. It gives people the chance to find a path or combination of paths that work for them.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Krystal - thanks! I agree that it's wonderful that we have so many publishing options! You should definitely send a story in for that anthology!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Tyrean, sometimes I think finding a publisher is more difficult than writing a book :(

Elizabeth Seckman said...

As a writer, I think we should take any and all paths available to us. It is about the awesome readers, not their money.

Cherie Reich said...

You were probably better off self-publishing your Christian Fantasy than trying to jump through those publishers' hoops.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you, I'm glad your experience with DLP has been good. I certainly would've been interested in your Christian fantasy. We've published Christian fiction including a sci-fi book.

Lee Lowery said...

I think it is awesome that you have cornered the Christian sci/fi and fantasy niche! It's too bad the publishers of Christian fiction can't see what a boon this could be for them. Good for you to plow ahead anyway. There might be an opportunity to revive/re-market with new releases.

Christine Rains said...

Happy readers are the best reward. :) It's tough when you have a niche book, but that's what's fantastic about self-publishing. It opens up possibilities for many of us.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Every time I'm reminded that Christian Amish Romance is a popular genre I'm taken aback. I mean, I understand why, but I'm still surprised every time.

I hear that about having initial success and then everything quickly drying up. My problem was that (the first version of) my first book was terrible, so the friends and family who picked it up were burned and never came back. :-*(

Sarah Foster said...

Those publishers seem to make things very complicated. Glad you were able to find your readers!

Nick Wilford said...

It's good to explore different paths to see where it leads us. The field is wide open. I agree that loyal readers are the best reward to have so it's great you've achieved that!

Natalie Aguirre said...

It's hard not to have publishers who publish what you write. It's great that you've continued to write and explored a variety of publishing options.

Gwen Gardner said...

Self publishing and small publishers have the most flexibility and things are always changing too. Sounds like you have a great handle on everything.

How exciting that you get to go to Poland to see your daughter race. Have fun!

Chemist Ken said...

Sounds like you have your publishing strategy well thought out. I'm sure you'll figure out exactly what you need to keep you a happy writer. And whatever you do, keep writing!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Tyrean,

Boy, you had a tough road. I KNOW the feeling. Seems like you have a good hold on it now. Your perseverance is the key. That is what I hear... KEEP AT IT!

Interesting genre. I was going to suggest DLP... but I see L. Diane has already mentioned it. ALL the best in your endeavors and enjoy Portland!

The Cynical Sailor said...

I'm really surprised that there aren't more small pressed for Christian fantasy. I would have thought that there would be a big market for that. Have a fabulous time in Poland :)

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Loved hearing more about your writing journey and process. Even though I'm pubbed traditionally, because they're smaller presses I needed to do lots of marketing on my own. I definitely could have done better. It's really hard to know what to do and how much money to invest in what.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - it's great to read more about your path - but going to Poland to watch your daughter row ... will be awesome ... lots of ideas from there. Good luck with the publication path ... it's keep trying isn't it - all the best - cheers Hilary

Cathrina Constantine said...

Can I snuggle into your suitcase to go to Poland??? Wishing your daughter loads of strength and Luck.

I did find this site of publishers who handle Christian works, but I didn't read through it. You might have already looked through these:

Loni Townsend said...

Sorry to hear there aren't many options for your choice of genre. I'm thankful for places like Dancing Lemur Press, though. They give authors hope!

Toi Thomas said...

I too can relate to the "Christian" publishing struggle. I still haven't found a pub house that will touch paranormal with a Christian world-view.
I think it's wise not to paint yourself into a corner. Pursue indie and trad publishing, if it suits you.