31 January 2012

our process

There seems to be a little confusion about our production process so I thought I'd remind you how we do things, in perhaps too much detail. :)
  1. You send us your fabulous stories.
  2. Our distribution editor randomly assigns stories to an editor.
  3. Said editor reads this "slush" and decides to reject or to hold for voting and sends you an email with this decision.
  4. When the submission period ends all the editors read and study all the hold for voting stories and rank them numerically.
  5. Our statistics editor combines these numerics from each editor into an overall story ranking for the issue.
  6. At the production meeting--in between drinking and eating and cussing and arm-wrestling--we discuss the stories and the overall issue ranking to decide on the stories we will publish. At the production meeting we do have to consider issue balance; we can't have 5 horror stories, for example. Additionally, we discuss and decide on the columns and art work and all other aspects of the issue. We also assign each to-be-published story to an editor.
  7. After the production meeting we email all the authors with the good or bad news. The acceptances also get a contract to sign and some other info. We ask them for a bio and paypal account info.
  8. After we get the contracts back from the authors we start editing the stories. After the editor edits the story we email the author with the changes and they agree or disagree, this may lead to a discussion. I think one time an author and an editor could not come to an agreement so we parted company, to our mutual satisfaction.
  9. The editors add each of the stories and columns to the webpage using our content management system. I like to ask the authors to check their stories after they've been posted, but before we go live (I'm not sure the other editors do this). We double-check everything.
  10. We go live!
  11. We celebrate and enjoy the issue. :)

It just so happens we do have a production meeting this week.

I noticed one of the stories in our hold-for-voting file has a problematic cover letter, namely, the author tells us what the story is. The problem is this: what the author says does not necessarily agree with my perception of the story. I'm not sure what will happen to this story at the meeting. :( Time will tell.

Generally, a simple cover letter is better. It should include the author's name and contact info, the story title, genre, and word count. It may include past publishing credentials. After that, you're starting to get into dangerous territory...

I'm getting excited about our next issue: February 28, 2012, how about you?

Stay tuned for more info!

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