(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-18 05:39 pm (UTC)
elf: We have met the enemy and he is us. (Met the enemy)
From: [personal profile] elf
They are indeed.

There's often something to be said for reducing the slushpile - without any kind of barrier to entry, an editor can be flooded with submissions, the majority of which are sheer garbage. Thirty years ago, this was prevented by the simple challenge of postage; once publishers started taking digital submissions, wow did that change.

(I have seen submissions where my reaction was, "how interesting; this person's native language apparently lacks verbs." I've also seen a three thousand word "paragraph," including several incidences of dialogue.)

I'm not sure how reasonable it is to re-create that barrier with a $3-5 entry fee. This'd still be some burden on starving students, but hopefully not enough that they have to choose between eating this week and pursuing a career. But that does indeed add up, and I'm not fond of siphoning money away from people if the purpose isn't supposedly profit - authors shouldn't pay to be published; the former cost of mail was (1) necessary and (2) not lining publishers' profits.

Most of the horrible "I have a blog and therefore I am an author" submissions would be blocked by requiring any consideration up front, whether that's money or time, so maybe editors should switch to blocking those who don't pay attention and won't invest any energy into submissions - they're also the ones most likely to argue with editorial decisions, after all.

Publishers could require an online form that requires reading the instructions, or entries and submission letters could be required to be formatted a particular way or they are deleted unread. (Plenty of places claim this. I know that at least some will allow "marginal" cases to pass.) If they really want to cut out people who won't bother to read the instructions, demand the submissions be on a nonstandard-sized pages, like 6x9, and throw out anything that comes in with Word's default settings.

I can see publishers complaining, "but we might miss The Awesome Thing if we did that!" ... which goes back to the articles point, because there is plenty of The Awesome that's being missed because the authors can't afford to send it in for review. And if I were a publisher, I'd rather work with poor authors who can follow instructions, than ones who have $5 or $20 or $50 to throw around, thinking they've paid for an editor to fix all their mistakes, or worse, paid for publication.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-18 06:05 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Yeah. No.

Look, I was at this writing game before it all went digital...and it was still classist A.F!

Allow me to elucidate. Say you're an aspiring writer, you want to submit your manuscript to the top ten publishing houses. Now, they have submission guidelines. It has to be bound, it has to be double spaced, it has to be folio sized or A4 or whatever... you get teh idea. Net result... your manuscript could probably stop a bullet and weighs half a ton. And it has to be sent recorded delivery and if you're liek a lot of authors, over-nighted to make submission deadlines.

Under five quid to send one manuscript... ha! Try nearer ten quid. Per. Fracking. Manuscript.

If they even look at the thing, rather than ignore it, or send you poorly photocopied form letter saying how it's 'not something they are interested in at present'... then they send back a list of changes you have to make, just so they'll maybe consider accepting it... so that's another tenner down the drain, plus hours of work. And if the accept it, you'll maybe go back and forth a few more times, at a tenner a go, before it's finally published...

and then you wait for the cheque... and wait..and wait...

Yeah, who do you think could afford to do all that?! Not me, that's for damn sure.

Internet submissions and emails make it way easier... but they want to turn the clock back, not for any gate keeping or financial reasons.. but because change often scares the hell out of people. They want to go back to the way things were, or at least pretend that it's almost like it. And not have ot deal with so many new submissions, from those sort of people.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-18 09:20 pm (UTC)
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)
From: [personal profile] elf
Before digital, it was classist by practical necessity (and other reasons, but the practical side was unavoidable) - paper was the only way to get a submission to an editor. Some required more expensive services than were reasonably necessary, but the basics of cost-per-ounce postage couldn't be skipped no matter how accomodating they wanted to be.

I do know that a lot of current publishers would love to re-establish "only those authors willing and able to throw dozens, maybe hundreds, of dollars around on the hope of publication, deserve to be published." And some have decided, "it's fine that authors have to pay $10+ per submission... and it's great that I can keep that money now, instead of it being 'wasted' on postage." And both of those approaches are terrible. They're not only classist and often other varieties of exclusionary; they're also filtering by criteria that have nothing to do with writing quality.

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-09-18 10:34 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Sooth... I have to admit I wouldn't want anything to do with the big publishing houses by now. Why the heck would I, when I can DIY and put it up on amazon? Ok, maybe I don't sell as many books, but I get a much bigger % of the profit off each book, and by the time the publishing companies wring it dry to line their pockets, I figure I'd probably get as much net worth out of my work self-publishing if not more, only without selling myself out in the process.

