As revealed earlier in the month, later this week HarperCollins launches Killer Reads – its new digital crime imprint – with a week of open submission. Any aspiring authors who need one final nudge to submit their manuscripts may be heartened by the news that this week also brings details of the result of an earlier call for submissions from the publisher: HarperCollins’ sci-fi and horror imprint Harper Voyager accepted unagented submissions for a fortnight in October 2012 – the first time it had done so in nearly a decade – and has now announced plans to publish 15 novels discovered as part of that initiative.
The bad news: that’s 15 novels published from over 5,000 submissions, putting chances of publication at roughly one in 330. Still, those 15 authors must be feeling pretty good about themselves right now. The books will be published digitally, beginning late this year and continuing through 2015, and will eventually also see short print runs. They run the gamut of genre fiction, from YA to historical to epic fantasy.
HarperVoyager UK’s editorial director, Natasha Bardon, tells The Bookseller: ‘Being able to launch this much new talent is fantastic, especially in a genre which is so difficult to break into. It was a great experience doing the open submissions – seeing the amount of voices out there was brilliant. Everyone here came into publishing because we were looking for good stories, so it was heartening to find so many. It was a lot of hard work, but we’re not afraid of that.’
Bardon says the imprint’s plan is ‘releasing one or two a month, trying to give them their own space and seeing how the market responds to them. They cover a wide range of genres, so it will fascinating to see how the audience reacts.’
The 15 books chosen for publication are: Supervision by Alison Stine; Darkhaven by A.F.E. Smith; Grey by Christi Whitney; The Machinery by Gerrard Cowan; Ignite the Shadows by Ingrid Seymour; Hero Born by Andy Livingstone; Among Wolves by Nancy Wallace; Exile and Pilgrim by Graeme Talboys; The Rule by Jack Colman; Unexpected Rain by Jason LaPier; Belt Three by John Ayliff; The Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen; The Karma Booth by Jeff Pearce; Graynelore by Stephen Moore and A Dead Elf by Terry Newman.