Loose Body Parts: How to Keep them Attached in Fiction by Constance Watson
Who here loves zombies? I know I do! Zombie stories are by far one of my favorite genres. But no matter how much you love zombies, that doesn’t mean that every character should be one, which unfortunately is what tends to happen. Unintended zombification can be a huge problem. Why, you ask?
We are very excited to reveal the cover of What Once Was Home, the first full-length novel from our very own B.K. Bass!
When his world is torn apart, one man must learn to survive in What Once Was Home.
Jace Cox’s life is changed when an overwhelming alien force invades the Earth with no warning or provocation. In the years that follow, he must not only fight to survive; but also learn what it means to be a man and a leader. As the situation grows more dire, he realizes that his greatest challenge isn’t the alien invaders or even his fellow man; it is holding onto his own humanity despite living in a world gone mad.
What Once Was Home will be launching on October 25, 2019, and pre-orders are available now! Click HERE for more!
Genres: Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic, Alien Encounters, Military Science Fiction Length: Novel – Approx 300 pages Release Date: October 25, 2019
It’s been an amazing year at the Kyanite Press. We discovered fantastic stories, picked up traction with retailers, and made many new friends along the way. The journal far exceeded any expectations we had regarding the incredible fiction within it and the support we’ve received from the writing and reading communities.
This year has also been a learning experience. As we reflect on what worked and what didn’t, we’ve come up with some great ideas for how to make next year even more exciting! With Issue 6 wrapping up and ready to come out this July, it’s time to start work on Volume 2 of the journal. We have been working behind-the-scenes for the last few months coming up with a plan with several goals in mind:
Quality: We want to ensure that enough time is devoted to each issue to make sure that everything from the selection process through final editing and formatting is executed as near to perfection as possible. Value: They say that you “get what you pay for,” and we want to make sure we are living up to our end of that bargain. We want to pack each issue full of high-value content and ensure that the experience of reading the Kyanite Press is a premium experience. Sustainability: The journal was a project born of the love of the art form, but until we unearth the city of gold, we need to make sure we can pay for the production costs. Author Compensation: Nobody wants to work for free, and that includes authors. While we have always offered a cash prize for our featured story, we want to be able to compensate everybody who submits to us.
Those are all very important goals, and balancing those plus keeping the gears greased inside the machine has shaped up to be quite an endeavor! Volume 2 of the Kyanite Press is going to look a little different, and here’s the big things to note about the journal itself:
Quarterly Issues: This biggest change is that we are transitioning from a bi-monthly format to a quarterly format. There will now be an Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer issue. These will be released in November, February, May, and August. The first issue of Volume 2 will be in November 2019. Larger Issues: We are increasing the target page count from 80-110 pages to a whopping 200-250 pages! We are shooting for our average word counts per issue to be 225% of what they were in Volume 1. This means that even with two less issues, we will have around 150% of the total content in the regular run! Pricing Changes: As each issue will be larger, they will naturally cost more to produce. In the interest of balancing value with sustainability, we have set the price of the new issues at $24.85 in print and $14.85 for eBook versions. Savvy shoppers might note that these price increases are less than the content volume increase of each issue!
What does this mean for our authors? What do the goals of quality, value, sustainability, and – most importantly – author compensation, mean to you?
Submission and Production Cycles: One of the reasons for the transition to quarterly issues is to ensure ample time is provided for both our authors to submit to and for our staff to produce each issue. There will be a three-month submission window for each issue followed by a three-month production timeline. This is why the first issue is starting in November. Author Copies: We will provide for each contributor a complimentary PDF copy of any issue they contribute to. There will still be an opportunity to order up to five print copies at a discount of 60% off the cover price plus shipping and handling. Royalties: Yes, that’s right! All of the licensing agreements for contributions to the Kyanite Press starting in Volume 2 will include terms for royalties. Each issue will have a set royalty pool which is a percentage of our gross revenue, and this will be divided between the contributors with a pro-rata system based on the contributor’s word count percentage of the total issue’s word count. There will no longer be a feature story prize. Rather, everybody will get a fair share!
What about special issues and the annual anthology? We still hope to produce our Halloween Horror special this fall, and are batting around ideas for another Winter Digest in December. Both of these are on the discussion table at the moment, but their eventual fates are still to be determined. The annual anthology for Volume 1 is definitely being put together and hopefully will launch before the holiday season this year, and we plan to continue producing Kyanite Press Annual Anthologies every year!
