Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A New Publishing Contract!

I'm very pleased to announce that I have signed a contract with Virtual Tales to publish my science fiction novella, The Epsilon Eridani Alternative, in ebook, eserial, and paperback formats. This novella won an Honorable Mention in 2003 from the prestigious science fiction novella contest run by Universitat Polit├Ęcnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona, Spain, with prizes of up to 6,000 Euros for SF novellas written in one of three languages, English, Spanish, or Catalan. My novella was one of two written in English that made it to the top ten entries that year and the only one from the USA.

After basking in the glow of that contest placement, I began the very, very long process of trying to find a publisher for it. Novellas are a very difficult size of manuscript to get published, I soon discovered. 25,000 words was too long for most science fiction magazines, and it's too short to interest a traditional book publisher. After considerable research, though, I found a variety of print magazine, ezine, anthology, and traditional and electronic book publishers whose submittal guidelines matched the novella's genre and length. Almost all of them forbade simultaneous submissions, so that meant submitting to one publisher at a time and waiting months to hear from each one.

The rejections started piling up, then in 2006 an electronic publisher accepted the manuscript and said a contract would be on the way. I waited, and waited, and the contract never came. I sent emails and got no response. I called the editor, who said they'd get back to me, twice. Nothing. Finally I had to give up on that publisher and start submitting again. That publisher is still in business, so I don't know what happened to my manuscript. Maybe they changed their minds and decided not to publish The Epsilon Eridani Alternative, but I wish they'd come right out and told me. Anyway, after finally amassing nineteen rejections (yes, that acceptance became a rejection in my list), Virtual Tales accepted the manuscript and sent a contract, which I signed at the end of August.

After five long years, I will finally see The Epsilon Eridani Alternative published. I'm very excited and looking forward to working with the editor and other staff at Virtual Tales. Here's their website: http://virtualtales.com/

3 comments:

Richard said...

Congratulations on the new deal! I learned about your work via the Sept. issue of The Writer. Looking forward to reading more. BTW -had trouble accessing your web site?

Beth Groundwater said...

Richard,
My website was down for a few days due to a mix-up with the hosting service. It's back up now, and I hope you'll take a look!
- Beth

Richard said...

I just took a walk around through the site. Wonderful! Great work!