There are few things about being an aspiring author that I hate more than when I do everything I’m “supposed to do” and order back copies of a journal, read them cover to cover, examine the submission guidelines, examine the website and online submission guidelines, put together my manuscript properly, send in my SASE, only to find out much later that the journal isn’t actually accepting any submissions. We constantly hear editors of small journals and presses complain about the weight of unsolicited submissions, but if they bothered to take five minutes to update their websites and say “sorry, none for us right now,” then we wouldn’t freaking bother them.
So here’s a tip of the glass to Akashic Books. Besides printing great work like the Noir series (San Francisco Noir is fantastic), the fine folks at Akashic do themselves and me a favor by simply stating on their website that they have enough on their plate right now. The publisher’s website states “unfortunately, Akashic Books is not accepting new submissions at this time, as our small staff is overwhelmed with work on our current release schedule and forthcoming books. To uncover other publishing opportunities, we suggest you follow the threads at Publishers Marketing Association and SPAN: Small Publishers of North America, both organizations of independent publishers.” Simple, concise, and considerate so aspiring authors don’t waste their time and postage and the company’s editors can focus on the work they already have. Magnificent. I want to run out and buy their entire catalog just to support the company.
Too bad that so many other journals and small publishers can’t be bothered to be as thoughtful, and business-savvy, as Akashic.