aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 25, 2011 - 9:16am

Has anyone ever had a really bad experience with a publisher like when you went to query on submissions or something you had already submitted?  I understand that these people are overloaded with submissions and probably get a lot of questions thrown at them but seriously, it's a nice job to have in my opinion, I would love to work for a publisher.  Don't get me wrong I have dealt with some nice people who actually talked to me on the phone or gave me feedback on my stories or novel and didn't treat me like a number but have you ever emailed back and forth with a publisher and they just cut you off or were really rude to you about your submission.  I just had like this five email debate with this woman over a question I asked her before she would even answer it.  I clearly said "I was inquiring about a submission" and she writes me back, "this email is for prose submission inquiries only".  (Which was like DUH because her email is prosesubmissions@yaddayadda.net)  I was like, "I am inquiring about a prose submission" and she said, "You didn't state that clearly in your original email."  Sometimes I think people in positions of power get a little stuck-up and can't see that they are talking to human beings and treat people like crap. 

 

Anyway, any nightmare publication stories or attempts to get something seen or published and been shot down?

.'s picture
. October 25, 2011 - 10:16am

The only publisher I've submitted to before is Dirty Noir and they always give great feed back and have a fast response time. I couldn't imagine having an extremely terrible publisher unless it was working with an editor that was a jerk or the rejection letter from the editor's secretary was just snobby.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 25, 2011 - 10:20am

Well actually it was from an editor at Dark Horse comics.  I asked her a simple question and she refused to answer because I said a comic submission instead of a prose submission. 

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs October 25, 2011 - 11:22am

Some people have a stick up their ass in regards to the proper procedure of doing things. Although the things that you quote her as saying doesn't sound rude to me (unless you actually said in your first email that your submission was a prose submission) and it doesn't come off like a "debate" as far the quotes that you posted, but perhaps you didn't quote her emails in their entirety. Sometimes people just come off "cold" in email messages. It probably could have been a lot worse.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs October 25, 2011 - 11:23am

I know Dark Horse doesn't respond to comic submissions at all unless they're interested in publishing the comic. I wasn't aware that they have or have ever had a submission calls for anthologies of prose stories.

(I didn't notice the two later posts for some reason before I wrote the post above.)

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 25, 2011 - 12:28pm

Well I think I burned that bridge now because I got on her bad side.  Well, she could have just answered my question, instead it was like five emails back and forth regarding me saying comic versus a prose submission and I was like "sorry, I thought you would assume prose because I sent it to the prose email".  I guess she took it as that I said it in a rude tone but I didn't mean it to be.  So then she retorted with, "Why would I assume it if you said comic?"  By then I was like, couldn't she just let it go and answer my damn question but by then once you get off on the wrong foot with someone, you are screwed.  I mean my question was simple, I said:  what are your requirements on sex and profanity in your adult comics?  Like limitations.  That's when she said, "this email is for prose submissions only".  I guess because I used the word comics, she thought art.  I mean comics are art and words plus I can read and I saw two email addresses and picked the one that said prose submissions.  Really, my question applies to either artwork or prose.  I still think she was being a bitch.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs October 25, 2011 - 2:00pm

If you asked, "What are your requirements on sex and profanity in your adult comics?" why do you think she would have assumed that you were asking about prose rather than comics (even if her email address is exclusively for prose submissions)? Writing "comics" instead of "prose" makes it sound pretty clear to me.

When you refer to "prose," are you referring to comic book scripts rather than prose fiction? I assume an email address that is exclusively for prose submissions has nothing to do with comics because prose and comic scripts are two entirely different things. If you were referring to comic scripts, it sounds like you and her had a misunderstanding.

