March 28, 2008
How to make me want to fuck you
Or at least, be the writer of my dreams.
I get like this. When I'm in major editing mode. I arrive at a place where I want to send an email out to all my authors. I've done this before, and I'm sure I'll do this again. But here is the short list of how to be the writer of my dreams:
1. Although it may take me 6 months (or more) to get back to you on a call for submission, please respond to me within 5 minutes when I make a bio request.
2. Be prepared to change your title (if I have a similar title in the book—most recently, I accepted three stories with the following titles: "The First Time," "Like the First Time," and "The First Time Since"), your character name (if I have overlapping character names, usually Jack or Mark or Julia or Mary), or your pen name (if you’ve never published under the name before and I have three other Kristinas in the book already, or if you are going under a name like HankieSpankie3000).
3. Don’t ask me ahead of time whether I pay by paypal or check or money order, or write me long queries about what happens when your story is accepted by multiple venues. Wait until I buy your story.
4. Forgive the occasional error that slips by me. (There is a book in which I’m published under Alsion Tyler. These things happen.)
5. Send me an angry email if I reject your story only if you don’t want to work with me again. I have a great memory for stories, and I will often come back to you and ask if I could use your piece somewhere else. But I also have a great memory for angry emails, which might make me rethink doing the above.
6. Do not send me a partially written story and tell me you’ll finish the piece if I like it. You are competing with people who have already finished and sent their stories to me. By the time I read your piece, I am generally under a super tight deadline. Neither you nor I have time to spare.
7. Don’t ask me to read the piece up on your blog. I think this is a clever way not to avoid being rejected, because you didn’t officially submit the story. But although I might find stories this way on my own (I discovered Madelynne Ellis’ amazing Twister story for G is for Games by cruising to her blog), I don’t generally follow suggested links.
8. Try not to send me multiple versions of the same story. I know sometimes people catch errors on subsequent reads, but consider waiting until I accept the piece, and then say you’ve found a glitch or two you want to have fixed. I will always work with you on this.
9. Be flexible. You might have sent me a story for one book, but I will want to put the piece somewhere else. I am a juggler at the editing stage. Trust that I will try to find the best home for your piece. Don't demand that the story be placed in the anthology you originally subbed to.
10. Know that I am just a person. I try to be an evolved person, yes. But I can’t help but let feelings color my judgment of stories. If you slam me in public, or trash my products, I’m going to have a difficult time working with you. One author blogged about how much he hated a font in one of our books. Look, I love a good font. But still. Another called me a member of the Right Wing Party because of an edit I requested (the edit involved avoiding an incestuous scenario). A third publicly demolished a title, cover photo, and color cover choice (all of which were out of my hands). At the end of the day, I’m still just a girl who reads a lot of porn and tries to put beautiful books together. I’m not terribly vindictive.
But I am human.