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Metaphor? What For?

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?”

Read the full article here!

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“The Ravencrest Chronicles: Omnibus One” Launches Today!

Hello readers!

We are so proud to announce the release of “The Ravencrest Chronicles: Omnibus One” by partner B.K. Bass. This is a flintlock/dark fantasy collection, featuring individual novellas, “Seahaven,” “The Hunter’s Apprentice,” “The Giant and the Fishes,” and “Tales from the Lusty Mermaid.”

You can pick up each novella individually, or pick up the collection in eBook, paperback, and hardcover.

This is our first hardcover edition and we’re in love with the gorgeous jacket. Readers will love it and the bonus materials, crafted by the author to give them even more insight into the worldbuilding and characterization.

Check it out on Goodreads!

Purchase it now on Amazon!

Purchase it now on Barnes and Noble!

Thank you for your ongoing support! We can’t wait to bring you more stories in the months and years to come!

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Author Advice Blog: Points to Remember as You Begin the Journey to Literary Fame

Written by: Aisha Tritle

Wouldn’t it be great if your book could do all the interviews, signings, parties, podcasts, guest blogs, and newspaper articles…while you stayed at home, drank tea (or beer), and worked on the next book?

Oh, well.

An author’s job encompasses more than just brainstorming, writing, and editing. You’re the face of your book (aside from the cover, of course). You’re also the voice – not just the voice within the pages, but the public voice. Outside of writing, author life is all about outreach, presentation, and publicity, baby.

Below are some points to remember as you embark on your journey to literary fame:

1. There will already be lists online. Because there are already lists online for practically everything.

What sort of lists? General book bloggers, Sci-Fi book reviewers, blogs looking for authors to interview…I guarantee someone else has already done the research for you. Take some time to google and you’ll find lists composed with the contacts you need. Here are some examples below:

https://blog.reedsy.com/book-review-blogs/

https://kindlepreneur.com/book-review-blogs/

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1258171-bloggers-looking-to-interview-authors

Use these lists to book your own blog tour. Bloggers love hearing directly from authors.

2. The Pitch.

Sometimes your book is enough to get you in, sometimes not. Make sure you know how to pitch yourself along with your book. You are your book’s ambassador, after all. Are you able to drive significant traffic to their blog through your social media profiles? Let them know. Did you just win a writing award? Mention it.

Another thing, though – when it comes to pitching your book to the people on your list, make sure you point out why their reader demographic will be interested. Is the blog name “A Court of Thorns,” with a roses theme? Is your book stylistically in the vein of A Court of Thornes and Roses? Connect the dots for them.

3. Play up what makes you…you.

Whatever makes you unique outside of writing can increase the amount of attention your writing gets. Are you an entrepreneur? Apply to be on a podcast focusing on entrepreneur stories. Do you have a beetle collection? Approach the editorial staff of a magazine for coleopterists to discuss a feature. You get the idea. People who connect with you on one level will normally take interest in what you do outside of that.

4. Play it up on social. Really play it up on social.

Are you on social media? If not, get on it. You don’t have to go all out and join Tik Tok (unless you want to, of course), but make sure you have the basics: Instagram, Twitter, and a Facebook page. Not only will your readers enjoy connecting with you, but social media is a great tool in building your author brand (a story for another time).

This is where presentation comes into play.

Were you featured in that coleopterist magazine? Don’t be shy. Promo the heck out of it. Squeeze every last bit of content you can get out of it – tastefully, of course. Don’t make it seem like that feature is the only feature you’ll ever get.

But this is your life now. You get featured in magazines. Let the people know.

5. Prep. See if you can get questions beforehand for any recorded interviews.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely given answers I’ve regretted. Your fans won’t want to hear silence or incoherent bumbling when you’re asked what your “process” is or what exactly spurred your journey to becoming a writer. Prep for as much as possible – and if the interviewer is willing to give you a list of questions beforehand, get them.

Even better if the interviewer wants to review your answers beforehand to catch any kerfluffles. This will help you avoid situations such as when I told an interviewer that my dad was from “Iowa,” and we went through the rest of the interview with her thinking my dad was from Ireland.

6. Publicity leads to publicity.

Just like one publishing deal helps lead to the next, publicity leads to more publicity. Your cred is being established. The more cred you have, the more people will be interested and take you seriously.

