Black Car Publishing is a print and ebook publisher of quality dark fiction to include suspense, mystery, horror, vampire tales, and more. Learn more here.
SQF: There’s been quite a bit written about the demise of the paper book and the decline in the number of books published. What is your view of the current state of the book and the book market?
PH: There will never be a demise of paper books, at least not in this century. I don't have psychic powers, so I can't really predict what the distant future will hold. However, that being said, I do believe that as we continue to move into a digital world, the increase of eBooks can only rise. But even the eBook will probably evolve. Some are talking a blending of graphics and sound into the eBook platform. So you see, with advances in technology, nothing will ever remain the same. Right now, there is room for the lover of the paper book and for the eBook reader. What I hope is that ePublishing will come into its own and be accepted as such. Will authors seek ePublication in lieu of print? Will the author become their own brand instead of going through gate-keepers such as agents? I hope so.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a manuscript?
PH: The biggest thing is that the author should read the submission guidelines and follow them. First, by submitting a manuscript that is exactly what I'm looking for. Secondly, that the manuscript is completely and fully and professionally edited. There is nothing that makes my heart sing more than getting a manuscript for an anthology that completely captures the intent of the anthology.
Since BCP is primarily interested in horror and horror/mystery genre blending with lesbian content or lesbian protagonist, a manuscript that is able to capture any of the traditional staples of the horror and mystery genres in a unique voice with strong lesbian characterization and story stands a good chance. BCP also publishes DARK THINGS, a yearly anthology with profits going to the ASPCA and Humane Society. That anthology is open to all authors.
SQF: What major mistakes do authors make when pitching their books?
PH: Don't submit something that isn't what Black Car Publishing is looking for. Don't send me a book that isn't lesbian fiction. Please read the submission guidelines fully. Also, make sure the manuscript is finished and completed, and by that, I mean fully edited and ready for publication. And for the anthology, be aware of the theme for the anthology that year, and submit stories that fit the theme and are fresh and creative and meet ALL the submissions guidelines.
SQF: Last year you published the first Dark Things Anthology. Please tell us more about this project.
PH: DARK THINGS was an idea I had about doing something to bring money to help out the ASPCA. So many pets and the organizations that care for them need our help that I thought doing a collection of short stories and donating all the proceeds to those organizations would help in whatever way we could. Since Black Car Publishing is mainly focused on horror, I invited several authors that I personally know, to participate. Some declined. Two accepted and along with my two stories, BCP published DARK THINGS. It's a collection of four short stories using the traditional themes of horror--vampires, ghosts, zombies and demons. Each story is unique. The collection is available as a trade paperback via Lulu Marketplace and also as an eBook Kindle download at Amazon.com. Unfortunately, it hasn't generated as much as I was hoping for, but what sales have been generated will be donated to the ASPCA at the end of the year in December.
I hope to do a DARK THINGS anthology each year but not as an invitation only project. BCP is currently taking submissions for DARK THINGS II: Cat Crimes, to be published in 2011. Submissions are open until January 6th, 2011. You can read the submission guidelines by going to the Black Car Publishing web site and clicking on the DARK THINGS II: Cat Crimes tab. DARK THINGS II: Cat Crimes will be available as a trade paperback on Amazon and also as a Kindle download. All submissions to DARK THINGS II: Cat Crimes, our 2011 anthology, will be donated to The Cat House on the Kings, Lynea Lattanzio's unbelievable cat sanctuary in California.
SQF: What is your advice to new, unpublished authors looking for a publisher or agent?
PH: Decide what you want out of your writing, your career. Realize that the road to traditional publishing could be long and less rewarding than you thought. Be open to advice and to alternative publishing. Don't give up but keep writing and polishing your work. It is never over for a writer. Never.
SQF: What question do you wish I’d asked that I didn’t? And how would you answer it?
No response provided.
Thank you, Patty. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.
NEXT POST: 1/27--Six Questions for Eva Barrows, Editor, Imitation Fruit Literary Journal