I’m going to be posting a few things about the anthology I edited, LASTING LUST, in future posts next week. But I wanted to explain a little about how the process works for me, when I’m working as an editor, with regard to handling the authors who submitted short stories for the book.
First, and I’d like to make this clear, the reason I handle authors with respect is because I am an author and I’ve been treated shabbily by certain editors who think they are above reproach. Not all editors are like this. Most are very nice to work with and they treat their submissions and their authors with respect. But there are a few who seem to be either too high and mighty to deal with lowly authors, or they simply don’t give a damn. And though I hate to admit this, I find this superior attitude mostly exists with editors who work with traditional print publishers, not with e-publishers. I’d like to make it very clear that all my experiences with e-publishers as an author have been more than positive. Editors who work for e-publishers do, in fact, treat authors with respect…so far.
Either way, it sux whenever an author submits a short story to an editor for an anthology and they aren’t treated well. And by well I’m talking about a basic reply regarding the author’s submission and a brief comment as to why the author was rejected. This is what I did with LASTING LUST when I rejected authors who submitted to me. It’s basic courtesy, it’s ethical, and it shows professional respect.
But not all editors who put together anthologies feel this way. And the ironic thing is these editors aren’t all that special themselves. They always reminded me of the snotty salesclerk in a high end department store working for minimum wage who looks down on the customers. And when editors look down on authors who are submitting their work, they aren’t much different from these snotty salesclerks.
Ultimately, editors make their own rules when it comes to how they deal with authors. And my own personal rule when I’m editing is to always treat the author with respect. Every single author who submitted something to the LASTING LUST anthology received a reply from me. In some cases, I built lasting relationships with these authors. I told them why they were being rejected and thanked them for submitting. In each case, they were being rejected because the story didn’t fit with the theme of the book. It had nothing to do with the quality of their work and it was nothing personal. And I think authors need to know this. I know I like to know this when I’m submitting something to an editor.