Thursday, 18 December 2014

Write for Abaddon Books! Redux



Hey folks!

So, next year, Abaddon Books will have existed as an entity for ten years (the first book came out around a year later, in 2006, but we started being book people in 2005).

Ten years! Ten years. TEN YEARS! A lot can happen in ten years. Like me: I freaked out at the senior prom, joined the Army, went into business for myself and became a professional killer.

Wait, no; that’s the plot of the John Cusack vehicle Grosse Point Blank. I get confused sometimes.

Okay, so: I’ve been with Rebellion Publishing for a hair over five years, and it’s the best game in town. Big enough to swim at the deep end, small enough to do we want. Abaddon Books is a home for risk-taking, innovation and irreverence, and we’re immeasurably proud to have brought some of the best, brightest and most challenging new names onto the market.

And here we are doing it again! Our last subs month was a blast; the talent, passion and dedication shining through every page blew me away. The only drawback, in fact, was having to say ‘no’ to so many people who frankly deserved a shot, because so damned many of you were so good. And I’m pretty sure this is going to be even bigger. So go ahead and do it! Bleed and sweat on your keyboard and make my job twice as hard as last time. It’s all I want.

[turns on Netflix to look for Grosse Point Blank]

Man, that was a great movie.

Oh, wait, you’re still here.

So we’re looking for two things! Firstly, I would love to see a submission for a new 30,000-word novella set in one of our existing worlds, particularly The Afterblight Chronicles, Tomes of the Dead, Weird Space or Gods & Monsters. Pick up some our existing characters – I would love to see a “what happened next” for The Culled’s nameless hero and Kill or Cure’s Jasmine! – or bring a new character into the mix of any of our worlds.

Secondly, and more importantly, I’m looking for a new world! Find something we haven’t done. Hard SF, maybe, or a monster we haven’t done (werewolves? faeries?). Maybe something I haven’t thought of at all and therefore can’t give an example of! Again, I want a 30,000-word novella, which will kick start a new series in 2015.

You’ve got until mid-February. The doors open (metaphorically) at midnight on January 14th, 2015, and close at midnight on February 15th, 2015. Send us a 150-word “elevator pitch,” a 1000-word chapter-by-chapter breakdown, and a 2000-word sample, to submissions@rebellion.co.uk, by the deadline, and expect to hear from me... some point. When I get around to it. It can take a while (okay: you can start chasing me on the 1st March).

Do it.

What are you still doing here? Do it.


EXTREMELY IMPORTANT ADDENDUM! Abaddon is a Work For Hire imprint. That means that we buy your work off you outright, rather than the licensing-with-royalties deal you're probably more aware of. The money's a bit better up front, but you lose control once we buy it. This may not be for all people. If you want to understand more about the Work For Hire model, feel free to get in touch and ask some questions.

24 comments:

philnorris63 said...

Is the 2000AD shared world included in this open subs period or only the series listed?

David Moore said...

Hi Phil,

We've got pretty firm plans, but by all means send in a novella pitch for one of the stories. I'm up for being persuaded. I'd focus on the Dredd, Anderson and Rico lines; Kingdom's right out (that one's Dan and Nik's sandpit).

David

Darkling said...

Hi,

Under the work for hire contract, do you consider any kind of rights reversion (ie rights reverting to the author if it's out of print for say 5 year)?

David Moore said...

Hiya Darkling,

I'll cut to the chase and say no. There's a reason for it, but the answer you need is, we buy it for the duration of the copyright.

Cheers,

David

Anonymous said...

Hi David.

This is really exciting - I still have some of my unsuccessful pitches from 2006!

Anyway, I have a few questions for you, if you don't mind.

First, do you just want a single pitch, or can we give you a variety?

Are there any world bibles we can look at?

Would any previously accepted authors be able to share any successful pitches?

Finally, I'm more used to doing 90k word-length novels. What sort of format (in terms of chapter length) are you expecting from a novella?

Much obliged!

Nick

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

You are interested in 30,000 word novellas that will kick off a series proper. Can I ask if the nature of rights purchase covers just the novella, or the rights to the series and the world it is set in?

Also, my novella submission would be an expansion of a short story I have had published in a few places (although I have all rights at this point). Although the novella is going to be a complete tear-down and dramatic expansion, would this rule out my submission?

Many thanks,
Jon

David Moore said...

Hi Nick!

Pitches: More than one's fine. I'd recommend only pitching more than one if you genuinely have multiple equally exciting ideas; last time I found I generally got as strong an impression from one pitch as from three. So frankly if you think you can do one pitch more justice by putting your all into it, it's likely to serve you better than three. But fill your boots either way.

World Bibles: We have a great Afterblight bible and a good Weird Space bible. I can't remember what we have G&M-wise - I think there's something, but will have to hunt for it - and Tomes isn't strictly a shared world anyway, so no bible there. Email me on the subs address listed above and I'll chase (keep in mind I'm on holiday in Australia right now, so if I can't find it in my email I'll have to ask one of my colleagues to dig it up for you, which may be a bit of a delay; bear with me).

Successful Pitches: Sure; ask them! :) To be honest, don't worry too much about other people's work, as everyone's different, and I've accepted lots of different types of pitch. Just be passionate, think about first impressions (wow factor, etc), listen to my requests above, read it back to yourself, read it to someone else (and listen to their feedback), and above all show good spelling and grammar (because nothing screws applying for a writing job as much as writing your application badly...).

