Monday, December 09, 2019

from the submission pile wilds

This week,  I am rounding out my reading of dgp submissions for the summer and hoping to get all responses on their way by the end of next week in time for the holidays..It's been a rough, chaotic fall, and I am behind on just about everything, but am still making more progress than I was before the studio move. This round of submissions had me facing some hard choices about how much is too much in terms of releases, as well as timelines.  I feel sometimes like I need to be more realistic on whens and hows and how many, and then I just keep dropping balls and getting behind.  Being able to work at home helps immensely, as does taking on less manuscripts than the past couple of years.   I want to get the shipping backlog more under control as we come into the new year, as well as be able to expedite author copy orders more efficiently so there is less wait.  I just feel like there is a need to slow down and enjoy things more. I have about 10 already accepted, another  20 or so manuscripts in my "yes" pile,  and a few more I am thinking about adding in.  This will be enough, especially with a few stragglers held over from this year that I am still working on.  There is a little of room at the beginning of 2021 if I find more in what's left I'd like to take if folks don't mind the wait.  I want much less chaos and much more order, more intention, more deliberateness rather than careening from one thing to another, which pretty much describes the past decade.

Even still so much of what we get in the submission queue is amazing, so decisions are so hard.   I recently read first round for a larger press's chap contest, and the quality was all over the place, but I would say 80% of what I read for dgp is in the realm of publishable had we the room.  In past years, the acceptance rate was running about 10%, which is comfortable for me, maybe a little less this year.   But it's hard, especially as I start scheduling things in the latter half of the year, where it gets tighter and fewer spots left. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that dgp is still very much a word of mouth press, since we don't really advertise anywhere.  Also I'm not sure I would want to read more than what we get in a given year, so I won't be rushing to do that anytime

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