Literally Fiction – Chapter One on Publishing
For those of you who don’t know I’ve spent the past five years writing my first novel. And now I’m pretty much ready to approach the publishing side of things. The novel is called ‘Dogtooth Chronicals’, and is a semi-apocalyptic jaunt, in which a bunch of disillusioned twenty-somethings end up wandering a ravaged country, trying to survive and eventually thrive. For more details, have a gander at my personal blog.
I’ve included here a rough description (in the hope that you will desperately want to read it) because its personality affects how and where it should be published. For one it’s on the long side at over 190,000 words. Secondly it doesn’t slot nicely into a genre, part environmental Sci-Fi, part cod-philosophy, and a splash of magic realism, all weaved into the comic-tragedy of everyday life.
Obviously being difficult to pigeonhole is a good thing (at least it is in this hive), but in the warped world of commercial publishing, novels are just another saleable commodity, a seeming series of illogical trends (like heeled jelly sandals and jumpsuits).
And it’s not that I think my book is particularly renegade. I squirm a bit to admit this, but it’s structured similarly to a fair few faddish books afloat in the commercial bubble. In the same way big budget cinema is no longer afraid of time shifts, twists and general piss-artistry (in fact they’ve become clichés); there is a growing monster in the book world called ‘Literary Fiction’ who is also fond of these things, along with more snooty passions.
I know the term literary fiction sounds pretty meaningless, and in many ways it is. It just seems like snobbery, a phrase to distinguish supposed high art, but if you can’t fit your book nicely into a genre, this is what they like to call it. And if it’s got time shifts, and different perspectives, all the better. This is why I was dead excited to discover the term ‘semi-apocalyptic’ to describe my exploits. That sounds loads more intriguing.
So…enough digression. My plan, once I’d finished noodling the best out of a hefty, chaotic manuscript, was to submit it to Ghostwoods Books.
A friend who knows this terribly brilliant Tim Dedopulos, put me in touch some months ago. And the thought of someone who had the right know-how, plus bags of integrity against the bullshit of the industry, made me froth at the mouth like a rabid Chihuahua (y’know…in a good way).
If you are also looking to e-publish sommat, I strongly recommend you have a look at his site. I have, however, taken a kick in the teeth over this, as I checked Ghostwoods submission guidelines, and Dogtooth Chronicals is a little too long. Approx 49,000 words too long actually! Not sure a few nips and tucks will quite sort this problem. I have emailed over the issue, but as yet no reply.
Meanwhile in Dogville/suburban Nottingham, I’ve become increasingly intrigued with self-publishing. Largely it’s happened due to research I’ve been doing for this blog (though obvs the research was always beneficial to me, I just had extra incentive to get stuck in and stop sulking). Self-publishing appeals to me. I’m keen on starting my own indie publishers, and I also have a knack for making creative ventures as complicated as possible for myself. And with the growth in the eBook market, and the general tools the internet provides to help seek that crucial niche of affable persons, it is definitely a good time for it.
But I return to the awkward personality of my book, and I know in my heart of hearts, I need a professional to help me edit it. It’s just a matter of finding someone I should be willing to hand over my hard-earned cash to.
Here I shall commit my (hopeful) journey to publishing. In the spirit of Bees Make Honey, amid my rambles I will share all the essential websites and advice I happen upon, to help those those treading the same path.
Over & owt