As we all know, it’s difficult getting your novels published. Roughly one in a thousand debut novels gets published by a traditional publishing house. Of course, it’s no lottery – publishers don’t randomly pick the lucky per mille, the odds are even worse for people who write badly and slightly less bad for those who write well. Nevertheless, I doubt the odds are ever that good for someone who writes weird techno-fantasy.
My first novel script, A Brain For Graduation, has been rejected twice from traditional publishers (I sent it to virtually everyone who didn’t explicitly state that they don’t publish fantasy). The first time I sent it out, I thought the script was great’, but in hindsight, it clearly needed more work. The second time the script was much more ready – even though I’ve recently polished it a bit more since I realized there were still improvements to be made. I won’t say that I’m happy in hindsight that it wasn’t accepted for publication, because if it had been, it would obviously have been further developed with professional editors before it went to print. But I am happy that I didn’t listen to advice I got to self-publish. Of course, I could have rented editors myself to help with development of the script, but I’ve also learnt by now that it’s not always easy to find the good ones.
I’m now considering hybrid publishing, but with a reputable and honest publisher, not one of those who actually offer self-publishing services but pretend that they’re a hybrid company because it sounds better and is more flattering for their customers. (Possibly, things work differently in other countries, so let me explain: Some companies offer package deals for self publishers. There are also hybrid publishers, who in theory are supposed to be something in between traditional publishing and self-publishing: You and the publisher share both the financial risks and the financial rewards, whereas you take both risks and rewards in self-publishing and the publisher takes all the risks and most of the rewards – even though the author obviously gets royalties – in traditional. A real hybrid publisher can’t publish everyone who wants to, since they still invest a bit in each book. In reality, though, many companies saying they offer hybrid deals really offer self-publishing, let the author pay for everything, and publish everyone who wants to, despite claiming that they make a selection and it’s an honour to be chosen.) It costs but our economy is good, and will be ridiculously good once Alexander finishes his degree and gets a job. But we’ll have to see about that.
Meanwhile, I’ve begun writing short stories too – independent stories that still take place in the universe of Humans vs Demons. I’ve already sent in a story for the coming horror anthology Umbra Mortis, another for Sommarsjälar (Summer Souls), and will soon send one for the vampire-themed Den Röda Antologin (the Red Anthology).