Inside Baen’s Slush Pile

This was a livestream of how sorting through Baen’s slush pile works. I think it’s excellent insight on how publishing companies select the work they want to publish.

On the other hand, it pisses me off. Publishers say they want the whole manuscript done and run through an editor before you query. So chances are I’ve been running through it, draft and editing, for a good year or two. Then I send it in, and Baen, like many companies that actually still read their slush pile, take about a year to process.  So basically, you’re going to decide whether or not my three years of time have been wasted in ten minutes.

How about you let me write the first pages and the synopsis, which is what you actually read, and you tell me whether it would be a waste of my time or not, and then I write the book?

It hardly seems fair. Yet, this is how the industry works, and I really don’t know any better way to do it without cronyism being the only way anything would get sold. Which would exclude poor and marginalized writers (like me) anyway.

I guess forewarned is forearmed, eh?  Anyway, it was interesting. Enjoy!

3 thoughts on “Inside Baen’s Slush Pile

  1. But you know, deep down, that cronyism is actually a large art of the process, anyway.

    At least, judging by the crap that does get published alongside the good stuff, what gets rejected, and the rumors about who is sleeping with whom that surface every so often.


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