Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordcraft -- Small press roundup

So you don’t have an agent. Or she hasn’t been able to sell your stuff to a publisher. And you’ve thought about self-publishing but know it’s still frowned on in many circles. Is there any respectable way to get your long-form fiction or story collection published? Maybe even get money from it?

Small presses that don’t charge you to publish your book are out there. And I’m back from last week’s science-fiction/fantasy convention FenCon in the Dallas area with news of how to find them.

These aren’t vanity presses. You must offer what they want when they want it, follow their guidelines, and still write wonderful stories. The good side of this is, anyone who sees your story in print (or as an e-book) will know the publishers only accepted it because they expected it to make a profit. And they were willing to expend their own time and money on professional editing and distribution.

And they don’t charge you anything. The bad side of that is, they also don’t pay advances, only royalties. But if your book is as good as you think it is, it’ll end up paying you.

From the small press panel I heard at Fencon, I’m only listing those currently accepting submissions. But hurry -- the window of opportunity can be narrow.

CLIFFHANGER BOOKS -- Senior project director Kevin Hosey is accepting submissions for the second book in Cliffhanger’s Paramourtal series of paranormal romances. The submissions window closes October 31, 2011. See for details. The imprint also has a series of original superheroes, currently closed to submissions. If you’re more interested in superheroes than romance, contact for future submission requests.

NAKED READER PRESS -- Senior executive editor Amanda S. Green insisted that the name only refers to the company’s motto of letting nothing get between readers and the story. It actually doesn’t publish erotica. But almost everything else is accepted for e-book distribution only, with more specifics at Its next reading period is October. One month only. If your book isn’t ready by the end of next month, catch them the next time around in January.

ZUMAYA PUBLICATIONS LLC -- Editor Elizabeth Burton was at a science-fiction/fantasy convention, so she had to warn us that Zumaya’s list for these genres is filled through 2012. But if you write in other genres, see


A personal note -- my rodeo story “Eight Seconds” is being reprinted in Alec Cizak’s Pulp Modern. The volume, including crime, fantasy, and Westerns, is available at with a very hubba-hubba cover illustration. Available on Amazon in about a week. If you just like Westerns, the story is also on Amazon in its original publication, Moonlight Mesa’s Award-Winning Tales.


On a less pulpy note -- my friend Robin Yaklin’s blog, features live discussion with Ann Hite, author of Ghost on Black Mountain, this coming weekend.


  1. Always good to here about publishers that are new to me. Hope to be querying a work soon and trying to figure my best approach.

    Saw your announcement on LinkedIn. I'm going to become your 3rd follower. Hope you'll stop my blog and let me know what you think.

    Tossing It Out

  2. Hi Melissa, In November, I'll be featuring an author from one of those independent publishers. She'll be talking about healing herbs. Should be interesting to hear from her what working with an independent is like.
    Thanks for the mention and for reporting on this hot topic for us.