Posted on Leave a comment

Say Hello to Our New Acquisitions!

In fall 2019, we invited authors to submit their speculative fiction manuscripts with or without representation. The acquisitions committee reviewed those manuscripts and made final recommendations, resulting in a wave of offers. True to our mission, most offers were made to authors already published with us, including A.R. Vagnetti, Michael D. Nadeau, Jonathan Lazar, Joseph Kassabian, Crystal L. Kirkham, and Aisha Tritle.

FULL LIST OF NEW ACQUISITIONS

The “Storm” series by A.R. Vagnetti. The first book in the series, “Forgotten Storm,” was acquired in 2018 and published in 2019. Described as “steamier than expected” with “amazing worldbuilding,” the series will continue with “Forbidden Storm,” scheduled for publication in summer 2020.

“The Lythinall Saga” by Michael D. Nadeau. The first book, “The Darkness Returns,” was acquired in 2018 and published in 2019. Endorsed by Ed Greenwood, creator of the Forgotten Realms, this epic fantasy series has won fans internationally. The second book in the saga, “The Darkness Within,” is scheduled for publication in summer 2020.

The “Case Files of Zachariah Lars” series by Jonathan Lazar. The first book in the series, “Zachariah Lars and the High Elf Mystery,” was acquired in 2018 and published in 2019. Future plans for the fantasy detective include both novellas and novels. The next installment, “Zachariah Lars and the Time Travel Conundrum,” is scheduled for publication in fall 2020.

The “Galaxy on Fire” trilogy by Joseph Kassabian. The first book in the trilogy, “Citizen of Earth,” was acquired in 2018 and published in 2019. The second book in the trilogy, “The Great Traitor,” is scheduled for publication in summer 2020. Robyn Bennis, author of the Signal Airship series, said: “Half Old Man’s War and half Matterhorn, Citizen of Earth is a twisty, turny adventure filled with sass and action.” Kassabian is known for his sharp humor and war commentary.

“Falling Light” by Crystal L. Kirkham. This fantasy romance novel is scheduled for publication in 2021. Crystal L. Kirkham is the author of “Feathers and Fae” and several other works.

“Endgame” by Aisha Tritle is a science fiction novelette scheduled for publication on February 14, 2020. Kyanite Publishing LLC will also publish Tritle’s science fiction novel “Life2” in 2020.

“Ales, Agents, and Alchemy” by Jabe Stafford is a fantasy thriller scheduled to be published in 2021. It is the first book in the series. Jabe Stafford has also contributed to the “Kyanite Press: Journal of Speculative Fiction.”

“Dead Town” by Anthony D. Redden. The second book in the “Dead Trilogy”, set for publication in 2020. 

“Around the Dark Dial” by J.D. Sanderson. This science fiction, short story collection will be published in 2020.

FUTURE ACQUISITIONS

The next open invitation for submissions will be in March 2020, though it will be limited to a small subset of genres (details to follow). More acquisitions are expected throughout the year.

Posted on 3 Comments

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

2018 Open Submission Window Closing Today

Our 2018 open submissions window is closing today. We would like to take a moment to reflect upon our journey so far, and to thank all those who have come with us on it.

In the middle of July, 2018, three intrepid souls kicked off the bold idea of starting a new publishing company that focused on the author, the craft of writing, and seeking out amazing storytelling to share with the world. Since then, Kyanite Publishing has grown to present stories from over sixty authors; and continues to grow.

“I’m blown away at the response we received from the writing community as a whole. The level of enthusiasm expressed about what we are doing here – on a daily basis – is inspiring. We have received over one hundred submissions of novelettes, novellas, and novels to be considered for publication. We have signed contracts on about twenty of those, and still have many exciting stories working through our acquisitions process.”  — B.K. Bass, Acquisitions Director, Kyanite Publishing, LLC

All of us at Kyanite Publishing would like to thank all of the authors, artists, editors, and marketers who have reached out with a desire to contribute to building this into something amazing. Without all of you, we would not be where we are today.

Our 2018 open submission window ran from August 1st to October 31st. This window will close as of midnight, November 1st, 2018. After this time we will be accepting submissions only by invitation, with the exception of submissions for our journal, anthology projects, and special calls for submissions.

We still have many other projects in the works that we will be accepting open submissions for, such as our Remnants anthology and ‘Punk-Genre anthology. We anticipate more projects like these in the future, and will be looking for submissions outside of the open submission window for them.

Our next open submission window will be in September of 2019, from the 1st through the 30th. While this window is much shorter than our last, we feel that there is adequate awareness and lead time for authors to prepare for this.

We are still working through a lot of submissions, and will continue to do so in the coming months. If you have work submitted already, we will be in touch!

Thank you once again to everybody who has joined us on this amazing journey! We can’t wait to see what we discover together!