13 July 2007

Submission ≠ Subscriptions

In a writers' discussion of submissions to magazines and book publishers, focusing on the time period before (if ever) receiving a reply, one of the writer-editors of an eminent journal was seen to bemoan the lack of subscriptions held by writers submitting their creative work to said journal. They treated this as a crime worse than ignorance. Possibly one worse than plagiarism. Most definitely worse than accepted exploitation of the usually humble, cash-strapped, even starving poet or artist whose writings or art are the foundation and raison d'être for many an academic.

If having a subscription was mandatory to make a submission to magazine, I'd have to fork over about $120 for the poetry submissions made in recent weeks. If that rate of submissions was maintained over the course of a year, I'd have to buy $1,500-$2,000, or more, in magazine-journal-periodical subscriptions just to support my interest-efforts-desire to see if mag editors liked my stuff well enough to stick any of it in the frames of their mirrors.

Sometimes, I wish I could afford to take out a subscription but subscribing to every mag submitted to would cost a small fortune, let alone building the then necessary shelving, and knowing I’ve never have the time to get around to reading all those publications . . .

Fortunately, I believe:
Submission ≠ Subscription
We can all form our own opinion and belief system about submissions, unsolicited submissions, contests with subscription-equivalent entry fees, manuscript reading fees, subscriptions, complementary contributor copies, artist fees to contributors, mandatory author purchases of magazine copies as the only means of seeing one's work in print . . .

Consider this:
   If a poet prepared to commit-invest $1,500-$2,000 in their poetry decided to instead start a publishing operation and produce a book of their poetry, might they be better off in the long run? Of course, much would still depend upon the quality of the poetry, its editing, the book's design and production values.

Or maybe it's the academics who build their careers examining and expounding upon the creative work of writers and artists that should be investing more money in the writers and artists, and into their books and artworks, to sustain their own careers?

shirt: red "Joe"
loc: brokenwritingdesk
temp: 23 C
sound: Billy Bragg Must I Paint You a Picture?

1 comment:

Jo Cook said...

Yes. Ditto. I agree with all of the above. Thanks, Joe!

- Jo