Anthology: Online Book Launch Party

As you know, my short story “Where Strength Lies” has been published in the anthology “Speculative Realms: Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.

My story is a romantic fantasy story and the other stories all fall into the speculative fiction genre, which include fantasy, science fiction and horror. There are 13 stories in total and the authors are from Australia, England, United States, Canada and Netherlands. You can visit the website – Speculative Realms – to find out more about the stories, the authors and, of course, to buy a copy of the book. 😀

To celebrate, we are having an online book launch party on Monday 1 September 2008 at the website’s forum and I would love it if you could come along and show your support. It will be a lot of fun. There will be “games” and you can “chat” with the authors. Free copies of the book will be given away on the day. If you want to be in the running for one of them, all you have to do is write a post and your name will be automatically put into the draw. Good luck! (You will need to join the forum to post, but I guarantee your details will remain private and you will only be contacted if you win a prize.)

If you know anyone else who might be interested in the book or the party, please feel free to invite them too. The more the merrier.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

Here’s the official press release:
Speculative Realms Plan an Online Book Launch Party That Will Last for More Than 24 Hours

Anthology: Published!

There has been a good reason for my absence from the internet. I’ve been working diligently on the Speculative Realms anthology and I’m proud to announce that it is now published.

Speculative Realms: Where there’s a will, there’s a way

A collection of fantasy, science fiction and horror stories
Edited by Sasha Beattie

Purchase now from Speculative Realms

Honestly, this project was hard work and I couldn’t have done it without the faithful help of a number of online friends – especially Sasha Beattie, the editor, and Heather Anderson, the artist.

And now that it’s finished, I must admit that I have had a change of heart regarding self publishing. It certainly isn’t for everyone, and I will continue to say that my novel length manuscripts will continue to be submitted through traditional publishers as a first option, but I no longer feel dead against self publishers. Self publishing has a stigma attached to it and I am finally removing the barriers that have always held me back from purchasing self published books.

Let’s face it, there are a lot of rubbish books on the market – and not all of them have been self published. If I purchase a book and don’t like the content I will not buy something written by that author again – that is the same if it is self published or not. And I have discovered that because advances are paid to authors prior to publication, from traditional publishers, and the fact that the publisher is not recouping that advance due to lack of sales, new writers are not being given a chance. The publishers are not willing to take a risk on unknown writers. I also know there are a lot of talented writers out there who haven’t been discovered yet. From frustration, those authors might turn to self publishing. They deserve a break. If something looks professional on the outside, you can presume that it is professional on the inside too. If it doesn’t look professional, then stay away from it.

Yes, this project has taught me a lot and I expect to learn a lot more in the coming months too.

Anthology Update

Before I go any further, I must mention the anthology I founded in early 2007. Unlike the other anthologies I’ve organised, this one did not die a natural death. In fact, I’m presently waiting for the first proof copy of the published book to arrive on my doorstep.

I learned from the other anthologies that short story collections are not favoured by publishing companies, unless stories by successful authors are included. I had no such luck in that department, so while editors were kind and encouraging, they quickly rejected every submission I made. It was for this reason that this latest project saw me going down a different path. I decided to try self publishing. Before you raise your eyebrows and tut, please hear me out.

My views on self publishing are quite simple. Do not do it with novel length manuscripts! Short stories, however, are a different matter altogether. Speculative Realms was born from that thought and…let’s make one thing quite clear…this is self publishing for me, but not for any of the other contributors. Approximately 130 manuscripts were rejected. No one, but me, makes decisions. Yes, I’ve asked other people’s opinions/advice along the way and I had a reading panel that helped me find the right stories, but I’m the one who made the final decisions in most areas of the project. The other contributors didn’t have a say in anything, so it wouldn’t be fair to say they self published. In fact, it would be totally wrong to suggest it.

Everyone associated with this project has put in a lot of time and effort to produce top quality stories. It’s been a good 15 months from the beginning to now and it’s not over yet. This has been an experience to remember, I will say that. It has been very stressful yet it has been so exciting too. Shortly, I will be moving into the marketing phase of the project. I have no idea what to expect, but I don’t expect it to be easy.

The Speculative Realms collection will be available for purchase in September 2008. I hope you will support fellow writers and buy a copy when the time comes.