Monday, February 16, 2009

Double Edge Publishing

I recently had one of my short stories “Long Term Thinking” accepted by Ray Gun Revival a science fiction magazine that is part of the Double Edge Publishing family.

This was the third story I had submitted to them and the first one to be accepted. Having had both acceptance and rejection from Double Edge, I feel I can confidently talk about some of the pros and cons of how they treat new writers.

The biggest plus for a new writer is they have three editors who will inform the writer what they did and didn’t like about the story. For a new writer this feedback is great. Just a sentence from each one, but because they are literally “putting their money were their mouth is” I greatly value that feedback.

I get great critiques of my writing from my friends and from online writing communities that I am part of like TIBU2, Associated Content, and Xomba and the critiques are great, however the difference is with the writing sites the commentators only have to like my writing enough to want to see more, The editors at Double Edge are betting not only the money they pay for the story, but the limited space available in the magazine so I will give their comments more weight.

This feedback not only helps the writers it helps them as well, with the first story I sent them it had a “Lady or the Tiger” ending, a type of ending I personally like. In their feedback, one of the editors said they didn’t like that type of ending. I had another story on hand to send as soon as it was rejected and it has the same type ending. Needless to say I didn’t bother sending them that one and typed up a different story that they did accept. So they were spared having to read a story that they would reject, and got a different story that they liked instead.

The funny thing about editors reviews it doesn’t take them that much longer to jot down a sentence as to the main feature they liked or didn’t like than the personalized form letters other magazines send out.

For example, one magazine “Fantasy & Science Fiction” sends out formal rejection letters with my name and address followed by
Dear Mr. Nelson:
Thank you for submitting “Name of story” but I’m going to pass on it. This just didn’t grab (me or my interest), I’m afraid. Good luck to you with this one, and thanks again for sending it our way.
Followed by their signature, in ink not photocopied.
For all that effort they could have sent me a post it note saying “Not this time, didn’t like the (Whatever they didn’t like) and I would but sure not to send them something that had that same element in the next story.

The other thing I like about Double Edge is their on-line contributor tools. After submitting a story the author can go to their submissions and see what is happening with it. Most of the time it just says received, but at least the author can see that they are doing something with it.

As far as response time, for my stories they have taken a little over two months. Other magazines I’ve submitted to have a response time of anywhere between two weeks and four months.
Naturally as a writer the sooner the response time the better, but two months is definitely acceptable.

As a new writer, I definitely recommend Double Edge Publishing as a place to submit your stories. They really seem to know what it is like being a new author and have set themselves up to be as writer friendly as possible.

Double Edge Publishing offers the following magazines:
Ray Gun Revival: Space Opera Science Fiction.
Fear and Trembling: Horror Fiction
Mindflights: Fantasy and Speculation
Haruah Breath of Heaven: Inspirational
TeenAge: A magazine for Teens.

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