Once you get the ball rolling, the interviews, features, and followers will start picking up. The initial push is the hardest, but once you get through that, things will get easier and the success rate for your outreach efforts will become higher. I promise.

You’re here to sell books and build your career as an author. Are you ready?

***


Aisha Tritle is a novelist, playwright, actress, musician, marketer and tea fiend. She has studied with famed acting coach John Kirby and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Turning her hand to plays, she completed two One-Act Comedies in 2016: of which, one was recently performed and published in the U.K. Aisha spends her days in sunny Los Angeles producing films, marketing for innovative tech companies, and working on her true passion of writing novels.

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Advice from the Acquisitions Editor

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.

Be Patient

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.

Seek Feedback

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!

Keep Writing

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.

Learn more about B.K. at bkbass.com

All images (other than B.K. Bass’s photo) courtesy of pxhere.com, used under Creative Commons license.

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Year-End Updates, Changes, and News

In only a few short weeks, we’ll be talking about closing out 2018. It’s been a huge year for us, and we’re grateful to all the folks who’ve made it possible! As we reflect on our successes and challenges, we’re making changes to our release calendar that will set us up for more success in 2019. These changes will ensure that every title is produced to the highest quality standards. You’ll notice that some of our titles will be released earlier, while others will be released later.

We are excited to add that we’ll be participating in early reader programs through NetGalley. If you read and review books, please follow us there to score early access to our titles at no charge to you in exchange for an honest review!

We appreciate the flexibility of our readers and authors as we continue to respond to our growth. We’re poised to deliver high-quality titles and continue our expansion into brick and mortar stores, and we’ll keep you posted on every major milestone! But that’s not all… we’re ramping up our web presence with new sources of free content! Stay tuned for more details!

-The Kyanite Publishing Team

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Kyanite Press: Volume 1, Issue 2 – Launching Today

Volume 1, Issue 2 of the Kyanite Press launches today. This issue takes a look at the human condition from many unique angles and is sure to delight fans of the format. The paperback edition is available for order, and pre-orders will be shipping shortly. The eBook edition has been delayed due to an “extended maintenance window” with our ISBN providor. We do not have an estimate on when this will be resolved, but are working to find a way around the issue.

This issue of the Kyanite Press contains some amazing stories that all examine the human condition in one way or another. From the introspective psychology of “The Teacup” by David McAlister to the grand social drama of “Stone Faces” by Marcus Hansson, these stories all examine different facets of our humanity. Be it exploring our deepest fear – the fear of the unknown – or showing how a society of people works together to overcome obstacles. “Worth Dying For” by Chad D. Christy and “Breakpoint” by Darius Jones both explore questions of what makes us human and what we would do to preserve what is most important to us. “The Greatest Confidence” by Martin Berman-Gorvine explores ways in which we prey upon and take advantage of the trust of others. “In the Under Realm” by Steven M. Nedeau shows the human spirit to fight for our survival. “Below the Cubicle Sea” by Dennis Mombauer examines the mark we leave on the world and ways in which the world might one day work to erase those marks, illustrating the uncomfortable truth that all we do is potentially fleeting and temporary in the grand scheme of the cosmos.

ABOUT THE KYANITE PRESS

The Kyanite Press is a bi-monthly journal of speculative fiction.  Inside this homage to the pulp magazines of the last century you will find tales of science fiction, fantasy, and horror from some of the most imaginative upcoming indie authors in the genre.  Every issue is packed with fiction and NO commercial advertising, just information about Kyanite Publishing books and authors!  Explore amazing new worlds, travel to exotic realms, and delve inside the human mind in ways you will never see anywhere else!

Release dates every January, March, May, July, September, and November.  Special Halloween Horror Fest every October!

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Discovering New Worlds – Social Science Fiction

In the latest addition to the Kyanite Press Online, Editor in Chief B.K. Bass delves into the worlds of Social Science Fiction. Check out this and more genre studies (with short fiction!) in the ongoing column: Discovering New Worlds with B.K. Bass.

Social Science Fiction examines sociological, anthropological, and psychological issues as its main focus. The term was coined by Isaac Asimov to define his own work in the 1940’s. At the time, science fiction had consisted mostly of the ‘spaceships and ray guns‘ styles; such as what is often found in planetary romance tales. During the 1940’s, there was a movement spearheaded by the likes of Asimov and Robert A Heinlein to use science fiction as a way to examine our own sociological issues from new perspectives.

