September 6th, 2012, 02:55 PM
it could be worse
Five months? I would have re-written my beast twice in that amount of time. Well, no one said publishing the traditional way was fast.
That is weird about the editing services. I think they should have maybe made an announcement on their website, rather than include it in a rejection letter. That does seem scam-like, or, at the very best, in poor taste.
September 7th, 2012, 04:06 PM
Real publishing does seem to take forever for anything to happen. Snowbooks took eleven months to reject my full... (and they wonder why we laugh when they say "don't submit it to anyone else while we're looking at it"!).
September 7th, 2012, 05:12 PM
Author and Game Designer
I'm fully aware that real publishing takes forever. What I actually meant is that I thought it would take a lot less, since my word count was so much higher (a quick look at my first page with the word count, and here goes the rejection email).
I wonder if they actually considered it for a bit (just my ego clutching at straws here ).
I'm still curious to know what the fine folks with publishing knowledge in this forum thinks of the editing service advertisement in the rejection email, though.
September 7th, 2012, 06:25 PM
Of course they considered it. That was the whole point of the exercise. If they had found they liked it enough, they'd have said, do you think you could cut it down. Given that these shots of theirs produce a lot of submissions, five months, instead of the better three, is not surprising.
As for the editing services, they are looking at just offering copyediting and proofreading services -- services which they themselves use freelancers for. It would essentially be them being a broker for the freelance copyeditors and proofreaders they work with, who are professionals, plus an e-book production service to help draw customers away from Amazon and chip at their dominance (not entirely a bad thing,) which would presumably involve tech people who do e-books for Angry Robot and who know all the formatting and will do all the e-book format proofreading that makes e-books still kind of laborious (and those folks may also be freelancers or staff.)
Developmental editing, line editing, etc. they aren't doing. So essentially, it's a potential tech division, similar to what a printing company might also offer in services. That could be fine as far as it goes, as long as it's clear what services you are getting and what the prices will be. But these things are uneasy in that very new ventures for publishing are being considered, and author groups like SFWA are vetting them very carefully -- Harlequin ran afoul of that a few years back on self-pub services offered through another company with too many promises. Everything is in flux, so experiments are going on. How well they are run is an issue. Angry Robot is at least making it clear in their website page that this idea has nothing to do with publication in Angry Robot.
It was inappropriate, however, for Angry Robot to ask an open submission contest entrant for publication with them to then fill out the survey form on having these services available for self-publishing. They should not be doing that. In fact the whole idea should be given a different name and set up as a project idea separately. Offering self-pub services including/or editing services to authors being rejected for publication is not a smart business practice. If you've rejected the idea of partnering with an author and investing in his or her work, even on a "send us another project sometime and we might like it better" basis, that is the end of the matter. The publisher then soliciting something or asking the rejected author to help with market research is not professional behavior.
So Angry Robot seems by all accounts to be a good publisher, even after it was sold off by Harper to its publisher Gascoigne, and adept at using the Internet for marketing. And they are expanding. But this seems to be a misstep in dealing with authors, albeit moderately minor. It could get them yelled at by the influential groups in SFFH, but may not unless there are a number of complaints. Hopefully they are not doing it on a regular basis.
September 8th, 2012, 12:58 PM
Author and Game Designer
I thought it wasn't completely kosher what they did.
Just to clarify, what I meant by "consider" wasn't that they didn't even look at it, but maybe it made a short list before being rejected (and hence taking a bit longer). Like I said, my ego talking since I have no bases for knowing that, and as you pointed out, five months is not out of this world given the amount of submission they must get.
September 8th, 2012, 09:37 PM
It might very well have done so, T, gone through several readers. I don't know how they run it.