Wednesday, July 26, 2006

free press and book stuff

*update* - Sarge commented on the tagboard that he does not diffentiate between social-realist stories and speculative fiction. So, sulat na!

The Philippines Free Press has a new literary editor, Sarge Lacuesta, and he's asked me to tell you that he's looking for kick-ass short stories. If you have well-written fiction, send it to him for consideration. I can't speak for him in terms of what he's looking for (you could check out back issues under previous editor Paolo Manalo, but Sarge's taste might differ), but I can tell you what is obvious: literary fiction. Now before you roll your eyes and sigh, this isn't necessarily social-realist fiction - in fact, Sarge is open to spec fic, for as long as it is well-written (having contributed "New Wave Days", a great piece, to Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol.1 himself). So this is a great opportunity for you, me and everyone else who is pushing for more genre stories (for instance, I'll be delighted if a strong sci fi or interstitial piece is published there). Go and submit: sargelacuesta@gmail.com.

Speaking of the antho, just today my office got a call from Fully Booked Rockwell, reordering Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol.1 (Fully Booked branches issue purchase orders separately). The very small number we have left here at the office is not enough for their new order, plus projected requests from our other limited distribution channels (you can find the antho also at Central Books at 3/f Glorietta, Quezon Avenue and at Ever Gotesco at Recto, among other places). So we're talking to printers to see what can be done since the first printing is exhausted. It's a novel experience, given how little we managed to market the antho, and very encouraging for a book that has been out for 7 months - PSF1 was launched December 2005). In the meantime, I'm putting together the funding for the 2nd volume (this creative writer - businessman juggling can be such fun).

This got me thinking about Salamanca, so I called my publisher's office (Ateneo Press) and found out that almost half of the initial print run has been sold (big, big thanks to everyone who bought a copy!). Salamanca was launched just this April, three months ago. And it is still not available at Powerbooks or National Bookstore, because of the huge percentage National Bookstore is asking for.

So despite the fact that I still feel ill, I'm very happy and thankful.

I'm prepping some stories for submission abroad, and will soon have to make a trip to main post office in Manila to buy the coupons/postage that are needed to accompany the SASEs. Being able to submit electronically is a great convenience, but there is something more...real... about printing out manuscripts, writing a cover letter, and snail mailing the entire package off to editors in distant lands - and waiting for their replies by post. It's exciting, really. Quite suspenseful. Even if you get a rejection letter (which is more likely), the thing is, you tried. And I'm about trying. And trying again.

And now, back to work.

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