Expectations of a Publisher

I’ve been holding off writing this post for a while. One of my main goals in this blog is to be as positive and non-judgmental as possible – there’s too much anger and hate on the Internet as it is. I don’t slam other writers because I don’t like their work, or retaliate against anyone that criticizes my work, even if I think they’re wrong. But I’m really frustrated with what I’m about to describe, and I’d like some feedback from you, fellow writers.

One of my short stories was accepted by a publisher called Static Movement almost two years ago, for an anthology called The End. Static Movement is a “for the love of it” market (meaning it’s non-paying), which is something I totally respect, and being an emerging writer I was happy just to have a story accepted somewhere. When the anthology was closed to submissions in September 2012, we were told via the publisher’s forum that The End would be published by the end of that year.

It’s now June 2014, and The End still hasn’t been published.

There’s a massive print queue at Static Movement. It’s posted publicly, so you can see exactly where a particular anthology sits. In the past two years, the print queue has barely moved. Every time a writer asks about how things are progressing, we hear that the editors are moving things along as quickly as they can, and then nothing happens. The editing is delayed. The printing is delayed. And things go nowhere. The End was sent to the printers this past January (supposedly), but still nothing has been produced. I’ve seen other writers asking about anthologies that are several spots behind The End in the print queue, and the managing editor apologizes for the delays and promises that publishing will ramp up soon. Too bad he’s been saying that since 2012.

I’m not a publisher, so for all I know it’s perfectly conceivable for an anthology to be delayed almost two years. But somehow I doubt that’s the case. The reason why this frustrates me so much is because The End sounded like it was going to be a great collection, and for a while I couldn’t wait for it be released. Now I’ve given up hope that it will ever be published, and if it is I don’t even think I’ll buy a copy. The excuses and the delays seem like a cover for some sort of gross mismanagement at Static Movement, and if this is how things are going to continue there, I’d be surprised if this publisher survives much longer. Mostly I feel bad for the other writers whose work is sitting in limbo. If my particularly story wasn’t a reprint, I’d be really pissed off.

Am I out of line here, fellow writers? In all honesty, if this is something that I should expect as I move forward with my writing, I would rather know now. But I just don’t see how it’s acceptable for an anthology to be delayed for two years without a reasonable explanation.

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One thought on “Expectations of a Publisher

  1. Yea that’s lame. At least you aren’t also waiting for payment. Maybe the publisher doesn’t normally publish professionally and over extended his or her self without appreciating the cost, scale, or involvement.

    I’d move on and submit elsewhere if I were you. And warn others through convenient blog post 😉

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