Update: I guess they have been publishing prose books recently: http://www.darkhorse.com/Blog/245/dark-horse-continues-expand-prose-publishing-progr

Although I have no idea as far as whether or not their anthologies had an open submissions policy or only accepted solicted submissions considering I haven't noticed any submissions calls for story anthologies from Dark Horse. Looks like they may only accept submissions for full-length books (including multiple author anthologies that have already been put together unless perhaps the anthology's editor is someone prominent like Ellen Datlow who edited the two anthologies that the above link mentions, which may be the only anthologies of prose stories that Dark Horse has published so far).

simon morris's picture
simon morris from Originally, Philadelphia, PA; presently Miami Beach, FL is reading This Body of Death, by Elizabeth George October 25, 2011 - 4:00pm

I had the opposite experience with the large houses I dealt with. Some of these on-line e-presses run by amateurs who can't write and publish trash are the most likely to be huffy. Why, they are frustrated in their own lives and take it out on people who are at their mercy for that moment.

I have been published by McGraw-Hill, Springer Publishing, e-Press, Tiny Threads and numerous journals and mags and the editors are some of the nicest people I ever met--and I am talking about my initial contacts with them, not what developed after we were on a first name basis.

Here is a brief tale about my first published work that may give you a laugh:

When I was a PhD student in Psych, I wrote what I thought was a dissertation. It was a "textbook" on the topic of addictions praxis (treatment and practice) written in the form of a fairy tales and myths along with a large dose of instructional material embedded within the context of the stories. My dissertation committee dropped an anvil on it so, I got angry and sent it to the top publisher in the social sciences, Jason Aronson, Inc.

Of course, knowing nothing about protocol, I addressed it to the publisher, Dr. Jason Aronson. A week later I recieved a phone call:

"Is this Mr_______? The voice was officious and cultured.

I replied in the affirmative.

"This is Dr. Jason Aronson. You are new to publishing, I assume. You NEVER send a manuscript to a publisher.  That is why we have editors."

I felt about 3 inches tall.

He went on. "I found your concept remarkable and couldn't put the book down or I wouldn't be calling."

I grew to Jolly Green Giant size.

"However, we publish only Freudian works."

My inner troll re-emerged.

"But, I want you to call the number I am going to give you. Springer Publishing is looking for something novel in addictions treatment so I took the liberty to call Ursula Springer to tell her about your work. Do NOT call her. The number is that of her acquisitions editor who is awaiting your call."

To make a long story even longer, after a year working with a wonderful editor, the book was published as part of a series, giving it a sales boost before it came out, and did manage to earn recognition with a small but prestigious award from the U of Nebraska. So, if a few crows exist in the universe with the golden orators and knights of the realm, so be it. You have to have a thick skin to enter the world of publishing and the luck of a survivor to stay there.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 25, 2011 - 8:15pm

Okay so I guess I will assume I was in the wrong. 

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs October 25, 2011 - 8:47pm

Yeah, I was really interested in finding out whether are not you considered a script submission and prose submission the same thing. You probably confused the hell out of her. Maybe you should send an email to apologize (although I'm really surprised that she didn't realize that you thought scripts fell under the prose category)?

It sounds like you haven't burned any bridges with Dark Horse unless you're interested in submitting a novel or story collection rather than a comic script (and at the moment it seems like they haven't published any books of prose that weren't written by an author who wasn't at least slightly famous). Their website doesn't list an email for submitting scripts (there's a mailing address instead), so this is where you should ask your question: http://www.darkhorse.com/Help/Contact. And make sure to change the "Message type" to "Submissions."

Technically, I guess you can classify a script's dialogue as prose, but there's no good reason to call it anything but "dialogue."

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 25, 2011 - 10:40pm

How about I just submit something to you later and then you will know what the hell I'm talking about?  lol

 

Or should I send you chickens?

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs October 26, 2011 - 5:26am

No, assuming you're talking about my lit journal. The next issue (which comes out next month) will be my last and it's filled. I've chosen someone to take over for me. Assuming it works out with her, she'll open submissions when she has everything figured out. And I'll be sticking around to help her with things that she's inexperienced with.