Zumaya Publications, a small press publisher based in Austin, Texas, and headed by the magnificent and articulate Elizabeth Burton, is celebrating its fifth year birthday this month (Happy Birthday Zumaya!) at Pump Up Your Book and as part of the birthday celebration, the authors of Zumaya would like to tell you how they were published to help you understand how important their small press publisher is to them. Today we have as our guest, Bruce Golden, author of Dancing with the Velvet Lizard.
By Bruce Golden
It's old story, unknown writer with no particular connections to the New York publishing world tries to sell his novel--gets ignored, disrespected, disregarded, discarded, overlooked, rejected, unread--contemplates suicide (okay, that last one is a bit of hyperbole).
I wasn't exactly untested when I approached the publishing establishment. I worked as a professional editor/writer/producer/reporter in magazines, radio, and TV for more than 25 years, and sold more than 200 freelance articles, before I finished my first book and tried to sell it.
After the years I spent (wasted?) trying to sell my first two books, sending out query letters, synopses, sample chapters, blood & DNA samples, to publishers, agents, warlocks and witches, I was about to give up trying to sell my second novel Better Than Chocolate, and just publish it myself as I had with my first effort, Mortals All. BTC was a fusion of scifi, satire, and mystery, so I knew going in it was going to be hard fit into a some publisher's neat little niche. But hey, those were the words that came out of my fingers, so what was I to do? I don't write what other people want (unless they offer a lot of cash upfront)--writing is too hard, too much work, for me to be willing to do it just so I can write something formulaic that will be a "certain sale" (if there is such a thing). I write about what I'm intrigued with--about the stories I want to tell.
Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), I was shocked when Zumaya's editor, Liz Burton, wrote back one day that she loved BTC and wanted to publish it. I had to read the email several times to be certain I wasn't hallucinating.
I don't know where my books would be today if it wasn't for Zumaya. I can't say for certain I would have had the motivation to continue to writing them, without Zumaya putting them out there for people to read.
So I wish a very happy birthday to Zumaya Publications--may you have many, many more.
Novelist, journalist, satirist, Bruce Golden's short stories have been published more than 90 times across eight countries. Asimov's Science Fiction described his second book, "If Mickey Spillane had collaborated with both Frederik Pohl and Philip K. Dick, he might have produced Bruce Golden's Better Than Chocolate." The same reviewer said of his novel Evergreen, "If you can imagine Ursula Le Guin channeling H. Rider Haggard, you'll have the barest conception of this stirring book, which centers around a mysterious artifact and the people in its thrall. Reminiscent of the work of Robert Silverberg, this planetary romance will introduce lucky readers to a world both magical and spooky, yet ultimately as tangible as your own backyard.” His newest book, Dancing with the Velvet Lizard, is one of the largest collections of science fiction and fantasy every published, with 33 mind-warping, sense-shifting tales.