Due diligence, and you

Dear authors,

Every one of you who has submitted a story to us — CHECK YOUR AUTHOR EMAIL ADDRESS, PLEASE.

If you have an e-mail address set up for your author account/author business, and you’re sending stories out, do me a solid and check that email address regularly. And by “regularly” I mean “at least once a day”.

We’ve had a previous story that we really, really liked; that we wanted to publish; and that we wanted to see that young author GET PAID FOR.

However, said author didn’t respond to the contract we sent out until a month after we sent them the contract. We had to pull that very excellent story from an anthology.

You’d think this would be a one-off event, but we’re having to do it again. We have a wonderful story submitted, but the author that submitted it isn’t checking his/her e-mail address, and we’re coming up to the launch point for the anthology.

We’re on a tight deadline. I’m not holding up a release for one person, because I don’t want to deal with a failure cascade on our very tight production schedule.

Jonna is about to send a 5th email to this latest example. Five. Trust me – any other publishing house would yank your story after the first one, and I (as the publisher) am seriously considering pulling rank and pinching this sort of thing off.

Which makes me sad, truth be told.

So. If you want to make money writing, treat it like a business. Follow up. Check your author email address regularly — like every day — because if you’re not going to treat your craft seriously … why should we?

Frustrated, I remain:


Moggies! Back in space!
Or All Will Burn

13 thoughts on “Due diligence, and you”

  1. Too many people don’t understand that this is a BUSINESS.
    If you aren’t going to behave responsibly, no one is going to do business with you.
    All those movies with the ‘irresponsible artist’ who ignores everything and the ‘publisher/record company/movie studio’ understands?
    Those are fiction. They actually FIRE those people.

  2. potentially dumb idea, but maybe the contract should be signed as a part of submitting the written work. That way only folks that are under contract will be reviewed and able to submit work. Keeps you from investing time in something that you can’t publish. I’m guessing the contracts will have to be rewritten, and a formal letter for submissions that aren’t used, so said writer can sell them somewhere else will be needed.

  3. A lot of people are on the upward learning curve for being a “real” writer. Part of that curve for some is taking one on the chin because of small oversights.
    You’re helping them grow. It’s a tough love thing.
    I appreciate you’re so kind and empathetic about it. If we’re normalizing stuff, let’s normalize that in publishing.

  4. Yeah, don’t understand people who don’t check their email. But some people are less tech minded than me. I rely on email and texts as much as I do my phone calls to do business.

  5. Ummm… Attention to detail…strikes again! And folks need to check their spam folders too! Emails with more than about 3 addressees often ends up there.

  6. If I’ve submitted a story, the receipt of which was acknowledged, and don’t hear anything by the contract date listed for that anthology, should I assume the story was rejected?

    1. No. Rejections get sent pretty quickly.

      Your story is probably in the hopper for the release of #2 or #3.

      1. I was wondering the same thing; I got an initial submission receipt, but despite checking email (and spam) daily, nothing has shown up.

        I had assumed rejection, though now I wonder if there’s some kind of email SNAFU regardless.

      2. So if you make the decision to reject a story, you send a rejection notice promptly. Makes eminent sense.

        Do you have a similar “Acceptance Notice” that gets sent? If not, consider adding that to your workflow at exactly this point. (Hey if it’s not rejected, it’s accepted, right?)

        Once an author gets past the initial “Squee!” moment (and subsequent bouncing off the walls) they can read all the useful “next steps” that your notice has, including but not limited to:

        1. Checking their email regularly/daily for the pending contract.
        2. Getting the contract reviewed, signed, and returned within ‘X’ days (and how important this is otherwise they will NOT be published.)
        3. Adding Raconteur Press’ mail address to their own mail provider’s “List of approved senders that we won’t send to the spam folder, no matter what” list, and why that’s a GOOD thing.
        4. Signing up with pubshare.com, ie, how to get paid. ALL the steps they’ll need, including the tricky ones that trip some authors up, as has been hinted at by Jonna and Cedar on the Blanket Fort.
        5. Anything else you can think of where you get questions at this point and don’t want to be spending your time answering those.

  7. I will say this and maybe I need to dust off my cox account just in case I write a story. I have subscribed to the ILOHs newsletter under two gmail accounts and one yahoo account. I don’t get the newsletter. It doesn’t go to spam it just doesn’t arrive. folks may want to find better email addresses. Including myself.

Comments are closed.