Publishing SF novels?

With the, what I can only call failure of the Harper Voyager open call from October 2012 to produce a single novel or even an announcement of future publication, I’m very reluctant to recommend any open calls by any publishers, except those who have a track record of honest dealings i.e. they don’t make promises to aspiring writers they can’t keep without exceptionally good reasons. (Needless to say, apart from being heart-breaking to writers involved, this kind of behaviour brings the whole publishing industry into disrepute.)

I know Angry Robots have published novels they hauled in from previous open calls – so they’re a good publisher to go to for open submissions when they come around.

What about a publisher who seems to be doing an open call for the first time? They have no track record. They could be good or bad. Until they have reacted (or not) we just won’t know how they deal with aspirant writers. (…and my mind flits to the horrible way HV has treated their hopeful writers – or at least those still lingering waiting to hear back.) So fingers crossed they are O.K….

Vintage are holding an open call 1st – 30th June this year. This includes science fiction novels, but writers should check out what type of science fiction they’ve already published. Details can be found here.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the publishing industry is what we call in systems engineering an industry that relies on the customer pull. This seems to be extending its hold. We now have a kickstarter-cum-publisher site – Britain’s Next Bestseller (see here for details) whereby you submit a novel. If accepted onto the site, they set the goal of how many books you need to sell in how much time. If you succeed, they will publish. Yes they do include science fiction as a genre. I don’t know how good they are or how they select novels to go on their site.

I’m not surprised by this development. It’s an extension of what’s going on elsewhere, only the measure of success is how many novels you can sell instead of the total money in donations and they provide the publishing service. It’ll be interesting to see how this experiment does.

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