|Aug. 13th, 2009 @ 09:08 pm prostituting the muse|
Spent a good bit of time at Duotrope's Digest today scoping out publications to submit to. I like how the process of submitting fiction is inherently personal. It's not at all like looking for work on recruiting websites. You can't just bang out a generic resume and cover letter, draw up a list of search results, click a bunch of checkboxes, and hit send--you have to get to know your audience. It is considered good taste to visit the publication's website, read a few back issues, review their submission guidelines, get a feel for what they like and what they don't...at the end it might be you who decides you'd rather not be published by them, as eager as you may be to break in. It's a lot of work for an endeavor that is statistically almost guaranteed to end in rejection, but it's a lot more meaningful to strive for acceptance by merit rather than by the law of numbers. (It's a punishing, ego-flattening game of attrition either way...)|
I've also found a few sci-fi and speculative fiction publications that I'd like to read, regardless of whether they'd accept my work or not. The Absent Willow Review is excellent--and free!--as is Strange Horizons. Greatest Common Denominator Magazine looks really promising, although I can't tell much from the previews--at $3.50 an issue it's quite inexpensive, so I'll probably have more to say about it after I flip through an issue. The venerable Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is a little more hard-SF than I'm used to, but might be worth picking up once I have a day job again. And the endearingly unpretentious OG's Speculative Fiction is bloody fantastic--the most recent issue has a compelling, thought-provoking short by William Todd Rose about the thoughts of a dying robot.
Great incentive to give "Null String" another once-over. Hey, story, you doing anything later? Wanna go grab some coffee with me sometime? There's a Starbucks down at the Barnes and Noble...we can, you know, talk about our feelings, have some lattes, cut you down to 8000 words...
Faster, inkjet! Print! Print!
Not even considering self-publishing at this point, despite a few friends' suggestions. If Duotrope is like talking to a prospective employer over lunch at a conference, or asking your high school crush out on a date, self-publishing is like whoring out your resume to Monster, or looking for sex in the classifieds. With the latter, you might find the love of your life--but it's far more likely you'll end up doing inventory management for a paperclip factory, struggling to stay awake over a cup of instant coffee while picking at your herpes sores.
Work. Dating. Publication. Different heads, same beast...