Saturday, March 01, 2014

Latino Sci-Fi Con. Guillermo Luna. Rolando Hinojosa.

Latino Sci-Fi
1-day Conference!

University of Calif.-Riverside      
Wed. April 30, 2014

Afternoon TV/Movie Panel:
Jésus Trevińo
and other guests TBA.

To my knowledge, this is the first event dedicated to Latino Sci-Fi Lit. I'm excited by the possibilities. Given some of the presenting authors, I would guess that other Latino Spec Lit might also be discussed.

Please help spread the word to those interested in Latino SciFi. If you are in the L.A. area and can attend, come and add your input, por favor. You can check the presenters' websites for their works.

The event will be free and open to the public. More info on LaBloga as it becomes available and at UC-Riverside's calendar.

This Must be Heaven
by Guillermo Luna
[What follows is a response to Rudy Ch. Garcia’s blog post, A Latino’s Chance in Hell of getting published? La Bloga understands that every author's career is unique. Some La Bloga's authors have agents or are seeking one. This guest post describes Luna's experience with the companies mentioned and the decisions he made about lit agents.]

I found Rudy Garcia’s post interesting because I was able to get my book published in December of 2013 and it was the first book I had ever written. In retrospect, it wasn’t nearly as hard as it should have been. The way I went about getting published was like this: first, I tried to figure out what would be commercial. I was reading Dracula by Bram Stoker at the time so I figured maybe I should write a book about a monster. You can’t go wrong with monsters, right? I also had no desire to write literary fiction since “pretty” sentences aren’t my game. I’m too manly for pretty sentences. Snork!

My writing began in 2008 but the biggest surprise about the whole writing process occurred in 2010 when I bought the 2010 Writers Market book and subsequently discovered that nobody wanted to read my book. The nobodies I’m referring to in that sentence are agents.

In 2010 my book, The Odd Fellows, wasn’t ready to be read by anyone but like all first time writers I was eager to get it published and fantasized that my book would sell millions of copies. Wisely, I wasn’t completely delusional and continued to rewrite my book for another 2 years even as I sent it out. I created an excel spreadsheet in order to keep track of where my book went and how the individuals who received it responded. I would suggest all writers do this.

Agents and publishers usually wanted between 5 pages and the entire book submitted to them for review. That’s what I sent to a total of 26 agents and publishers. (I submitted my book to Arte Publico Press twice because I was sure they would publish it. I was wrong. Foundry Literary+Media responded twice even though I only submitted once. They wanted to drive home that “no,” I guess.) I did receive a yes from Txxx publishing (even though they hadn’t read my entire book) but they required that I pay a fee to have my book publish. I don’t remember how much it was but it was somewhere around $2,100.00. I said, “No, thank you” but I did, crazily, consider it.

I also received a yes from Axxxxxxx Bay (even though they didn’t read my entire book either) but that publisher wanted to know how many Facebook friends I had and wanted me to acknowledge everyone I knew in the book’s acknowledgements because, “each and every one of those people will buy a copy of your book.” Also, he didn’t want to edit my book. He wanted me to find someone to edit my book (and pay for this service). I figured if I was going to pay to have my book edited I should self-publish and take all the profits. The final strike against this publisher was when I looked at the mug shots of the writers on the publisher’s website. All had long, unhappy faces. I’m way too happening to be part of a group like that!

Ten months later I signed a contract with Bold Strokes Books. I was certainly apprehensive about signing the contract (because I had never been in this situation before) and it took me almost a month to sign but it was a very smart move on my part. At every step along the way Bold Strokes Books allowed me to have the final say. The book that I wrote and that Bold Strokes Books published, The Odd Fellows, is the book I wanted “out there.” 

The Odd Fellows is the book that was in my head. I’m very fortunate that I found a publisher for my book and what helped me get there was a book called, Ditch the Agent by Jack King. If I hadn’t stumbled upon his website I might still be unpublished. It never really occurred to me that publishers might look at a manuscript without an agent yet some publishers are willing to do just that. Jack King’s website pointed that out to me. I stumbled upon Jack King’s website sometime in September of 2011 because from that point on I no longer contacted agents. Instead, I contacted publishers. Between September 2011 and June 2012 I contacted six publishers, two said yes and I signed with one of them, Bold Strokes Books.

Advice I would give new writers would be:
1) Continue to rewrite your book even as you send it out. It can always be better.
2) Make an excel spreadsheet of who you send it to and their response. This alleviates confusion.
3) Don’t waste time trying to get an agent. Go directly to publishers.
I honestly feel God was looking out for me the day I stumbled onto Jack King’s website. I don’t know if Heaven is a place on earth but it felt like I was in heaven when I held my book in my hands for the very first time.

Excerpt, description and ordering info for The Odd Fellows.

Es todo, hoy,

Author FB -
Twitter - DiscardedDreams

1 comment:

Armando Rendón said...

I invite all the authors at the Latino SciFi conference to consider submitting a short story or extract from one of their obras to my magazine: I want to do a whole segment on sci-fi, spec lit. Submit to
Armando Rendon, Editor