Regarding this — instead of falling asleep to The Venture Brothers, I’ve been lying here thinking that perhaps I was too hard on Ken. I stand by the point of the essay — that if your goal is to be a professional author, then you should submit to professional markets. My intent was to use a current example. However, in hindsight, I think I was too harsh on the example I chose. My friend James A. Moore put it much more politely and succinctly, in the comments. So I would like to apologize to Ken and his staff for that.
In retrospect, I think my reaction can be chalked up to one thing — the place where the original statements were made. Quite simply, Shocklines if rife with staggeringly inept, incorrect information for would-be authors. Most of the good horror-specific info is at Horror Mall or the HWA’s forum (because although the HWA’s forum has a metric fuck-ton of problems, as most recently evidenced by the ridiculous banning of Nick Mamatas, there is still good info for novices to be gleaned there).
But not everyone that posts on Shocklines is a Nickolaus Pacione or a Mike Philbin or a Lawrence Dagstine or a Biledragon or a whoever the troll-of-the-day is over there. There are still a few good people on that forum, novices who don’t know any better, new authors who don’t yet know the messengers and therefore, don’t have the tools to separate the few nuggets of good info from the plethora of bad.
(A recent example — a young lady asked if there were any comic book markets for horror. Seven people told her that horror was pretty much a no-go in comics. This is, of course, ludicrous. Almost all of the major and indie comic publishers are currently publishing horror. But she took the advice she got on the forum, and I have to assume she looked no further).
But I digress. My point is this — more and more, it’s getting easier to tar with the same brush anyone who still bothers to take that place seriously. And that’s what I did with Ken. And I was wrong. And kudos to him for coming here and opening a discourse. Bet you won’t see any of the others doing that anytime soon.
Anyway, apologies to Ken. And as I said, I still stand by my statements that that if your goal is to be a professional author, then you should submit to professional markets, and that publishers who wish to be viewed as professionals have an obligation to treat their writers as professionals. But there is a better way to say it than I did. And that essay is forthcoming.