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Q&A with Anthony D. Redden, Author of “Dead Boat” on Friday 10/26 at 12PM ET!

Hello readers!

As you might’ve noticed, “Dead Boat” by Anthony D. Redden comes out on Friday! We’ll be posting about it all day Friday, giving away free copies and merchandise, and holding a question and answer session with the author on Twitter.

 

Q&A

At 12:00 PM ET, we’ll begin asking Anthony a few questions on Twitter. You can follow along, ask your own questions, and otherwise engage with us about horror stories, fark fantasy, and all things Dead Boat! We’ll recap the Q&A on Facebook as well.

Speaking of interviews with Anthony, have you seen the one he did for us when he first signed his book deal? Check it out below!

 

An Interview with Anthony D. Redden

1) What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?

I like to read stories that engage and tantalize my senses. Especially dark science-fiction and horror that explore believable yet unpleasant truths. I love to be shocked by what lies behind the dirty cracks of futuristic utopias.  

2) Who are your favorite authors?  

I grew up on a diet of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and James Herbert. I devoured their every word and continue to be inspired by the worlds they created.  

3) Other than what you are already publishing, what else do you enjoy writing about?  

I write short stories. Horror, science-fiction, fantasy, even the odd bit of poetry and children’s stories. I also write movie reviews for an online entertainment magazine which is a great way to unwind. I’m currently working on a number of YA novellas and co-author of a hopefully soon to be released extreme horror novel.  

4) What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?  

Pretty much anything written by the late and great Douglas Adams or James Herbert. They had such unique voices and styles that I can’t help but be enamored by their talent. Mix them up with a bit of Terry Jones, Terry Pratchett, Clive Barker and Roald Dahl, and you have a cocktail of my literary influences.  

5) Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?  

Even in the darkest depths of despair and oppression, a tiny spark of light can exist, and that possibility excites me. I thrive upon the what-ifs and maybes. If I can evoke an emotional response, get a reader to question their own understanding of things, create a lingering thought or uneasy feeling, or simply entertain, then my job has been done.  

6) What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?  

I love the endless possibility of speculative fiction. The freedom to explore and create unique and amazing worlds and characters. The blank canvas that begins with every new adventure, and the mystery for me as a writer, as to where I am going to end up.   

7) Do you have any interesting hobbies or pursue any other artistic endeavors?  

I work a full-time job, am currently studying toward an MA in creative writing, write movie reviews for a magazine, have a wife and three children, not forgetting two cats, and all of my other writing projects, I barely have time to sleep at night let alone pursue other hobbies or artistic endeavors. Would be nice, but no.    

8) Outside of books, what is your favorite format of storytelling?  

Writing is my medium of storytelling; however, I absolutely love movies. Whenever I write, I imagine the scenes playing out in my head as if I am watching a private movie. I also like to listen to music which I find can help to stir the create juices, however, it’s really got to be movies, everyone likes a good movie.

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Announcement: Dead Boat Giveaways on Friday 10/26!

Dead Boat will be celebrating its book birthday with author Anthony D. Redden and all of us here at Kyanite Publishing on Friday, October 26th!

Giveaways!

We’ll be hosting giveaways on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to connect more readers with this awesome tale, so stay tuned and make sure you’re following along for a chance to win the ebook & merch!

Add Dead Boat to your Goodreads shelves!

Preorder on the product page!

Learn about Dead Boat and author Anthony D. Redden on the press kit page!

Blurb

The year is 1726 and Harvey, a young Fishmonger’s son, is awaiting his death upon the gallows. His fortune changes when he is offered a last-minute deal that could win him a full pardon and a new life in England. Unfortunately, not everything is as it seems. Harvey is about to get a harsh lesson in life aboard a ship surrounded by convicts. Worse yet is the cargo they carry – the corpses of 316 English soldiers. When a powerful blood curse starts to bring the dead to life, the crew of ‘The Charon’ will wish they had stayed to face the executioner.

Author Bio

Anthony D. Redden is a writer of dark fiction. He has lots of short stories and poems published in various anthologies and magazines. He lives in a small village in the heart of England with his wife, three children and two cats. He is currently undertaking a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Teesside University, and is a big fan of Horror, Science Fiction and coffee. He also writes very good movie reviews at