On the Prowl–Open Call for Submissions!

Open call for submissions—Samhain Publishing cat shifter anthology for Spring 2008

I’m excited to announce an open call for submissions for a new anthology I’m putting together for Spring 2008, a cat shifter anthology tentatively titled On the Prowl, which will consist of three to four novellas to be released individually as ebooks in the Spring 2008 and combined into one print title for Winter 2008 release.

I am open to any genre and heat level, but the story must feature a cat shifter theme as integral to the story. Submissions should be 20,000 to 30,000 words in length.

Submissions are open to all authors previously published with Samhain and authors aspiring to publish with Samhain. Submissions must be new material, previously published material will not be considered.

To submit, please include:

*For those authors currently contracted with Samhain: The first three chapters of your submissions, with a comprehensive 2-3 page synopsis. If you wish to submit the full manuscript, you are welcome to do so—full manuscripts are much easier to judge than partials, and I will admit to preferring the full manuscript.

*For authors not previously contracted with Samhain: The full manuscript (of 20,000 to 30,000 words) with a comprehensive 2-3 page synopsis. Please include a letter of introduction/query letter since we’ll be new to one another!

Submissions are open until August 1st and final decision will be made by August 19th. As with all Samhain special projects, only one editor is involved so all submissions should be sent to me at angie AT samhainpublishing.com Please put On the Prowl Anthology Submission in the subject line.

I will send a message confirming receipt of your submission within 72 hours, so if you don’t receive a confirmation message, please email to confirm receipt.

I’m happy to answer questions about this anthology either on the Samhain Author loop, Samhain Café, Romance Divas forum or by private email and am excited to see some great submissions!

*permission to forward granted*

Teaching Tuesday: Professional Editing Services

I was invited by author Judi McCoy to speak to her workshop of aspiring authors on the Wednesday of RT. Also on the panel were editor Kate Duffy of Kensington Publishing and agent Scott Eagan of Greyhaus. Kate Duffy fielded quite a few of the questions directed toward editing (dude, she’s been editing almost as long as I’ve been alive, she knows her shit.) But one of the questions I ended up answering.

Do you require submissions to be professionally edited?

My answer: No.

One thing I’ve learned about editing is that it’s subjective. You’re going to have critique partners, beta readers and yes, editors, who have different opinions on the different aspects of your manuscript. No two editors edit exactly alike, we all have an eye for different things, have different pet peeves (I really hate the repeated use of stood there/sat there because I think it’s undescriptive and makes the writing sound simple. Hate it.) and different ideas on how your plot, characters, story should go. Ultimately, it’s the editor who contracts the book who you’re going to want to and in some cases have to listen to. If you end up with a professional editing service who savages your plot and slices and dices your words, what good is that going to do you? You’ve just paid someone to tell you your books sucks. Ew.

What does this mean for professional editing services? It means you should save your money. Most professional editing services charge an obscene–yes I said obscene–amount of money. Some don’t do much more than what a good copy editor will do–and if you get a contract with a publisher, they’ll have someone they employ who knows house style and can clean up the product at the end of the process.

If you’re unsure about plot, characters or story, a good critique partner or beta reader can give you insight or help–and you don’t have to pay them anything, other than doing the same for a critique partner.

The last problem in epublishing/small press is that you could potentially pay a professional editing service $300 and up (I’ve heard stories of a $1000 or more for a novel length book. Ouch.)–and you will not make that back in royalties with many epublishing companies.

When might you want to consider a professional editing service? As editors, Kate and I both agreed we don’t need a technically perfect submission to contract it. We realize that there will be typos, wrong punctuation/capitalization/spelling. So if you’re looking to pay a professional editing service to get it perfect, don’t bother.

On the other hand, if your “final” draft (this means not your first, second or third, but maybe your sixth or tenth) is still pretty rough because your basic grasp of grammar and technical issues is pretty bad, and you can’t find a good test reader who can help you clean stuff up, then you might want to consider an inexpensive editing service. Really inexpensive. And you’re going to want one that maybe you can learn from so that you don’t have to keep paying on each manuscript, but can learn to self-edit (a really invaluable thing to be able to do if you want to make writing a career). But again, exhaust your other options first, before paying.

Kate asked the aspiring author who’d asked the question, “What did you get out of the professional service you used?” The answer, (paraphrased) “A few typos corrected and a lot less money than I started with.”

Gay/Lesbian titles

This is cool. Samhain got included in a Publisher’s Weekly list of upcoming Gay/Lesbian titles for April through November. Yay 🙂


Saltwater Sunday

The fact of the matter is, I am currently obsessed with my new saltwater tank. No. Really obsessed. I find myself researching and reading online when I should be working. Thinking about what fish to get next. Haunting the saltwater aquarium forums. Sadly for you, you must suffer for my obsession because I’m instituting saltwater Sunday on my blog, where I get to talk about my tank and share pictures. It’s the only thing I could come up with so I didn’t force you to hear about my tank every day of the week.

I may have shared this picture before but I chose it so you can see the difference with the other photo. When we got the tank, the entire tank surface was quite dirty–outside with smudges and spots, inside with coral, salt build up and other stuff that builds up on tanks. We cleaned the front immediately when we got it, because you could hardly see in the tank through all the spots. But it wasn’t until this weekend (a few weeks later) that we had time to clean the sides and back. I think it looks pretty gorgeous now that it’s clean. What do you think?

And yes, Brianna is that fascinated by the tank that I got those pictures–several weeks apart–without having to pose her there or even ask her to look at the tank.

For those who know or care about these types of things, I spent the last week researching lights (and we discovered we have two moonlights on the tank!), doing a water change, trying to figure out why my nitrates are spiking, taking multitudes of pictures to later bore you with (like the last 20 minutes I just spent taking pictures of the sea cucumber out on the rocks eating), researching a variety of fish, coral, and inverts. Much of the week was spent trying to decide if any of my tank is diseased (because I don’t know anything about these things). I also drove about 40 minutes north of here just to go to a new pet store that carries saltwater fish (known as an LFS or live fish store in aquarium forum lingo). Oh, and I spent waaay too much time obsessively reading different threads in all the forums, trying to learn as much as possible. Did I mention I love this tank?

Brianna versus the ocean

We went to a local festival yesterday. Which just happened to take place at the beach, one of Brianna’s favorite places. The weather was purely gorgeous and we had a fabulous day. The above picture is my favorite picture from the day. Here’s a few more:

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