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September 26th, 2007

I tell ya, short fiction writers got it tough...

Earlier this year, I made a few decisions about who I would - or more specifically, would not - submit short fiction to. Here are my three rules:

1) I won't submit a story to any market paying less than 5 cents a word, unless I'm just hopelessly in love with the market or editor.

2) I won't submit to any bizarrely themed anthologies, because I don't need a trunk full of stories I can't sell anywhere else.

3) I won't submit to a market that either doesn't state its publisher or is working with an unproven publisher, because those unproven publishers fold far too often.

Which leads me to this:

Holy Horrors at Shocklines

Here's an anthology which admits that it has no publisher, and yet is shouting out its table of contents for the world to see. The happy writers are all joining in the glee-fest.

Sadly, this anthology will, in all likelihood, never be published. It's got no big names, and at approximately 200,000 words it's at least twice as long as the average anthology, meaning that even if some publisher does pick it up, they're probably going to axe half the stories. The same happy writers who are posting about how proud they are to be part of this book are likely, in a year, to either be wondering what ever happened, or hanging their heads at being tossed out of it.

I mean, I guess they should enjoy their glory while they can, but it's too bad some of these writers are in for a serious let-down. It's not as if selling short fiction is easy under any circumstances, but we really don't need this.