The big houses are not adapting quickly, and seem more interested in trying to turn the clock back for whatever reason... and that's their loss. I'm not going to help them perpetuate their usurious practices. And if what I've seen is true, I'm SO not the only one.

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-09-19 10:21 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
You know.. I have an idea... [start running now!]

Ok, Imagine a book store that doesn't stock books by the big houses [or at least, doesn't just].
It has a machine that can take a e-book, and make it into a book. Not only printing, but binding it. [yes, they exist].

So... authors can submit their e-book to the store, or readers can request a book from the catalogue and it's printed on demand. [ok you'd have to wait maybe a couple of days, which is less time than if you were ordering a book in.]

The authors can pay to have their book professionally edited and proof-read etc, and if they want an extra fancy cover or lots of really nice pictures inside it might cost extra. But otherwise, the book store eats the cost. Which is only incurred, when someone has already bought the book. Needless to say, they take a percentage of the net profit as well.

See, it's a book store, with hardly any books in store. Ok, there maybe some copies of really popular books on the physically shelves, ones that sell like hot cakes. But most of them exist in the catalogue. Which, one can browse freely at the in-store computers or online. And you can either buy a cheap e-book version, or an actual physical book which will be shipped to you or you can pick up in-store.

The other thing is, readers not just buyers, can review the books [kind of like amazon] and the catalogue has a search engine that will do '5 star only' or 'most reviewed'.

Basically, a mini-indie-publishing house that only does on-demand, and has a community review&rating system which promotes through actual reader-appeal.

The only down-side...those printing and binding machines are expensive!

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-09-20 10:20 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Well, there's that... the book store would have a physical location, with actual sniffable books in store, which either the authors pay the costs of having a few printed to put on the shelves, or on-line sales of printed copies have passed a threshold [probably pretty low] where there's a high enough probability of selling to random customers that it's worth printing out a few to put on the shelves...or you know, the owners have a hunch about that book and eat the costs themselves.

Point is, the store is at the intersection of on-line e-books and actual physical books, and thus appeals to bookworms and technophiles alike. [or doubly to those that are both!]

There'd probably be a coffee shop in there too... somewhere to sit, eat and read.

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-09-20 04:19 pm (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Huh..so noted. I guess if I'm designing a store I can change that... e-readers at the back, cafe to the front. It'll make the place look inviting if there's people sitting down and reading, even if it's only a couple of tables and chairs...and a comfy sofa for groups I guess.

Hmm... actually, what would go into the perfect book store I wonder?

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-09-21 02:13 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'd shop there!

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-09-21 02:14 am (UTC)
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
From: [personal profile] filkferengi
Hi! [randomly logged out]

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-09-18 09:37 pm (UTC)
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)
From: [personal profile] elf
You're right, and I'm sorry. On further consideration, any "must put real effort in" requirement could be established by requiring a postcard for the publisher to keep in a file - cost would be minimal, and that'd establish the baseline of "can follow very simple instructions and manage at least one of the basic aspects of business." (At least, that works for in-country publications; it may be an unreasonable demand for international.)

The idea of interns had slipped my mind, and yes, that'd be an excellent way to both train people in publishing and editing basics, and dealing with a near-unlimited slushpile.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-18 07:44 pm (UTC)
batdina: (books cats)
From: [personal profile] batdina
thank you for sharing this. I love it when someone writes stuff and then I don't have to write it. or something.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-19 11:41 am (UTC)
we_are_spc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] we_are_spc
This is part of the reason we never really got into submitting much beyond our college anthologies. I mean...yeah I hnad the mondy because SSI once I was eighteen, but none of the magazines really interested me back then.

Not to mention we've always been 'fantasy' writers. "Fantas" in quotes because most of it is *real* except for with a few name tweeks (sometimes), and back then, not everyone wanted that.

We did have an author interested in one of our stories (And hoo boy do we need to overhall it because education makes it seem so shallow and unrealistic it's in-freaking-sane), but yeah, that.

...

And for a very long time, I felt like publishing anything of mind through 'bighouse channels' would take the joy of writing out for me, so I just...never did.

I wholeheartedly agree with this person, however. :d

-Fallon~

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