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Author: Subject: What About the Publication When This Happens?
Michy
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[*] posted on 1/5/2013 at 09:22 AM
What About the Publication When This Happens?


Okay, so you find a place that you might want to submit to, and then you work up the submission and they use Submishmash/submittable, and the notice you get when you submit reads as follows:

.......

Hello Michelle

Yes! We received your submission and we look forward to reviewing your work!!

.......

There are multiple grammatical and style errors in these few simple lines... and I just submitted my work to them. I cringe.

Do you SAY something or let it go? Do you withdraw your submission or trust that maybe the people managing the submission aren't the same people who will edit, prepare and present your work to the public?

Me, I'm going to go look at their past publications before I decide... but this sort of blew me away!

(There were many more mistakes in the auto-acceptance post, but I didn't want to post the whole thing--these few lines were enough!)





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[*] posted on 1/5/2013 at 10:05 AM


I'd withdraw my submission. I can handle typos from an editor in a personal email but the official form letter should be...professional.




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Michy
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[*] posted on 1/6/2013 at 01:00 PM


Yeah, I'm seriously considering withdrawing--I've ordered a copy of their most recent publication--if it's presented professionally, I might leave it... but if it's not, then I'll pull it.

But if I don't pull it--ya'll think I should SAY something to them about it?




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Michy
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[*] posted on 1/6/2013 at 01:27 PM


I think if the rest of the publication is good I wouldn't say anything.

This is an email and not their product. Even though it should be professional, maybe they want it to feel more personable.

I don't think they will appreciate you pointing it out to them though.




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Michy
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[*] posted on 1/6/2013 at 01:58 PM


I don't think most people would appreciate it either--but I know that *I* would. If I'm 'looking bad' to potential clients, customers, readers, authors, I want to know! I might get my feelers hurt, but in the long run, I want to look the best I can look, so once I get over getting my feelers hurt (ego check), I'll fix it and be happy someone was brave enough to say something to me!




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Michy
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chrisstevenson
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[*] posted on 1/6/2013 at 09:27 PM


Michy, was this a mag or a book publisher? If the later, I'd probably know who they were.

chris




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Michy
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[*] posted on 1/6/2013 at 09:30 PM


It was for a magazine.




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[*] posted on 1/6/2013 at 10:15 PM


The email could have been created by a web master, and maybe the publishers didn't bother to look at it.



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Michy
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[*] posted on 1/6/2013 at 10:19 PM


It was on Submittable--it still could have been someone other than editorial, but it wasn't likely a webmaster... even so, you'd think, you'd think... but then again, I've read agent blogs and websites that were atrocious too, so who knows?

I just wondered if I should say something-because if it turned me off, it likely will turn off some other writers who 'know the difference', and then they are stuck with writers who 1) don't care or 2) don't know better.




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Michy
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[*] posted on 1/6/2013 at 10:40 PM


I'd tell them. They'll have your respect if nothing else, wot?

[Edited on 1/7/2013 by chrisstevenson]




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[*] posted on 1/7/2013 at 10:41 AM


If the product includes such errors, I would pull my submission and tell them in the nicest way possible. Of course, even the nicest way possible could cause defensive responses.




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[*] posted on 1/7/2013 at 11:29 AM


Michy, you are a very exacting and observant editor. I've seen this first-hand in your comments to some of my posts and writing samples (stories). I've looked at this as beneficial, and if it prompts improvement, all the better. I'm too old to see anything but constructive critique.

This is a situation in where your BF's breath might stink. You tell them this because you care and that it would avoid embarrassment for said friend. I think writers and editors are on the same wavelength as far as improvement and swapping suggestions, and like Melanie suggests, use a polite and tactful approach. No harm done. If it's taken negatively, you can rest assured that they weren't the type of publication that would represent you in a professional matter, nor any other contributor.




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[*] posted on 1/7/2013 at 01:15 PM


You could even approach it in a self-effacing manner. "I hesitated to tell you this since we don't have a working relationship, but in the end I decided you would probably prefer to know..." or something.



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[*] posted on 4/8/2013 at 06:17 PM


I'm going to go against the flow here. I think the advice has all been good, but in my experience, publishing is a small, small world.

This is not the case of a friend with bad breath (though I loved C.H.'s analogy)--this is a stranger with bad breath. You owe the author of the email nothing as there is no relationship. You have no duty to correct and it could be taken the wrong way. It certainly does the magazine a service to inform why you are rejecting them, but if this same person is at the other end of a submission in another publication, it could come back on you if he/she is not receptive. I've seen this happen over and over. In this business, you must protect your career. Sounds hard-hearted and cynical, but it's a sad reality. Not everyone takes critique or rejection as well as we would like.

You are wise to check out the publication itself prior to withdrawing in case it was an email sent casually from a phone (often these are riddled with errors) or from a third party. Even then, it certainly begs caution. They will be presenting your work. You have to protect yourself.

If you feel that you must point out the mistakes, I would take Jennifer's approach. That way, maybe you could do some good while not ruffling feathers.

I may be way off. The above is only my opinion and I don't think there is a wrong approach, but I never cease to be amazed by how often people repeatedly bump paths in this business. I always take the safer course unless it is someone I care about. Then, the gloves come off.




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[*] posted on 4/8/2013 at 06:59 PM


x2 on that action. Get it while you can, but just be careful like you are. Whatever happened with this?



I seemed to be looking down from an immense height upon a twilit grotto, knee-deep with filth, where a white-bearded daemon swineherd drove about with his staff a flock of fungous, flabby beasts whose appearance filled me with unutterable loathing.

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Michy
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[*] posted on 4/9/2013 at 07:03 AM


They declined me, so the point became moot and I chose not to say anything.




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Michy
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Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." James R. Cook

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[*] posted on 4/9/2013 at 07:38 AM


Sorry, Michy. It is probably a blessing.



I write young adult novels for Penguin USA (Shattered Souls Series, Ashes on the Waves) and adult PNR for Entangled Publishing (Underveil series). http://www.marylindsey.com
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Michy
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[*] posted on 4/9/2013 at 08:24 AM


You know, I looked at it that way too-or at least, tried to think about it that way. I did some digging on them and found they were publishing through Lulu, so it wasn't the most professional publication all the way around. It was probably for the best.

But then I got a little down thinking, man, if even a non-profesional place rejects me... what hope is there? LOL

But no, I did keep it in perspective, eventually...lol

Thank you!




Love and stuff,
Michy
~~Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations~~


Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." James R. Cook

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[*] posted on 4/9/2013 at 12:56 PM


Also, you never know: they could have been looking for flowery, shitty writing that an experienced pro knows better than to pen. Just because a place is looking for submissions doesnt mean they are looking for good ones.



I seemed to be looking down from an immense height upon a twilit grotto, knee-deep with filth, where a white-bearded daemon swineherd drove about with his staff a flock of fungous, flabby beasts whose appearance filled me with unutterable loathing.

Just keep writing and the good stuff will come.
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