Let’s play “Who’s the Editor”

In submitting short stories pretty non-stop since June, I’ve discovered a strange phenomenon in the publishing world.

I don’t know who’s going to be reading my submission.

It goes something like this:

I click a duotrope listing I wish to investigate.  I read the duotrope entry, then go to the actual publisher’s webpage.  I find the specific project I’ll be submitting to.  I’ll read the submission guidelines.  Then, if I want to submit, I’ll start looking into the publisher and who I should be addressing my submission to.

In most cases, I have to dig, dig, to find out who’s name to address my submission to.  Then the possibilities look like this:

“Dear Editor” seems so lazy and impersonal, but I’ve had to use it on several occasions.

Closer than that is “Dear Guy1/Guy2” because in their “About” or “Bio” section they have two (or more) fiction editors, and I’m not sure which is handling the project I’m submitting to.  Only slightly better than “Dear Editor”.

Usually googling “who is editing anthologyXYZ” or similar phrases only brings me back to the publisher’s site, because there’s nothing about the anthology yet.   I also spend quite a bit of time on Absolute Write to try and narrow down names.

So what gives?  Why is it so hard to find out who the editor is?  Am I just supposed to know, and if I do I get sent to the front of the cue?

Many publishers do not have this problem; they have nice bio pages, with a paragraph or two about their editors, and I can take a better guess at who will want to see my submission.  Or they will state “Anthology XYZ, edited by SupercoolGal” or something similar.

My current plan is to document how many steps I have to take to find a name. I’ll post about this again when I have, say, ten submissions to use the data from.  …it’ll be maybe two months.  🙂

Anyone else run into this problem?  Am I missing something?

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About H.G. Bells

H.G. Bells writes around the intersections of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. She has several short stories in print, and is repped by Beth Campbell for her novel Sleep Over, coming soon from Skyhorse Publishing.
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