Working against my own interests …?

Once again stealing someone else’s idea, I present to you The Living Notebook’s latest blog post. Basically, Harper Voyager (the sci-fi/fantasy subsidiary of Harper Collins) is accepting un-agented sci-fi manuscript submissions from October 1 – 14th. They’re looking for about a dozen new manuscripts, which they will publish digitally (not in print, although the site does say they’ll think about it if your sales are good enough). Anyway, click your way over to The Living Notebook’s site to get the link to the Harper Voyager contest.

So … is spreading the word of this awesome opportunity actively working against my own interests? Oh, absolutely. But I figure that, hey, if you have a sci-fi manuscript better than mine, then you deserve to get signed. So polish up those manuscripts and start submitting!

My one qualm with the Harper Voyager contest is that, while I would *love* to be traditionally published (talk about street cred!), they’re only doing digital publication (at least at first). I want to see my book in print. So in the extremely unlikely event they actually choose my story for publication, does that mean I’d have to give up my dreams of seeing Imminent Danger in print? I’d probably lose my copyright rights once they pick it up, so I wouldn’t have the option of printing the book myself. Thoughts?

My other qualm (okay, so I lied about only having the one qualm) is that I don’t want to put my self-publishing plan on hold on the extreme off-chance that Harper Voyager picks my manuscript out of thousands. What would happen if I self-published my book, and then discovered three days later that Harper Voyager wanted to buy my book? I mean, again, traditional publishing yay! But I would have already gone through all the effort of self-publishing (which I already paid for), only to have to cancel everything after a few days/weeks. The Harper Voyager website states that they will accept self-published books, no problem, and I suppose I already have paid for the self-publishing, so there’s no real point in stopping the self-publication process. Still … can you imagine? “Hey guys, remember how I finally self-published yesterday? Yeah, just pretend it never happened. Trololol.”

Anyway, head over to The Living Notebook’s blog and check out that Harper Voyager link. Best of luck to all of you who decide to submit a manuscript!

Random graphic of the day:

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Categories: Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “Working against my own interests …?

  1. our modern day dilemna

  2. I don’t remember details, but I’ve read of authors lamenting that they gave their rights over to traditional publishing – usually when nothing was happening, and they felt they could have done more on their own. That’s not very helpful, but maybe someone will have more information to share. I really wanted to get in here and tell you I want to ride that elevator.

    • Yeah, I was actually thinking about that. I guess the benefit of having a traditional publisher is that they will A) lend credibility, and B) promote your book (at least for when it first comes out). I think what I’ll do is submit the manuscript, and then see what happens. If they do pick me, great, but then I’ll see what the terms of the contract are, and decide if that’s something I want to get involved with.

  3. I dunno, I would be excited if someone heard about this through me and got their manuscript accepted. I actually think I might shoot it the way of this one writer I know who has a YA sci-fi manuscript. At the same time too, I write smut, so it’s not like I’m an author with a competing manuscript.

  4. wordsaremagic

    When you self-publish or publish-on-demand, you maintain all copyright to your work, including illustrations and cover design. This allows you to do whatever you want wiith your book in the future, including submit it for digital publication, e.g. amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Your copyright may then become the property of the publishing company, especially if there is financial gain for you, so just check your contract. I would hold out for getting your book in print first because it is a thrill to hold all that hard work in your hands! Good luck.

    • Yeah, I definitely want to see it in print. Although I’ll probably get the book published before the contest has even begun to choose a winner, so I’ll at least have some print versions to tide me over if I do by some miracle win. And I’ll have to look into the copyright thing – it would be really lame to lose the copyright to my own work.

  5. You know, I think I saw something in the guidelines for this submission saying that they would acept self-published work as well – which perhaps shows their opinion of self publishing, but maybe they are hoping to have another ‘Shades of Grey’ on their hands. If this is the case, the it shouldn’t stop you from submitting either way.

    • Yeah, it does say that. And ha, yes, they probably wouldn’t mind having an international bestseller on their hands. I’ll definitely be submitting 🙂

  6. I’ve seen this before, and I’m still wondering what to do about it. On one hand, I would like to submit and see if I get lucky, but on the other, I don’t want to put everything on hold for this… especially when we don’t know how long it’ll be before they finish appraising all novels. =/

    • I think it takes about 3 months for them to choose. So if you weren’t planning on doing anything with the project for a couple of months, I’d say go for it!

  7. The main thing is to get your book out. How you go about it is your choice (we’re lucky to have the option to go it alone if we want now). If you do get accepted you can always self publish another book (assuming you contract with the publisher says you can-watch out for that.) If it’s your dream go for it and good luck!

    • Thanks! Yes, on the extreme off-chance that I actually got picked up by Harper Voyager, I’d have to very thoroughly read the contract to make sure everything was legit. I guess another worry is that I have plans to make Imminent Danger into a series — I already have a sequel written — so it would be really bad if I signed on for this one book with Harper Voyager, and then discovered they didn’t want to publish any more books.

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