21 April 2012

Quality Control

Some people have called me a label snob. Buying from the dollar store or a generic just doesn’t set as well as buying a good brand name.
I argue that it’s not the name that I’m worried about, it’s the quality.
Editors and publishers have to consider the same thing. They are not looking for names, per say, they are searching for quality. Readers expect certain things from imprints or magazines. Editors like to hear readers gush over their product.
“That’s what I’ve come to expect from .”
Sometimes, a story comes off the bench and causes the reader to pause. If the quality is good, they won’t miss more than one or two beats. It might not be expected, but it still fit what the publisher or editor normally supplied.
Other times, that story off the bench gets a different reaction.
“What the heck was that crap?”
Not what anyone wants to hear – especially not the writer.
We, as writers, have to offer the editors and publishers our best effort. Something that brings nods, cheers, or sobs. Our power is in our words. With that thought, we also have to realize we can’t just slap together two thousand words and expect everyone to swoon like our mother. Mothers love everything. Editors don’t.
Have you received rejections from places you’ve submitted your work?
Most times, form rejections tell you nothing. Sometimes, you’ll find places that return comments. Look at what they say, see if you see their same objection.
As an example, I have a story my writing group loved, but I’ve gotten 11 rejections. One had a comment – “Story is too mundane.” Okay, the story is about Death buying shoes. Of course, it’s mundane. That was the point. The editor didn’t see it my way. No problem, everyone has different thoughts. For that editor, it didn’t match their quality requirement. That doesn’t make the story bad, just not for them.
So when considering submitting, consider the quality of the piece, and compare it with the quality the publisher or editor has offered in the past.

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