Structure: I've published full-length novels with over sixty chapters and with fewer than twenty. I've published novellas with no chapters at all and with a dozen. I've published books with section breaks, chapter breaks, "part" breaks, prologues, epilogues and forewords and books with none of those things. I've published books with metafiction, with one-word chapters, with weird formatting kinks, with pictures and with everything else. If it works for your book, it works. If it does't, I'll tell you. I appreciate that's not helpful for someone looking for firm guidance, but that's where I'm at.

Cheers,

David

David Moore said...

Hi Jon,

World Rights: Right, short answer is, we buy the story, the characters and the world. Done and done. We've certainly talked to individuals before about them using worlds they've created in one-off instances outside Abaddon, but that would be case by case and we'd reserve the right to say no. So, frankly, don't pitch me your beloved fantasy world you've been developing for twenty years and have pinned all your fame-slash-fortune hopes on. I know it's a bit poo, so I want to be completely clear about what's on the table.

Prior Publishing: Shouldn't be a problem. Detail the prior publishing instances in the pitch (links if poss), and with whom it's still in press (if at all) and we'll take a look at it to see if it's going to be a problem, but basically if no-one else has the rights then I guess it's just between you and us! (Although I'd guess from my above question you may be considering doing a new pitch anyway?)

Cheers,

David

Jon Macho said...

Hi David,

Really excited about this opportunity, can't wait to get writing! Just a quick question: As a massive fan of Strontium Dog, I've been dying to pen an adventure in that universe for ages- is that one of the 2000AD properties you'd consider?

Cheers,

Jonathan

David Moore said...

Hi Jonathan,

I'd advise against, as we look at prior sales and the first Johnny Alpha novella didn't take off. I'd certainly look at a Judge Dredd: Year Two novella, a Judge Anderson: Rookie novella, or a Rico Dredd: The Titan Years novella.

Cheers,

David

Anonymous said...

Hi

Just to doublecheck for a friend's pitch - Dredd: Year Two's not a typo, there's an upcoming Year Two range?

- Charles

David Moore said...

Hi Charles,

Right on both counts. It's the same collection as JDY1, essentially, but we're moving on a year.

Cheers,

David

Matt Zitron said...

Hi David,

One quick couple of questions.

On the guidelines you give word counts, is there wriggle room?

Obviously within reason! I'm talking no more than 50 - 100 extra words when it comes to the chapter by chapter breakdown and the full prose selection.

And if we had supporting notes for the pitch, would you like those included separately? Or send only if you ask for it?

Best
Matt

David Moore said...

Hi Matt,

- No problem on wiggle room.

- Attach the extra as a separate doc, explaining the deal in the body of the email.

Cheers,

David

Helen F said...

Hi David,

If we're pitching a new idea, as opposed to a story in an existing world, is there any extra documentation you'd like to see? For example presumably you want to know it's a solid world with loads of room for story ideas. People submitting for an existing world don't have to get that across. I can probably do it within the current things you're asking for, but I didn't want to leave something out if you were interested. For example, perhaps a 'world pitch' as well as a 'novella pitch'? Or world synopsis. I don't know!

Thanks

Helen

David Moore said...

Hi Helen,

By all means send any extra content you feel you need to convey your pitch.

New Abaddon worlds, in the past, have come out of long, detailed pitches, sketchy outlines, long email exchanges, wholly separate world-building exercises and no specific outline at all (the world being introduced to me wholly through the first story). It just depends on the world and what it needs.

So go ahead and throw in what you think I need. Pop it in a seperate doc and explain in the email.

Thanks!

David

Sarah McPherson said...

Hi David, does the novella have to be complete, or can I pitch something that is as yet unfinished (as long as I have the required outline, sample etc.)?

Thanks
Sarah

David Moore said...

Hi Sarah,

Doesn't have to be complete. If you're successful, we'll discuss writing schedules and deadlines as part of the commissioning process. We'll work to accommodate you!

David

Stoo said...

Are there any series we can't touch? I'd be interested in doing something in the Knight's of Albion series.

David Moore said...

Hi Stoo,

The abovementioned series are the ones I'm most likely to commission, but by all means pitch what you feel interested in/excited about.

Cheers,

David

Paul said...

Hi, can I just check are you accepting Tomes of the Dead novellas? I only ask because when I checked on the main site and the submissions posting put up a week ago doesn't mention Tomes of the Dead?

My other question is about the elevator pitch, I'm presuming this is just to give a feel for the story ala "Terrorists take over an office building and only one man can stop them" rather than going into detail on the entire plot, which I assumed would be taken care of by the chapter breakdown? Is this ok or did you want the beginning middle and end referenced in the pitch as well?

Thanks!

David Moore said...

Hi Paul,

Tomes submissions are fine.

And your elevator pitch is your opportunity to a) grab my attention, and b) demonstrate that you've got a clear idea what your story is about.

Write it any way you think will achieve those two.

David

Blair Hodgkinson said...

Hi David. I'm excited to pitch in this fantastic opportunity. I just have a question about format. Do you prefer to have the elevator pitch, the outline and the sample in the body of the e-mail, or attached as a .doc or .pdf document?

David Moore said...

Hi Blair,

Separate .docs would be appreciated, thanks!

Cheers,

David