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Hapax Legomenon
10-24-2014, 06:33 PM
Question. Maybe this goes in the short story board. I don't know.

If I get published in some venue that allows commenting and the comments are unanimously negative, should I not use that story as a publishing credit the next time I submit stuff?

Fruitbat
10-24-2014, 07:05 PM
Question. Maybe this goes in the short story board. I don't know.

If I get published in some venue that allows commenting and the comments are unanimously negative, should I not use that story as a publishing credit the next time I submit stuff?

It's hard to hear criticism when the work is already out there and you don't have the opportunity to change it if you wanted to. But still, I think it depends on the story and the comments.

Once you get past the disappointment, consider if the criticisms are true. Look through other stories and comments. Do you generally agree with comments left on other stories?

Usually, my guess would be the story fell short. However, it does happen occasionally that an online site is allowed to become clique-ish and mean spirited, or the people who frequent it just aren't able to grasp anything that isn't simple and spelled out.

So without seeing the story, all I can say is "it depends," and sorry if you got negative feedback. That's definitely no fun. :(

P.S. Oops, sorry, I thought you asked if you should submit to that venue again (haven't had my coffee yet). I probably wouldn't list it as a credit. Editors and readers often look those up so I'd think you wouldn't want to direct them to a story with bad reviews. But keep an eye on it, it could be that you get some good reviews to even it out.

Hapax Legomenon
10-24-2014, 07:11 PM
Well, I suppose I am having the thought of, okay, so some people didn't like it, but the fact that it was chosen out of so many to be posted, that means that the editors of the site liked it enough to put it on their site. Does an editor's opinion matter? Yes, no?

Also, considering I do not have any other publishing credits and venues often ask for them in cover letters, wouldn't omission be, like, lying? I am not an unpublished author. Just a poorly-received one.

Fruitbat
10-24-2014, 07:24 PM
Well, I suppose I am having the thought of, okay, so some people didn't like it, but the fact that it was chosen out of so many to be posted, that means that the editors of the site liked it enough to put it on their site. Does an editor's opinion matter? Yes, no?

Well, sure it does. But then I have a few stories out there that seemed okay to me at the time and were published, but now they make me cringe. I don't want people to read them. So I guess it just depends on if you think your story is good enough to outweigh the poor reviews that are attached to it. Is that- the story and reviews as a whole- something you want people to see, or not?

And no, I don't think it's lying to not mention a credit that you don't want to mention, even if it's your only one. If you said you were "unpublished" in your bio, that wouldn't be true, but you're not obligated to mention any particular thing.

Hapax Legomenon
10-24-2014, 07:37 PM
Well, sure it does. But then I have a few stories out there that seemed okay to me at the time and were published, but now they make me cringe. I don't want people to read them. So I guess it just depends on if you think your story is good enough to outweigh the poor reviews that are attached to it. Is that- the story and reviews as a whole- something you want people to see, or not?

I guess I don't really think that way. I absolutely hate everything I write and I send it out and give it to people because, ultimately, it's not for me to like. It's for other people.

Like, let's see.

The comments from the editors (three of them) were positive. Other people have told me directly that they were positive. However, you know, the 5 comments that are directly attached to the story are all very negative. So yeah, I'm not sure :/

Fruitbat
10-24-2014, 07:48 PM
Okay, I just stopped by that site and I wouldn't call that a unanimously negative response at all. So far you have 3/5 stars and the stories on that site tend to get a lot of ratings/reviews so you'll likely get a lot more people weighing in. Since it's your first published story, you are probably seeing it much harsher than it really is. I would list it as a credit. :)

Hapax Legomenon
10-24-2014, 07:51 PM
Darn, and I was hoping that perhaps with all the perceived pointlessness of it I could eventually raise my craft to such sublime pointless heights that it would make dadaists weep.

Fruitbat
10-24-2014, 07:56 PM
Darn, and I was hoping that perhaps with all the perceived pointlessness of it I could eventually raise my craft to such sublime pointless heights that it would make dadaists weep.

LOL! :)

Kylabelle
10-24-2014, 08:13 PM
Hap, I have confidence that you will reach that goal. :D

And I agree with the latest assessment in this thread, that you should go ahead and list the credit. With any luck, future editors will weigh the comments as they deserve which is quite a bit less than the fact your story was chosen in the first place. IMO.

