January 27, 2011

Embracing rejection


Why you should submit your MS to the Journal of Universal Rejection (these rules apply equally when it comes to agents and traditional publishers too):

• You can send your manuscript here without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission. You know with 100 percent certainty that it will not be accepted for publication.
• There are no page-fees [common practice with academic journals; a sure sign of unscrupulous behavior anywhere else].
• You may claim to have submitted to the most prestigious journal (judged by acceptance rate).
• The JofUR is one-of-a-kind. Merely submitting work to it may be considered a badge of honor.
• You retain complete rights to your work, and are free to resubmit to other journals even before our review process is complete.
• Decisions are often (though not always) rendered within hours of submission.

And while I'm taking pot shots at the old publishing paradigm, books like this should put the tired old "rigorous editing" claims by the "big six" six feet under as well.

General Motors, [the author] writes, was bought by Fiat, "an event unimaginable just a couple [of] years earlier." Yes, and it still is: the Italian carmaker did not purchase GM, but a 20 percent stake in Chrysler. France gets "almost 20 percent of its electricity from nuclear sources." The OECD says the figure is close to 80 percent.

Ms Moyo’s editors are as bad as her fact-checkers. If they couldn’t spot the analytical flaws, they might have done something about the stylistic ones that range from curious analogies to long phrases in parentheses. End notes are used almost at random.

And that's a non-fiction tome. In any case, one long-needed change that ebooks should bring about is treating the written word the same as software. You can fix a typo on Smashwords in an hour, 24-48 hours on Amazon, and it doesn't cost a thing.

The Kindle has a built-in dictionary. How about a built-in ebook updater and typo reporter? Crowd-sourced editing can be very effective (though such efforts will constrained by the power law paradox that attends any shareware project).

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