Interested in submitting a story for the Kyanite Press? Have you been biting your nails to the nub just waiting for this announcement? Head over to our submissions page to find out the details of submitting for Volume 2, Issue 1 of the Kyanite Press!
Welcome to another amazing issue packed full of a variety of social science fiction tales for your eager minds to process. One of the remarkable things about the sub-genre is that it isn’t limited to just one style of story. In fact, any kind of science fiction tale can include elements of social science fiction. In this issue, you’ll be treated to tales of mystery, mayhem, and murder from some of our favorite speculative fiction authors. Many social questions will be posed, examined, and answered before you’ve finished reading.
From Joseph Kassabian – the bestselling author of Hooligans of Kandahar – Kyanite Publishing proudly presents Citizen of Earth: The Galaxy on Fire, Book One.
Vincent Solaris is a teenage malcontent who barely graduated from the Detroit District Six School of Ethics. His unplanned future changes dramatically when he is arrested and charged with crimes against the Central Committee. Rather than being put to death, he is sentenced to three years’ service in the Earth Defense Forces. Relieved by this twist of fate, Vincent is sent off to train at the local Replacement Depot. But any dreams of him lazing away his years of servitude are shattered when an alien horde called the Alliance attacks. On their way to the harsh killing fields of war, Vincent meets Fiona, a Martian gangster serving a life sentence. Together, they must find a way to survive against the most terrifying foe humanity has ever seen.
We are proud to announce the official Kyanite Publishing discord server. We have always endeavored to build a community around the company, and this server is a further step to bringing that vision to reality. We look forward to this being a gathering place for our staff, authors, and readers to come together to express their love of the written word.
B.K. Bass has some big news to share with everybody, and we wanted to help get the word out as this will also be affecting upcoming releases in our own catalog.
After looking over the reviews for his novellas, we’ve all noticed a common trend of his readers wishing for more! In the interest of making sure we are keeping those readers happy, we’ve all decided it was time for B.K. to shift gears and start focusing on longer projects.
His first novel – What Once Was Home – will be coming out this fall. His upcoming title Parting the Veil was coming out this summer as a novella, but will now be coming out this fall as a novel as well!
Jasmine Arch takes a look at the simile and metaphor in this new article for our Behind the Page column on the Kyanite Press Online.
“How do you recognize good writing? It’s clean, well thought out, and well edited. Now, great writing, That’s another story. Great writing lives and breathes. It grabs you by the neck and drags you down the page. But how can you make a piece of writing truly stand out?”
Effective today – February 28, 2019 – submissions for the Kyanite Press are temporarily closed.
We would like to thank everybody who has submitted their amazing stories since we announced the Kyanite Press over the summer. Starting with our very first issue, we have been fortunate to showcase some of the most innovative speculative fiction that can be found anywhere.
We are wrapping up the last two issues of Volume One with the submissions that have been received up to this point. We have some very exciting plans for Volume Two, and you can expect a huge announcement and the re-opening of submissions some time in May 2019.
Arguably the most stressful part of an author’s professional career is submitting their work to a publisher, be it a short story for a journal or a manuscript for a novel that took years to craft. Putting your writing out there to be judged by others is said to be like laying one’s soul bare to be picked apart. This metaphor is entirely accurate, as authors pour their heart and soul into their work. As an author and an acquisitions editor, I have perspective from both sides of the desk. I hope that these five pieces of advice will help you on your journey as an author, whether you are submitting to Kyanite or other publishers.
You might have a short story that can be read in half an hour, or a short novella that would take up an afternoon. The editor should be able to give you an answer the same day, right?
Why is it taking so long to read a 2,000 word short story?
While the days of stacks of paper manuscripts might be over for most of us (see our Environmental Commitment for more on this), most publishers still have a virtual pile of electronic documents to read and consider, especially if they accept open submissions.
Your manuscript won’t take three to six months to read, but when you consider there might be two hundred such manuscripts in the to-be-read pile – or more – there is a lot of time being invested in reading through submissions. I encourage anybody who has submitted to follow-up with the publisher, but keep in mind that the industry generally is a slow-moving beast and that waiting to hear back is a normal part of the submissions process.
Don't Get Discouraged
You got a rejection letter from a publisher, so what do you do now? Scream in anguish at the heavens for cursing you? Give up on writing? Binge on a gallon of ice cream and watch a Gilmore Girls marathon? While the last item on that list might be good therapy, the other two are not healthy for yourself or your career.
