Wednesday, June 1, 2011

When is impatience justified?

I know publishing is a slow process. I'm an impatient person, so I always remind myself that I'm being unreasonable to expect agents and editors to respond within days of my emails.

But sometimes I'm not being unreasonable. For instance, once a manuscript is accepted, I feel I should get A) a contract and B) edits if applicable, and I should get them in a timely fashion--within weeks for a contract, within three or four months for the edits. I'm not dealing with gigantic New York publishers here, where the waits will be even longer (and even then I'd expect the contract within weeks).

So I just sent off a couple of thisclosetosnarky emails to two editors. Both editors accepted manuscripts from me last October. I have the contract for one but no edits; for the other I don't even have a contract. At this point I'm frankly starting to regret signing the contract for the first manuscript, since I suspect the editor has lost interest and has moved on to shinier projects. And since I have no contract for the other, if I don't get a satisfactory response within two weeks from the editor, I plan to pull the story. Because ridiculous is just ridiculous.

(And don't even get me started about the wait time for Apex Magazine, which is getting close to a year, when I know whatshername is going to reject my vampire story instantly.)


Paula RC said...

Oh, K.C it must be horrible to have to wait so long... I would be tearing my hair out by now.Hang on in there and then give them a kick up the you-know-what.

Good luck

K.C. Shaw said...

It is awfully frustrating. I did get a response back from one of the editors this morning, so hopefully things will move forward quickly on that one now.

Michael McClung said...

I remember when Black Gate first came out I sent a story in and waited eight frigging months, no response. I queried via email, no response, so after a week I pulled the story. They (finally) sent me a snarky email saying they would have accepted the story, so sad. I believed them for about three seconds, sending my heart down into the pit of my stomach. And then realized that even if they were being honest, it didn't matter. In a world of no simultaneous submissions, to not respond in a timely fashion is simply unacceptable.

Nine years later, Jessy over at Pill Hill accepted that story in what, a week, two tops?

F*@% 'em. Life's too short. Literally.

-I'll be needing a receipt for that $.02 :)

K.C. Shaw said...

I get so frustrated with the "no simultaneous subs but we'll take as long as we please to respond" policy of many magazines. If it weren't Apex, I'd have already quietly simsubbed that story. But...well, what if they do want it after all? I would really like to be published by them --heh, I accidentally typed "punished" first, and of course I am currently being punished by them for waiting so long to hear back. Oh well.

Aaron Polson said...

That reminds me...

I've been waiting for word on a story which was accepted last fall, too.


It truly is ridiculous how long we are expected to wait sometimes.

K.C. Shaw said...

Maybe a lot of editors were abducted by aliens last fall. No one remembers them but us!

Fox Lee said...

I'm the same way. I hate waiting, but feel bad sending an email!

K.C. Shaw said...

I felt a bit bad about sending my emails, but not bad enough not to send them.