Wednesday, February 15, 2012


In the last week or so, I -- in my capacity as Managing Editor of the Piker Press -- received two very long excerpts of novels.

One submission was double-spaced lines, which I hate reading on the computer. If I'm editing a manuscript for pay, it's fine, it gives me space to write notes or make corrections. But just to read? Ugh. The other was some kind of locked format with a small and fussy-looking font. I had to go to 150% zoom just to read the thing.

Both submissions were over 20,000 words.

I read them both, and then foolishly after the fact Googled the authors. Both stories are already available in ebook formats for Kindle. They're both already published.

Now what did the authors expect from the Piker Press?

I asked both authors that very question, and I must have tapped my inner Swahili, because neither one had a coherent answer for me.

One thought that having me do a review of the book would be wonderful, which seemed odd to me because I told the author up front that although it was a good story idea, the writing was stilted. If I did a review of the book, I'd have to trash it, because I would NOT want to read that kind of dull writing, or put up with all the spelling and typographical errors and grammatical mistakes.

The other author was readable, but answered that the work wasn't available to the Press in its entirety -- just the excerpt, so as to drive sales of the book on Amazon. Hmm. A 20k excerpt would be ... ten weeks of story to get to the end and find ... no ending? And in the publishing of the excerpt, I would edit and correct all the spelling errors and grammar, whereupon an interested reader would buy the book and be annoyed at all the mistakes?

I don't know that I care to correct 20k words for free, if the story itself is too important to publish in the Press.

Live and learn. I've never had this kind of goofiness in a submission before -- maybe it's a new fad. At least the next time, I'll know what questions to ask ahead of time, and save myself some hours of irritating reading.

The pinkish bell? Just a photo I was playing with in Photoshop. Don't worry about it.

1 comment:

Bernie said...

Stand your ground -- you are the Editor. You have the power to control your job.

BTW, really liked the bell. It was super. Can I use that image? It is so cool.