Publishing Woes

I finally got the 2nd issue of my literary magazine, Estuary, out yesterday. It was a day late, but that wasn’t my fault. I had meant to publish it on the 1st, but I ended up volunteering at a scout function all day due to someone’s poor communication skills. Instead, I sent it out on the 2nd, which I suppose is sort of poetic, this being the 2nd issue and everything. Maybe I’ll make that a thing. However, even after I got it out, I still ended up having some unexpected problems.

About an hour after I sent it out, I received an e-mail from one of my contributors. He asked me to tell him which page his poem was on because he couldn’t find it. I brought up my copy of the issue and searched for it. I couldn’t find it either. I’m not going to tell you the numerous… words… that were running through my head as I frantically searched the poetry section for his poem. It just wasn’t there. I immediately sent him an e-mail back while apologizing profusely and promising that I would add his submission back in. So I went back through his e-mails and found a poem and put it in.

Just to be thorough, I went through all of the names of my contributors to make sure that their work was included. Again, bad thoughts went off in my head as I noticed that I’d forgotten ANOTHER poem! I quickly found that one and put it in. Then, I re-exported the Word file to PDF and sent out the corrected issue. That should have been the end of it, but no, not with my luck.

The next day, I got an e-mail from a friend who had contributed telling me that he’d found a misspelling in his poem. I told him that it wasn’t a big deal, and that even if people did notice, they’d probably think he was being artsy. It wasn’t enough to send out a whole new correction issue. And then I got another e-mail. It was from the first guy. You know, the guy whose poem I’d forgotten. It turns out that the poem I included was the wrong one entirely, and he hadn’t even written that one. I nearly spit my cereal at the screen. Not again! I quickly fixed the issue and sent out another corrected issue and fix it on the website. I also fixed the typo for my friend, because why not? I was already sending out another correction. Finally I was done.

There are a couple of lessons to be learned here: 1. Publishing is hard. 2. When I accept a submission, I should probably just go ahead and add it to the issue right away. 3. I should always make sure that the poem I put in the magazine is actually written by the person I said it was written by.

Have you ever sent something out for an audience and then realized that there was something wrong with it after the fact?


P.S. If you’re interested in reading the finished product of all this frustration, click here to be taken to a page where you can download the newest issue of Estuary.


6 thoughts on “Publishing Woes

  1. Oh, Susannah, what a belly laugh – and I feel for you! But ultimately you should be pretty proud of what you’re accomplishing. This is a monumental effort, and from the sound of it, you’re doing the publishing end solo, right?
    Great life lessons; a little painful, yes, but mistakes are all part of the process of figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
    Keep it up. The good the bad and the ugly. It’ll all be beautiful in the end.

  2. Aussa Lorens says:

    Oh yes, I know this feeling and I know it well. I’ve done this on blog posts, either because I was rushing (and didn’t remove my little hints to myself like LINK and ADD A PHOTO HERE) or wordpress was dumb and didn’t update my draft so it’s fully of statements that just aren’t pithy enough for me so I’m left scrambling and cursing my existence.

    You’ll get the hang of it and learn as you go– that’s how everything in life works!

  3. LOL Sounds like a lot of work but well worth it! Thanks for sharing the process. Just downloaded the first issue…look forward to reading it.

    Oh and maybe you can find someone to assist you, like be your second set of eyes. Maybe a past contributor?

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