First of all: Keep in mind that publishing is a business. While printing and selling books is a lot more fun than running a retail chain, there are still business considerations that must be made. It’s not always a question of whether or not a book is ‘good.’
In fact, at many of the larger publishing companies, the decisions are not made by editors alone. Acquisitions meetings are generally quite large affairs with representatives from several departments, including the dreaded sales and marketing professionals. While these are the people who may one day be selling your book, they’re also the ones to tell the editors they don’t think they can sell your book.
Next time you get a rejection letter that has a very bland ‘not a good fit for us’ message – something that might even come from me – don’t interpret it as being swept aside or ‘let down easy.’ Sometimes, it’s just the fact of the matter that not every book is a good fit for every publisher. Keep submitting and eventually somebody is going to think it is a good fit for them.
There is a reason rejection letters from publishers are often a generalized form letter, and this ties back to both of the above topics I discussed. When an editor has fifty rejection letters to send out after an acquisitions cycle, and is still staring at a stack of hundreds of manuscripts yet to be reviewed, it isn’t practical to send a personal message to every author.
When I set out on this journey, I swore that I would be different. I would send a detailed critique to every single author who’s work came across my desk. The reality is: there isn’t enough time. And then there are the works that ‘just don’t fit.’ There isn’t much to say in some cases beyond that.
Still, if you get one of these letters it does not hurt to ask for more information. I’ve actually built relationships with authors who have done as much in the process of giving feedback and answering questions for them. Some publishers might not be responsive to this, but I feel that asking for feedback on your work shows an interest in your own growth as an author; and I dare any editor to have negative words in response to that!
Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite
Now that you’ve gotten feedback, what are you going to do about it? Will you send another copy of the exact same manuscript to another publisher? That depends on the feedback. If you get some advice for improving upon the work, you should take advantage of the opportunity to polish it up before sending it to the next publisher.
They say that writing is rewriting, and this doesn’t end with your first submission. With luck, you’ve gotten some technical advice from the editor who reviewed your manuscript. It could be as general as “I didn’t fall in love with the characters” or as specific as “Don’t use so many adverbs.”
No, really…don’t use so many adverbs.
Now, rather than being offended that the editor picked apart your writing (see also: ‘Don’t Get Discouraged‘); realize that we are all human and that we are constantly learning and developing. This is a great opportunity for you to grow as an author and for you to improve upon your work before sending it to the next publisher. Sometimes, you may even be invited to re-submit the same piece to the same publisher after a revision.. Take advantage of the opportunity!
What does one do after they have submitted a manuscript?
“That’s a silly question,” you say. “You are supposed to sit in front of your email client eight hours a day hitting the refresh button.”
See also: ‘Be Patient‘
No! Keep writing! Did you just submit book one of a trilogy? Start writing book two! Have you blogged on your author website lately (you do have an author website with an active blog, right?) Are you like me and have a hundred ideas for stories rattling around in your skull? Pick one and write it!
Writing is a continual process of growth and discovery. When you finish a project and send it off to a publisher, take a day to celebrate. Crack open that special bottle of wine you’ve been saving or take that trip to the park you’ve been putting off, but then get back to work! Use your time to get the next project off the ground, work on your blog, or edit that dusty manuscript that’s been sitting on the shelf for two years. Whatever you do, make sure you keep writing.
I hope that these little nuggets of wisdom help you through the process of submitting your work to a publisher, be it Kyanite Publishing or another company. The big things to remember are that the process takes time, it’s a business so don’t take it personal, ask for feedback and try to improve your work, and never stop writing. Even if you face the day where the cold, hard truth hits you that a piece you wrote just isn’t good (I’ve written a lot of these myself), don’t give up. If it needs work, work on it. If it’s beyond fixing, chalk it up to ‘practice’ and move on to the next project. We are all constantly learning and working to be better, and the only way to do that is to keep working. Never, ever give up.
B.K. Bass is the Production Director and Editorial Manager for Kyanite Publishing. In addition, he is also the Managing Editor of Kyanite Crypt and the Editor-in-Chief of the Kyanite Press journal of speculative fiction.
B.K. is also an author of science fiction, fantasy, and horror inspired by the pulp fiction magazines of the early 20th century and classic speculative fiction. He is a student of history with a particular focus on the ancient, classical, and medieval eras. He has a lifetime of experience with a specialization in business management and human relations and also served in the U.S. Army. When not writing or helping authors with their work, he is an avid table-top gaming geek. B.K. is owned by three cats and a Paperanian named Sassy.