I’m looking for markets – publications that my stories might fit, a home for my artistic endeavours. This means that I browse a lot of publication websites, trying to figure out what they want and if what I’ve got is good enough. There are a lot of good markets out there.
But then there are sites that I look at and I’m not sure that I want to submit to them, even if I think my story’s a great fit. Like readers all over the world, I judge the book from the cover. Or the market from the site, anyway. My main turn-offs are:
- Bad writing.
- A clunky and/or unattractive website.
- Unnecessary or inconsistent capitalisation.
I want my literary gems to be set in a setting where they can shine. A setting that looks great and is easy to read, where the text stands out and isn’t cluttered with textures or images. One where the editors inspire confidence through their own fluent writing, clear focus and helpful instructions.
When I send my writer’s CV to a publisher or agent, I want them to recognise some of the publication’s I’ve appeared in and I want them to be impressed with – or at least not put off by – the ones they haven’t seen before.
What has this to do with being irrational? I have good, rational reasons for not submitting to a market, don’t I?
Except for the thing about capitalisation. Unmotivated capitalisation irritates me beyond reason.