Is it entertaining?

I hate Facebook. For many reasons, but the current one is the fact that the little bugger refreshes randomly, and I lose a post I was reading.

Today’s Facebook embuggerance was a comment I was reading on an author page that showed up at random on my wall. The comment was from someone who mentioned that they couldn’t submit to Raconteur because we are a conservative publishing house.

I was trying to respond when Facebook refreshed and I lost it.

Damn it.

Folks, fans, and general passers-by — I don’t do ideological purity tests when people submit stories. I barely register author names. The only thing I am reading for is whether the story is entertaining or not.

“It Must Be Entertaining, All Else Is Negotiable.”

I’m serious about that. Send us stories that entertain, that enthrall, that thrill; send us stories that leave the readers satisfied, yet wanting more.

I don’t have the time, nor the energy, to care about anything else; least of which being the label on the lever you pull in the voting booth.

I’m pretty sure that I know where the rumour started from, too. I have repeatedly stated — well, I suppose “ranted” might be a more accurate description — that I will not publish message fiction.

That is correct. And I will hold this line as long as I am CEO of this house. By “message fiction” I mean stories that sacrifice entertaining on the altar of whatever message the author feels strongly about.

“It Must Be Entertaining, All Else Is Negotiable.”

That “must” is there for a reason, and is not optional. Stories offered to Raconteur Press MUST be entertaining. Period. Full stop. End of statement.

Now, for those of you in the corner weeping and rending your garments, understand that an entertaining story is fully capable of having a message under the entertainment. As multiple examples I offer the Original Series of Star Trek.

Don’t send us a story where the entertaining part is an afterthought — we’ll send it back with a suggestion that you self-publish it.

“It Must Be Entertaining, All Else Is Negotiable.”

Other than that, I truly don’t care about your political leanings, and honestly don’t have the time, nor the spoons, to hire private investigators to vet everyone who submits a story to us.

Just … send us entertaining stories. That’s all I care about.


Thank you

4 thoughts on “Is it entertaining?”

  1. Excellent point – I have been dismayed in the past after reading entertaining stories that the political leanings of the author are to either the right of Vlad the Impaler or to the left of Hilary Clinton (gag, spit!)… Doesn’t mean I didn’t continue to read their offerings as their work was entertaining more than political type posturing

  2. I suspect that the person was actually saying that y’all don’t pass their ideological purity test, rather than that they were worried they wouldn’t pass yours.

  3. I’ve read and enjoyed a fair number of stories written by the late Eric Flint, although my political leanings are, well, very different than those he championed. Because the man knew how to write a fun, entertaining story.

    And that’s what matters when I’m looking for something to read. I don’t care if, politically, I’m in full agreement with an author if he can’t entertain me.

    Note that this is quite distinct from “I refuse to buy anything by author X because they are or were a despicable person” – eg, Marion Zimmer Bradley. As a kid and young adult I loved her stories, but now that I realize what she was like in her private life … ugh.

    But disagree politically? As long as you write good stories, not screeds, I’m fine with that and I’ll buy your books. Even if I think your personal politics are bunk.

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