Angry Robot open to unsolicited manuscripts – for one month only!

 Just found out the most wonderful thing from Angry Robot Books. Something i think i will really be able to benefit from.  For the entire month of March 2011, Angry Robot Books will be accepting unsolicited manuscripts! Woohoo!  I’ll post the complete information here for you to read, there is a lot.

here’s the info:

Like most mass-market publishers, Angry Robot only accepts novel proposals from literary agents. This is all set to change in 2011, when Angry Robot opens its doors for the first time to unrepresented authors, everywhere.

The month of March 2011 will be Open Door Month at Angry Robot.  The publisher has put together a dedicated team of readers, who will diligently work through every submission received. The best of these will be considered for publication by the Angry Robot editorial team.
If this pilot is successful, Angry Robot will consider further Open Door Months for later in the year and beyond.

Angry Robot’s Editor, Lee Harris, said, “We’re delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to unpublished and unrepresented novelists. There are a lot of exciting authors out there, just waiting to be discovered, and we’d like to be able to help them kick-start their careers.”

Open Door Month runs for the entire month of March 2011. Further details can be found on our submissions page.

 Follow the link and you will see this:

Submitting a Proposal
We’re not open to unsolicited proposals at this time.
HOWEVER, we will be accepting unsolicited manuscripts throughout the month of March, 2011. Click here for details.

 I clicked on this link and got directed here(lots of info):

March 2011 – Open Door Month

In March 2011 we will be accepting submissions from unagented authors for the first time. The clock starts ticking on March 1st, and we close the doors again on March 31st. If things go well we might repeat the project later in the year.

During March 2011, this page will change, and you will see details of how to submit your manuscripts to us.

Please do not send us anything before this time, as we won’t read it.
Instead, use the time between now and then to make sure it’s the best it can be.
What we will be looking for:
We’re publishing novels, either standalone or as part of greater series. We’re not looking to publish your novellas, short stories or non-fiction at this time.

All our books are “genre” fiction in one way or another — specifically fantasy, science fiction, horror, and that new catch-all urban or modern fantasy. Those are quite wide-ranging in themselves; we’re looking for all types of sub-genre, so for example, hard SF, space opera, cyberpunk, military SF, alternate future history, future crime, time travel, and more. We have no problem if your book mashes together two or more of these genres; in fact, we practically insist upon it.

Our books will be published in all English-language territories — notably the UK, US and Australia — so we’ll be buying rights to cover all those. If you are only offering rights in one territory, we will not be able to deal with you. We will be able to offer e-book and audio versions as standard too, plus limited edition and multiple physical formats where appropriate. We are not contracting any work-for-hire titles; we offer advances and royalties.

Beyond all of this, what we’re really looking for in your writing is this:
• A “voice”, that comes from…
• Confident writing
• Pacy writing
• Characters that live, have real relationships and emotions, even in extreme situations
• A sense of vision, a rounded universe that lives and breathes
• Clever construction, good plotting, a couple of surprises even for us jaded old read-it-alls
• Heightened experience – an intensity, extremity or just a way of treating plot or situation in a way we’ve not come across before. “Goes up to 11″, if you know what that means.

Do all those, and it will be almost irrelevant that your story is one or other sub-set of SF, fantasy or horror!

We require a brief (two pages max) summary of characters, plot and your intentions/inspiration, in that order — plus the opening five chapters. No more, no less. DO NOT send us the opening chapters of your unfinished manuscript – we’re only interested in novels that have been completed.

This should be emailed to us, either as Word, RTF or PDF files (we prefer RTFs). Please don’t just send us a complete manuscript. Please note that we do not accept hardcopy manuscripts.

Your opening chapters will then be read by one of our team of experienced readers. If they like what they read you will be asked to submit the full manuscript. If they absolutely adore your novel, they’ll pass it up to one of Angry Robot’s editors.

Will I get a response?
Yes. You will definitely get a response, whether it’s “No, thank you – it’s not for us”, “No, thank you – but we’d like to read more of your work” or “Ooh, yes please – just what we’re looking for”.

