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Bad Credits Will Not Get You Published

As part of my gig guest-posting at Jeff VanderMeer's Ecstatic Days, I weighed in on the Black Matrix controversy, specifically on the idea put forth by some Black Matrix authors that they had to publish in a crappy market so that the editors of better venues would take them seriously:

There are markets that accept nearly every submission, or that always seem to end up on the bottom of the pile. I’m sure that good authors have published in these magazines, but in every instance that has turned up in the PodCastle slush, if a story comes in by authors who are still mentioning these magazines in their cover letters, the story will be worse than average slush — including stories that have never been printed anywhere.

I’ll note that I didn’t assemble this list of bad-sign markets from a priori assumptions. These aren’t markets that I came in with a bad impression of, or that I had even necessarily known much about. These are magazines whose names I began to remember because I saw a pattern in the slush.

It’s even worse when the cover letter comes in with credits from a large number of magazines that I’ve never heard of. At the beginning of our run, we had someone submit with a full resume of over one thousand publications, none of which I’d heard of before. These are, I assume, the fly-by-night for the love markets which publish for a month or two before dying, only to be replaced, hydra-like, by two more.


Check it out.

Comments

rachel_swirsky
Dec. 11th, 2009 07:45 am (UTC)
I would suspect Nature's acceptance rate is high because mostly competent people are writing specific things for them, and few people know about them. Definitely a plus.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
Not to mention their draconian word requirements - between 850 and 950 words. Anyway, thanks!
~T