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Advice for Writers?

Does anybody have experience with working with Sofawolf? A friend of mine submitted a story, and the publisher said they would reply within 90 days. It has been well over that, but still no reply. Also he has sent follow-up emails which also have yet to be replied to. Is this normal? What would be the best thing to do?

Note: Since posting this entry my friend has stated a preference for it/its/itself pronouns.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
thaily
Jun. 8th, 2014 10:53 am (UTC)
I know Ursula Vernon works with Sofawolf, she's "UrsulaV" on Twitter and LJ if you want to try and ask her about it? She's pretty busy, but the friendly sort, she might have an answer?
spartanwerewolf
Jun. 9th, 2014 11:54 am (UTC)
Same with Kyell Gold. He's @kyellgold on the twits.
martes
Jun. 9th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
The best thing to do is corner them at a convention and ask. That's what I had to do. They'll be at AC.
(Deleted comment)
bkatt500
Jun. 11th, 2014 04:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, my thoughts exactly. I don't think either of us can go to AC realistically. I'll keep an eye out for local cons, but I don't think my friend in question would be able to go themselves.
intj_reflection
Jun. 16th, 2014 07:23 pm (UTC)
My advice? Find a better independent publisher.

My reasoning:

Their website is bare bones and missing some pretty important things that potential authors need to know prior to submitting their work for publication consideration. (Submission guidelines. Links to their publication contracts. Information about sales/payment/royalties. Etc.) There are some places that once you submit the content to them, and they accept it, they own the publication rights even if it never gets printed. Knowing that up front is very important.

They're looking to "hire" a person to fill a position on a volunteer basis to do something that you typically see in a $40k/year salary.

You shouldn't have to track them down in the manner people are explaining above. Holy frog that's unprofessional. X.x
bkatt500
Jun. 16th, 2014 11:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the more I'm thinking about this and from reading the other replies, the more I think my friend should look elsewhere. Do you have any suggestions for similar publishers who handle themselves more professionally?
intj_reflection
Jun. 17th, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately not.

I've been out of the publishing business long enough for the main players to change. Since I've only recently gotten back into the writing side of things, I haven't even started looking into publishers for myself.

Considering Sofawolf's target audience, is it fair to assume that your friend's story was Furry-focused?
bkatt500
Jun. 17th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)
Ah, yeah, I see. And yes, it writes furry stories. We checked some other furry anthologies and publishers, but they generally tended to not be what we were looking for.
intj_reflection
Jun. 18th, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
That's really frustrating. I'm sorry to hear it. X.x

Unfortunately the fandom is not really focused on authors. It seems to be a relatively niche market so options are limited.
chipotle
Jun. 20th, 2014 01:22 am (UTC)
I apologize for being late to this -- I don't check LJ regularly anymore and was just pointed at this by a friend. I have a short story collection published through Sofawolf and also had a story in a previous issue of their literary anthology, New Fables (and another one accepted to the forthcoming issue). I've also had a novella published as part of FurPlanet's "Cupcakes" line and had a story come out in their "Five Fortunes" anthology earlier this year.

Dealing with Sofawolf can certainly be frustrating because they're frankly not very good at communication. But they really are the best at hitting this niche market; FurPlanet's the only other publisher that gives them a run for their money. The truth is that while there are a fair number of artists making most or all of their income from furry, NONE of the publishers do; I'm not sure any of them even break even. They certainly don't try to be uncommunicative lumps, but the reality is that publishing is a spare time job for them and that makes it a lot easier to let low-priority tasks fall through the cracks.

While I'm sympathetic to the commenter advising you to find someone more professional, the reality is that it's tough to sell furry writing to non-furry publishers. Sofawolf, FurPlanet and Rabbit Valley are competitive with non-furry small presses in terms of pay rate, they will be *far* better than non-furry publishers at getting your stuff in front of furry audiences, and Sofawolf in particular gets (positive) attention outside the fandom. This doesn't mean it's not worth investigating other routes, but unless you're really good -- "I sold a furry story to Strange Horizons" good, like Malcolm Cross did recently -- that comes with its own set of frustrations. :)

Is your submission to one of the annual magazines like Heat or New Fables? If so, you might try pinging the editor directly rather than through Sofawolf.
bkatt500
Jun. 20th, 2014 04:18 am (UTC)
Thanks for replying. My friend did submit to Hot Dish, and it has tried contacting the editor, but, as with every other message, has yet to receive any sort of response. We figured that this isn't their full-time jobs, and while it can understand slow responses, this is starting to leave a sour taste in its mouth.

By 'professional' I think the other poster was referring to SofaWolf's conduct, policies, and poor communication. Being in this part-time and being the fandom publisher doesn't excuse from the poor communication, and as the other poster pointed out a lack of information on contracts and such. They do however seem to be its best bet at getting short stories published.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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