Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Editor Schmeditor

I have now received two rejections from a particular high-profile editor.

Both (and this is the funny part) had the author name incorrect.

Dear Margaret...

Uh, Sir, my name's not Margaret. Thanks for so clearly advertising--twice--that you use a form rejection.

I have to admit, the first rejection was well-deserved. My computer printer was acting up, spreading blotches of ink all over the page. I had had my story printed elsewhere, but had forgotten to have a cover sheet printed. So, OOOPS! (If you are a new author, submitting by snail-mail, DO NOT make this same stupid mistake.) I handwrote the cover letter. Yeah. Seems trivial. But in the publishing game editors are looking for any possible excuse to toss your story in the trash. I deserved an obvious form rejection, complete with the wrong name to make the point.

The second time, however, I did everything right. Clean manuscript, perfect margins, brief cover letter, the whole schlameel. Still, the form rejection with the wrong name. I don't mind the form rejection. Hell, I send enough of them out myself, and even occasionally make a mistake on them--like neglecting to type the title of the story in the little spot in my form that looks like this--> "."

Did the story suck? I don't think so. I've submitted it to several other markets, and from all but one (two now, who sent form rejections) have received positive personal comments and invitations to submit with them again--but, I admit, no sales. Still, crappy stories don't get those kinds of rejections from noteworthy markets--like IGMS and Abyss & Apex.

So one time I can chalk up to editorial error. But twice?

Is he trying to tell me something? Did I, in some other life, pee on his wheaties?

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