Will I get feedback?
Possibly. Probably not much.

How long will it be before I hear from you?
You know – we’ve absolutely no idea. We don’t know how many manuscripts we’re likely to get during this month, as we’ve never accepted unsolicited novels, before. As a general rule of thumb, it generally takes us 3 months or more to respond to solicited manuscripts. Yours might take longer. On the other hand, with more readers in place, it might be sooner. You will get a response, though. Feel free to drop us a query if you’ve not heard anything after 6 months.

Six months? Seriously?
We never joke about time. Well, not unless we have a really great time-travel comedy, and then we might.

What happens if your reader likes my work?
If they like your work, you’ll get a polite rejection. You might even get feedback (but that’s not guaranteed).

Ok, ok, Mr Nitpicky – I meant love my work. What happens if they love my work?
Your novel will be sent to one of Angry Robot’s two editors, along with a note, somewhere along the lines of:
omg, omg, you just *have* to read this!
which we’ll then do.
If we agree with the reader’s view of the book, and if we don’t have anything too similar in our list, and if it’s something we believe fits with the Angry Robot label, and if {insert another arbitrary condition} then we’ll take it to the rest of our acquisitions team, and recommend we make an offer. During this acquisitions meeting, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of the book, along with its chances of commercial and critical success, and if the concensus is thatwe should make an offer, that’s what we’ll probably do.

And then I can quit my day job?
Ummm… no. Well, only if you have an independent income stream. Most professional novelists hold down jobs in addition to their writing. At a later stage in your career you may decide to write full time, but we would not advise it at the outset, unless a life of poverty appeals (but hey – great research for your next novel!)

This is followed by some great tips for you to follow, check them out:

Pitch Perfect
So you’ve just finished writing your novel. Before I go any further, let me stand and applaud you – I have the utmost respect for any writer, new or established, who goes the whole mile and finishes a manuscript of novel length. Even those books that are less than excellent deserve a hearty round of congratulatory cheers for their creators. Finishing a novel is not easy.
Unfortunately, the hard work doesn’t stop there. Once the novel is written, the next phase of hard work begins. The first of which is to find an agent to represent you and/or a publisher to get your magnum opus out into the wild (or at least the bookshops, which are often mistaken for the same thing).

Here, then, are a few tips to help you on your way. To those of you who read the following and think “Well, that’s obvious”, you’re right. Unfortunately, the obvious is all-too-often overlooked in favour of the optimistic, or the downright foolhardy.

Tip number 1 – Research
Before you submit your work to an agent or a publisher, do some homework, first. It’s absolutely no use submitting a far-future sci-fi story to an agent who only represents romantic fiction. It doesn’t matter how good your story is, it’ll be rejected, and you will have wasted months waiting for the reply to your submission. It happens more than you would think – we receive many titles that are obviously aimed at the younger end of the young adult market, despite us not being a YA imprint.

Tip 2 – Don’t be impatient
The agent’s first priority is to the clients already on his/her list – the publisher’s is to the authors and books he has already committed to publish. New stories coming in are important, of course, but in the majority of cases it’ll be months before you get a response. How many months? Read the submission guidelines on the agent’s or publisher’s website – they’ll probably mention it there. If not, it’s perfectly permissible to ask the question when submitting your manuscript for consideration.

Tip 3 – Read the submission guidelines
“Submission guidelines” is a bit of a misnomer, actually. Whenever you read “submission guidelines”, substitute those words with “Rules of Engagement, Never to be Broken” (unless you’re already a successful author selling in the hundreds of thousands, in which case, “guidelines” means what it says).

A little more detail on this tip is warranted, I think:
* If the guidelines state “send your manuscript as a Word or RTF document, single-spaced”, DO NOT send a physical copy to the office, double-spaced because that’s what you read in a “how to get published” book you bought in the ’70s. Many editors and slushpile readers like to read submissions on electronic readers, these days – sending a physical copy will not only get you to the bottom of the reading pile, it may well keep you there.

