I agree that not accepting electronic submissions is harsh and unfairly hurts non-US residents. I also think that FASA's submission guidelines are worded in such a way as to deter even the most stalwart of would-be novelists, sourcebook or adventure writers.
However, I don't think that FASA stands alone in this regard. Publishing, in my experience, is a very old industry and is embracing the information age very slowly. No major book publishers, AFAIK, accept electronic submissions. I do know that some game companies do, Steve Jackson Games comes to mind, and several magazines. I am speaking mainly of unsolicited submissions. Once an author has established communication with an editor, ideas and partial proposals are often discussed via email before a full-blown proposal is submitted (which then is sent via snail mail). (funny, neh?)
I don't want turn into a defender of all that is FASA. I never meant to imply that the list members should refrain from criticizing products or voicing their opinions. Hell, FASA has held onto a novel of mine for three years without publishing it; I have ample reason to bitch. My last post was merely an attempt to give people some more information about submissions, Calfree and the Australian book. I did not mean it to be construed as an attempt to quash constructive criticism.
However, with that said, I know why publisher's guidelines (and I assume FASA's reasoning follows) are so harsh. Firstly, to reduce the number of non-serious submissions. Publishers get literally hundreds of submissions a day. Think about that. I don't know how many FASA gets for Shadowrun products, but a conservative guess would be fifteen or twenty a day. By returning any who don't follow the guidelines, they can weed out the non-serious writers, and perhaps actually have time to read the rest.
Second, editors and game developers usually read submissions in their spare time. Each one works differently, I presume, but many who I know, don't have time at the office to read submissions. They spend that time working on material that has already been contracted, and read submissions at home or on the commute. Because of this, they need a hardcopy. Which leads to the "no electronic submissions" part of the guidelines. Someone has to print out a copy, either the writer or the publisher. If the writer does it, and mails it, the writer foots the bill. If the publisher had to do it, printing out twenty submissions a day would add up to a drek-load of paper and money, especially since they can't accept very many of these.
Some editors have computers at home and could read electronic submissions that way, but publishers can't force them to do so without footing the bill for the home computer. Which they either won't do or can't afford.
Now, I have no idea why FASA hasn't linked to web pages, though I may know more about this soon (a month or so) as I get my web page up and running. I'll find out from Mike what their policy is about linking to other pages, and I can post what I learn if anyone's interested. My guess is that it's a time/man hours problem more than a copyrite infringment/litigation problem. Lou Prosperi is the only person who updates their web site, and that is in addition to his main job as Earthdawn developer. He just may not have time to devote to it.
Anyhow, this has gotten long. I'll be out of town for a few days so you'll all have a short respite from my posts.
Jak Koke | "Though I am not naturally honest, jkoke@****.edu | I am so sometimes by chance." La Jolla, CA | --Shakespeare (The Winter's Tale)Message no. 3
"Paul J. Adam" <shadowrn@********.DEMON.CO.UK>
Re: FASA submission guidelines
Fri, 4 Apr 1997 19:06:33 +0100
In message <220.127.116.1170404173931.006ab034@*******.ucsd.edu>, Jak Koke <jkoke@****.EDU> writes >I agree that not accepting electronic submissions is harsh and unfairly >hurts non-US residents. I also think that FASA's submission guidelines are >worded in such a way as to deter even the most stalwart of would-be >novelists, sourcebook or adventure writers.
<Excellent explanation of why this is so snipped>
Gives me some hope for the military sourcebook I've been contemplating off and on :)
-- There are four kinds of homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable and praiseworthy...
>Lou Prosperi is the only person who updates their web site, and that >is in addition to his main job as Earthdawn developer. He just may >not have time to devote to it.
Part of the prob according to Lou is he is still learning about web page maintainance and all..another reason ED has a better page as well...
--------------------------------GRANITE ================================================================= Lord, Grant Me The Serenity To Accept The Things I Cannot Change, The Courage To Change The Things I Can, And The Wisdom To Hide The Bodies Of Those People I Had To Kill Because They Pissed Me Off. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ShadowRunner's Serenity Prayer
If you enjoyed reading about FASA submission guidelines, you may also be interested in:
These messages were posted a long time ago on a mailing list far, far away. The copyright to their contents probably lies with the original authors of the individual messages, but since they were published in an electronic forum that anyone could subscribe to, and the logs were available to subscribers and most likely non-subscribers as well, it's felt that re-publishing them here is a kind of public service.