So you can read my books

Monday, October 1, 2012


 Harper Voyager is accepting submissions:

When to submit:
October 1 through October 14th

Where to submit:

What sort of submissions:

          "We’re seeking all kinds of adult and young adult speculative fiction for digital publication, 
but particularly epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia and supernatural. 
For more idea of the type of books we love to read and publish, check out our authors and their titles at"

Harper Voyager plans to release one book a month.  If accepted, how long before they get to yours?

Initially the books will be published as ebooks but if one does well, a print copy will be issued.

But does it makes sense to submit to Harper Voyager?

The playing field in the digital world is pretty level for traditional and self.

I. We're going to be trading a 70% royalty for 17.5% royalty.

  (From a post by Michael Sullivan, who has been both traditionally and self published ):

Signing a "digital only" with a big six means you get 17.5% of list rather than 70% of list.

 And books priced at $6.99 - $9.99 will sell fewer copies than those priced at $2.99 - $4.99.

*In a "full publishing deal" you also get print sales and that helps to offset the difference income but Haper is offering only digital.

*So what do you get for the difference in money (no advance royalty):

    Cover design: which can be purchased for $150 - $350 (Of course sometimes for much more if you do not research)
  • Editing: which can be sub-contracted to a freelancer for $350 - $1,000
  • Their name on the title - yes this is worth something.
  • Loss of control over key factors like pricing and categorization

And self are selling comparably (in numbers) to traditional in this space.

50% of the Amazon Epic Fantasy list is self-published, the other 50% is traditional.

II. On the other hand:

Even if they decide not to publish a print version, the fact that an unpublished writer would have a legit publishing credit works in their favor, over a self published credit.

III. Consider if you are selected...

take a minute to consider that you have a "stamp of approval' indicating that a major publisher finds value in your work. You should realize that they are not the only option.

Try to balance the "excitement" of someone providing validation for years of work with the "business sense" to make sure you are maximizing your income.

You are about to cross a threshold to earning from your writing - and as such you need to be aware of the various alternatives.

IV. What do you think?
{THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT cover courtesy of the talented Leonora Roy}


  1. Valid points all, but having felt the dishonor of the self-published, I would love one book, at least one to be placed with a traditional publisher. Four years ago it was much different than today, but it’s another badge I’d like to post on my website. Giving up creative control, making less money, not good, but adding to the resume—great!

  2. I think the added exposure will provide more sales and name recognition which can only help future self-pub efforts.

    Interesting points though. I wonder if any other pblishers will follow suit.

    Moody Writing

  3. I like the way you layout several of the pros and cons - while also noting what has been shared by others.

    It would be interesting to see how this turns out. I'm sure they will be pommeled with manuscripts from around the world. And, if a person is chosen, they do get the benefit of saying they've been published by "blah blah" publisher to add it to their list of things accomplished.

  4. Yolanda:
    The dishonor of the self-published? Do we feel that the person who starts his own business to be dishonored, or do we admire his/her initiative and determination?

    I think all of us would like to look at a bookshelf in a book store and see our book on it. As authors we want to be read, right? :-)

    I believe that if Harper Voyager gets a sizzling best seller out of this, other publishers will follow suit.

    Like you, I believe that should I be accepted (Olivia Wilde asking me out on a date is more likely), it may draw attention to my other titles available on Amazon.

    To most situations there are a flurry of pro's and con's to them. I just thought it would help my friends to see them in black and white.

    I always try to see outside the box, and that means listening to what others have to say on a matter. Giving them credit seems only fair.

    I think it is all about exposure. The more of it you and I get, the more likely readers will take a chance on us. A major publisher putting us out under their banner will give us more exposure. But look at all the titles that come and go without a ripple in the bookstores.

    Lightining happens when it would. All we can do is wave as many lightning rods as we can! :-)

  5. I think it all depends on how much the person is willing and able to do themselves. Having a big publisher behind one's work is a plus. Even with less royalties, it gets one's name out there.

  6. Yes, dishonor. It is what I felt 4 years ago when I asked a former writing instructor to write a blurb for my self-published book. She was happy to do so until she heard the words self-published.
    It is what I felt when at a book signing a group of customers were discussing my book when another person walked up, and after checking the publisher of the book proclaim loudly, “Self-published, that means horrible writing! The group around me scattered, all discussing the almost rip-off they’d just avoided.
    It is also what I felt when attending my first conference and I could not lunch with other authors, because I had not earned that honor, I was self-published.
    As I said, times have changed, the internet, Amazon, Smashwords, etc. have helped to change the attitude, but don’t count on it completely. Maybe I have a thinner skin than most but I believe that the traditionally published and the self-published are looked upon differently, and having one traditionally published book will make all the difference in the world for both sales and acceptance among peers.
    A year ago I had a two-page diatribe from a listener about the authors I would interview on my Blog Talk Radio Show because 90% were self-published. She claimed I was denigrating myself because I chose to give the self-published the chance to be interviewed and talk about their books.
    I am glad to see things change, happier than most. Thanks for letting me give my opinion on the matter.

  7. Roland, thanks for this dissertation re Harper Voyager. I've seen this call for submissions and imagine the chances of being chosen are nil-rare. However, most unpublished novelists would give a lot to have been published by a big publishing house, even though the financial gain may be very insignificant. Sad to see the way Yolanda has been treated and i think it'll take awhile for self published authors to be accepted as legit. However, many such are laughing all the way to the bank (you saw Linda Gillard's post on my blog). Just one of her titles has sold over 25,000 copies...but she is a GREAT writer and obviously knows a marketing trick or two.

  8. Go with your gut, Roland, you have lots of material you can offer. It's always a test to see what works. Good luck!

  9. Sounds like a great opportunity if someone were to be selected. Who doesn't want help getting their story out there? I'll pass this along.

  10. Yolanda:
    Mark Twain's INNOCENTS ABROAD was basically self-published. Our worth is intrinsic to ourselves as is our prose. What those people said to you said volumes of their own worth and little of yours. It hurt. I know it did. I hate cruelty but it comes from stunted minds and hearts. May your future be brighter! :-)

    I applaud Linda's success. I wish I were as good at marketing. Yolanda's story makes me sad for such petty people. Yes, it would take a miracle for someone to garner an acceptance from Harper. But so many have submitted. Even if we are accepted, how long before our book is published at one a month?!

    Wish me luck, D.G.!!

    Yes, there is still 11 days to submit to Harper Voyager. It would be a great boost to our work to be accepted by them, wouldn't it?

  11. I think I would pass on such an offer. I don't see any reason the publisher needs to take such a large percentage of a digital book's earnings. In fact, the publisher should take the smaller amount. There's no proof at this point that the writer has anything to gain from such a deal. She's hoping that it will help her succeed. The way I see it, if the publisher thinks the book is worth publishing as an ebook, why isn't it worth publishing as a hardback or paperback, as well?

  12. Richard:
    Harper Voyager is certainly hoping to snag a best seller. What concerns me is that Harper Voyager is only going to publish one title a month. With the hundred of thousands of titles submitted, how long before your title will be published should it be accepted? You asked good questions.