* If the guidelines state “Send the first five chapters, along with a 2-page plot and character summary”, do that. Don’t send a 15-page synopsis, along with the entire manuscript. If the publisher or agent is impressed enough by your sample chapters, you’ll be asked to send in the rest.

* If the guidelines state “send your manuscript to the office address listed below”, that’s what you should do. I’ve had authors hunt down my home address and send copies there, without asking. That’s not showing initiative – that’s just downright creepy!

Tip 4 – Write a professional query letter
Your book may be the best thing ever written, but that does not mean you should forget the rules of written English when composing your introductory letter. Be polite, be professional (“Dear Mr Treeblossom”, rather than “Hi Steve”, unless you already have an existing relationship). Check your spelling and grammar. It’s astounding how many submissions are received accompanied by query letters that appear to have been written by a hedgehog with learning difficulties – your introductory letter is a sample of your writing, and will be treated as such, so don’t allow yourself to fall at the first hurdle.

Tip 5 – Don’t trash your genre
Seems sensible enough, doesn’t it? Yet it is not uncommon to receive query letters that do not just hype the manuscript, but also trash the competition: “this novel is much better written than any of the rubbish currently being published” – that presumably includes the rubbish being marketed by the publisher you’re currently courting…?

Tip 6 – Use sensible filenames
If submitting electronically, use a filename that tells the reader what it is they have – eg.”Final Conflict by Jimmy Johnson – first 5 chapters.doc”, rather than “FCv1 17-04-2007.doc”. It helps the publisher or agent when they’re looking for your file, and anything that helps them, helps you.

Tip 7 – Use endorsements wisely
If Famous Writer X has read your work and liked it, by all means mention this – for instance, “Jim Jones read the final draft of Mystery Mansion XIV and told me it was ‘the best example of a haunted house story’ he has ever read.” Needless to say, don’t invent endorsements, and don’t mention that your friends and mother thought it was great – they don’t count, and it’ll make you come across as an idiot, or at least a tad naive.

Tip 8 – If you have previously published work, mention it
It adds to your credibility as a writer. Though not essential, it may help you stand out a little from the next submission in the pile. Also mention any awards, or other relevant information. “I trained as a particle physicist before writing my novel” is relevant for sci-fi imprints; “I was employee of the month three months running at Acme Widget Corporation” isn’t (though, you know, well done).

Tip 9 – If a publisher is inviting submissions “through an agent only”, don’t send your manuscript direct
This rule may be ignored if you have been invited to do submit directly by the publisher (when you met them at a convention, or other event, for instance). Don’t be tempted to invent a fake agency – it often happens and it’s not difficult to spot. A fake agency tells the publisher that you’re not necessarily the most honest of people, suggesting you may not be the easiest person to work with.

Tip 10 – Check your manuscript before you send it
Your novel should be in its finished state. Sending a follow-up email three days later asking for the original to be deleted as you’ve made some changes doesn’t make a great impression.

Tip 11 – Include your contact details
Sounds daft? An enormous percentage of manuscripts are sent without contact details. Your manuscript is almost certainly going to get separated from your initial email by the time it gets read, so include on the first page, your name, address, telephone number, email address, title of the story, genre and wordcount. If you’re submitting through an agent, include their name, agency and contact details as well.

Tip 12 – If your manuscript is rejected, but you’re asked to submit something else, be elated
Your book is being rejected, but you are not – it means that the agency or publisher sees something in you they can work with, even though that particular book is not right for them. If it takes you a year to write your next piece, when you submit it again, make sure you state “though NOVEL X was not right for your agency/imprint, you asked to see my next work, which I am enclosing/attaching”. Most writers are not asked to submit something else – if you are, it’s great news!

There are many other pitfalls to avoid, and many other ways to get your story noticed, but if you take note of the above, your submission will be in a better condition than a lot of submissions received. First impressions really do count.

pretty cool, huh? i’m super stoked for this. Can’t wait to submit, must continue writing. :)


I’m a bit of an awesome person. :) I’m a semi-famous 40k Intellect and the Business Manager of Chique Geek Entertainment, LLC. I’m a book reviewer and the owner of Beware my wonky-ness…

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