Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Expect to be edited

Hello, patient blog readers.  Thank you for sticking around.

Over the last two days I've begun a binge of trying to get my stories resubbed.  It's so frustrating when they all come back at once but I'm finally getting them back into the world.  In looking for appropriate markets for one of my longer pieces, I came upon a newer pro-paying market that lists, right at the beginning of their submission guidelines, "Expect to be edited."

I can't decide whether I'm turned off by this statement--or rather, if I'm turned off enough to avoid the market.  The publishing world is full of editing, of course.  Some places are open about it and work closely with authors to make sure the finished product is mutually acceptable.  On the other hand, we've all heard horror stories from authors who, after first being excited about a new sale, are ultimately disappointed because their "baby" was editing without their permission or knowledge, sometimes drastically.  These submission guidelines give no overt indication as to which category the market falls into.  However, "expect to be edited" has a dictatorial feeling to it, whereas, "be prepared to edit" would imply a collaborative effort.  Based on the wording, I get the impression that they plan and expect to edit most stories, without necessarily making sure the author is okay with the changes.  From an artistic standpoint, that bothers me.

But on the other hand, nowhere does it say "by submitting, you are bound to sell us your story should we accept it."  I suppose if I'm really concerned and I receive an acceptance, I could always ask my questions and, if necessary, say "thank you but no thank you."  Or I could be proactive and ask these questions before submitting a story, and make my submission decision based on their response.  (Provided I get one.  In the next decade.  Market correspondence can be glacial.)

This is all hypothetical anyway.  In order for this to be an issue, they would first have to accept my story, which is no sure thing.  And at this very early point in my career, is it wise to reject a pro-paying market for a hypothetical concern?

The story and market in question have been shelved until at least tomorrow, but I'm curious:  What impression does the statement "expect to be edited" make on you?

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