Buffysquirrel
10-24-2014, 08:47 PM
In all my slush reading I don't think I ever checked out a previous publication as part of the decision process. Credits are indicative that another editor liked your work, preferably enough to pay for it.

Polenth
10-24-2014, 09:25 PM
The question is not how well it was received, but does it make a good credit? I only usually list well-known semi-pro and pro markets as credits in submission letters. I sometimes listed the site you're talking about, especially if I was submitting to places at about the same level, but often I just didn't mention credits until I got semi-pro/pro ones to use. My first two pro sales came from letters without any credits listed.

My bibliography has everything though, as that's intended as a comprehensive list rather than highlights.

There's a culture at that site of harsh criticisms of stories. My sale there was the harshest response I've had for a published story, and I've been in a few places now. This doesn't make it my worst story. It's how the community is at that place. So I wouldn't factor that response into any decisions you make. Outside of whether you want to submit there again... I figured it wasn't worth the money.

Hapax Legomenon
10-24-2014, 09:34 PM
I guess I thought that, even though it's a token market, it's a relatively well-known one, but then I tend to think anything I've heard of is well-known, lol.

To be honest I had sent that story to several places and had not gotten any bites, so I sent it there and forgot about it until I got the acceptance letter...

Also to be honest a lot of the responses from editors elsewhere said "it's interesting but there's not enough here", and because the nugget behind it is spawning into a full-length novel, I didn't really want to spend time fleshing out the (very) short story version.

I guess with the credits, I've already submitted to a couple magazines coverletters that say my work is "upcoming", and now that it's there, I'd like to continue to list it. I mean I know it isn't a pro market, but it's still a paying market, so I was thinking, it's not like it would hurt my coverletter, right? Except then I was wondering if they actually went there and saw all the negative reviews and got second thoughts...

If editors really don't tend to look at the actual story, or especially the comments, then it probably doesn't matter.

Jamesaritchie
10-24-2014, 10:01 PM
Whether editorial opinion matters depends on the editor and the magazine. Many "magazine out now, particularly online mags, are tehre only because someone wanted to start a magazine, even though he has zero experience in writing, or editing, or anything else. The same is true of "editors" at such places.

I've read a lot of slush, and I always read the credits list. If I see a top magazine in whatever genre, I'm duly impressed. If I see, or something similar that I've never heard of, I am not impressed. If I check, and find The Nantucket Monthly is just a nothing magazine started by someone who hasn't a clue, and is filled with bad stories with worse editing, then, you'd be better off not mentioning it.

On the other hand, reader comments really don't mean anything, either, unless they come from my readers. Different readers have different tastes, and one mark of a good editor is knowing what his readers will like, even if readers of other magazines hate them.

But on the whole, it doesn't sound like you have a credit that's going to impress an editor, and since any story you submit ultimately has to stand on its own, I wouldn't mention this as a credit.

Fruitbat
10-24-2014, 11:21 PM
Unless you're a big name, future publications' interest is the story you send to them, not this. So, I don't see it either helping or hurting your chances on that. I was thinking of what you'd want in your bio. Imo it's just common sense to call attention to what makes you look good and not to what makes you look bad. What is which is for you to decide, though.

CrastersBabies
10-25-2014, 01:17 AM
Whether editorial opinion matters depends on the editor and the magazine. Many "magazine out now, particularly online mags, are tehre only because someone wanted to start a magazine, even though he has zero experience in writing, or editing, or anything else. The same is true of "editors" at such places.

I've read a lot of slush, and I always read the credits list. If I see a top magazine in whatever genre, I'm duly impressed. If I see, or something similar that I've never heard of, I am not impressed. If I check, and find The Nantucket Monthly is just a nothing magazine started by someone who hasn't a clue, and is filled with bad stories with worse editing, then, you'd be better off not mentioning it.

On the other hand, reader comments really don't mean anything, either, unless they come from my readers. Different readers have different tastes, and one mark of a good editor is knowing what his readers will like, even if readers of other magazines hate them.

But on the whole, it doesn't sound like you have a credit that's going to impress an editor, and since any story you submit ultimately has to stand on its own, I wouldn't mention this as a credit.

I agree with this. When I worked for a lit-mag, I would look at credits as well. Are the magazines recognizable? Is it "Ploughshares" or is it "Bob's Weekend Writing Online Jamboree?" that's essentially some person's blog online?

If I didn't recognize the magazine, I would search it out online. (I certainly didn't know all of the magazine titles and new/reputable ones did pop up now and then.)