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Old 08-19-2013, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Non Serviam View Post
Now, the problem with these ventures is reading the slush. You have to get people to read all the submissions, and while there might be enough volunteers for issue 1 and 2 of a new startup, by issues 3 and 4, you're struggling with the backlog. And so, inevitably, you skim and skip bits. You develop shortlisting techniques, such as reading the first paragraph on each page, or automatically rejecting anything with a spelling mistake in it, or checking the covering letter to decide if the piece is worth reading at all. Because when you have half a million words of submissions in your inbox you have no alternative.r.
Along with contracted editorial work, I've worked as a contract slush-pile reader too.

Now, I have to admit, with the publisher I worked for, you had to read the whole submission (novel length etc). It's a paid posistion, but also contracted, so to ensure we'd do our jobs, we had to do a synopsis of the novel. There was also a whole host of criteria you had to make sure the work fitted within. But yes, in the end, a proportion of it came down to whether I loved it. But I'd also been editing for this particular publisher for a long time, so I knew what their likes were too. And vice-versa, they wouldn't send any work to me that fell outside of my comfort zones (Historical, Steampunk etc).

Does the publishing idustry in general quash good writing? I think it tries not too, but sometimes they get it wrong and miss good opportunities, or they play it safe and keep publishing what they know sells. Readers will then keep reading what sells because they're not exposed to something different via the publisher. Or readers won't look at anything else because they don't want their comfort zones breached.

I think this is where 50 Shades falls. BDSM in novels has mostly moved outside of the mainstream readership, and long before 50 S came along too. Diffrence being this time, it started orginally as a fanfic work with a more mainstream work in mind, and it just seems to have... hopped over the fence and gone mainstream.

I know my son's girlfriend picked it up after reading twilight and the rest was history.
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