Title is meaningless, just enigmatic. First, housekeeping. Go to Apex and vote for story of the year (09). I am not in the running, and as I know and like a few of those people, I will not tell you how I voted. I really want to, but I won’t. It is as easy a voting form as you can imagine and since I have been pushing the reading of Apex since I started this thing I know you are all familiar with the selections (Maggie Jamison excluded, as she works there and her slush files are routed to her junk mail. Yeah, she’s that cruel.). Go now, vote now, read more Apex. My Kentucky readers should note that it is that states only pro sci-fi outlet and it is full of bluegrass love.
A moment of silence for Howard Zinn. He made me question Columbus when I was a kid and when you get rid of that hero, no hero is safe. Thank you Howard for helping expose Chris C. as a tyrannical, genocidal, rapist. You will be missed.
J.D. Salinger has died. For Esme with Love and Squalor was one of the first short stories to make me cry. I won’t miss you because you have been effectively dead to society for near forty years. But I will always think you’re great.
It’s snowing here in Nashville. The wiener dog is curled up at my feet and I have a pro level sale pending. I have been keeping this to myself for the most part as it makes my guts roil, but what am I writing this thing for? The magazine is a big one and I have been submitting to them for several years now. I want to go through the stages of getting close to a sale with you.
1. Disbelief: In which our hero has to read the email several times because the subject line really is no different from a rejection, but it says it’s on the desk of the editor in chief.
2. Disbelief: In which our hero has to go back and read the story in question because he thinks that he writes the literary version of goat turds and why is someone asking to buy goat turds from him?
3. Disbelief: In which our hero examines the email again suspecting someone is messing with him because the reply was via AOL and he thinks that nobody uses AOL anymore.
4. Acceptance: Running around the house, singing Tiny Tim’s ‘Livin in the Sunlight’ and throwing the Dachshund in the air.
5. Depression: Where our hero decides that dying on the Editor in Chief’s desk is no different than drowning in the slush pile.
6. Disbelief: See step 1
I’ll keep you posted and post the crushing rejection, or wonderful sale as it comes.
It is snowing like crazy. Go check out Apex’s offering of White Christmas and you will never enjoy the snow again.
I want to talk about your rights. Not the ‘you gotta fight for your right,’ but your writer’s rights… which you are going to sell like a two-bit whore (I apologize to the teacher who let’s her short story class read this, but writer’s are whores. You are turning your class into a group of whores, Mrs. Johnson.)
When you look at the submissions page of some markets you might see a paragraph or two regarding the rights they want to publish your work. In essence, the market is not purchasing your story, you retain all creative control of your story and the ownership thereof, but the market is asking you to temporarily cede certain portions of those rights to them. I think Absent Willow Review has a concise list of what you are selling:
- Exclusive First Worldwide Electronic Rights or First English Rights to publish and distribute. The Author’s work may not appear in another publication for 6 months following its acceptance by The Absent Willow Review without written consent from the editor. If the Author’s work should appear in another publication after that time has elapsed, it will be noted that it first appeared in The Absent Willow Review. In the event that the Work is not published in The Absent Willow Review’s online e-zine within 6 months of the date of its acceptance, these rights revert to the Author, and the Author has the right to sell or arrange for publication of the Work in any manner.
- Non-Exclusive First Worldwide Electronic Rights to publish and distribute the work after the 6 month period. The Author agrees that The Absent Willow Review may archive this work after its initial publication on its website.
- First Anthology Rights to publish and distribute. The Author agrees that The Absent Willow Review may consider the Author’s work for a print/electronic publication in an annual or semi-annual anthology in the future. For the granting of First Anthology Rights, if included within the anthology of that year,
There will be some variation on this but essentially this is what you are going to be dealing with. In a nutshell you are giving the market the right to publish your work exclusively- domestically, online, and anthologize your work for a predetermined time period. Occasionally there will be another right, foreign print and translations comes to mind, but mostly you will sell first print/online serial rights. Don’t sweat this. It’s the way it’s done, but don’t be afraid to ask questions of the editor or administrator offering the contract. Once you are at that point you have made the sale and you can afford to ask questions. My first pro sale I spent a month looking at the contract like it was a birdsnake. The editor got so frustrated with me that I really can’t believe he didn’t just tell me to go to hell (sorry Jason), but he didn’t, and I thank him. Just remember, you own your story forever unless you specifically sell all rights to print, reprint, and perform all or in part your story. Don’t do this. Please. Nobody should ask. If something seems weird, then ask. If you don’t like the answer… well you can ask me. That’s why I’m here.
Still snowing. Here are a couple of pictures to show how fast this came on. The first is about thirty minutes ago. The second is from just before the storm arrived.
The science of fiction, that’s it.
Keep up the good work. I appreciate the cadre of new readers that I have been clocking lately. It has motivated me to get a little more active. I’ll keep writing if you keep reading. I want to thank Shawn Coots for the very motivational words, and Jason Stoddard for the content comment. Both of those guys are artists I respect.
Next up: Sequels to Manifest Destiny- why you don’t put girls in your fiction you Pitcairn Man! A special “boys club” edition.