Friday I started sending out magazine/journal verifications for the 2009 edition of Poet's Market. Monday I sent out four more sections' worth of listings, and Tuesday I finished up with the Contest & Awards verifications.
This is my eighth edition as editor of Poet's Market. After all this time, I still feel an enormous flood of gratitude when I see the approved and corrected verifications pouring back to my e-mail in box. These editors, publishers, directors of conferences and contests, presidents of organizations--they choose to list in our directory. There are many that choose not to. Sometimes it's because their publishing ventures have closed, or because they get too many submissions as a result of a Poet's Market listing, or because there's simply no benefit to them for listing in our book. Whatever their reasons, I respect them, and I salute their endeavors. However, that just makes me that much more thankful for those who do want to be part of Poet's Market.
In my cover letter for this year's verification mailings, I requested that any edits be set off in some way (all caps, brackets, strikethrough fonts, whatever) so I don't accidentally overlook some important change in information. I'm floored with how conscientious and helpful editors are being. Many are going above and beyond the basics. Some highlight changes in colored type, others provide numerated lists of edits in addition to their bracketed alterations in the listing; and still others apologize because they had to make so many edits, and then carefully explain them.
Everyone, you have my gratitude for your help in making my job easier.
In addition, I so appreciate the comments editors have been adding to their e-mails. "Thank you for your hard work." "You provide a wonderful service, thank you." "Thanks so much for including us." It sets me back in my seat when I read messages like that, and I keep these words in mind when the production cycle gets really stressful and I start wondering, "Why am I doing this?"
Of course, I don't mean to give short shrift to Poet's Market readers. Yes, I am eternally grateful to and for you. When I hear from a poet (by letter, e-mail, phone, or in person) that Poet's Market really helped them, it makes my day. In the publishing world, books (especially utilitarian ones) are so easily regarded as "products." It's easy to lose sight of the human dimension, something I work hard to avoid. I was a Poet's Market reader long before I became editor, and I haven't forgotten what it was like to study market listings, hoping this would be the magazine that would publish my work. Readers, I am you, and I always will be.
While I'm on the subject of gratitude, I have to mention my blogging partner, Robert Brewer. If you visit this blog often, you know Robert is constantly posting something of interest--news, market updates, poetry forms, and his own tales of going through the submission drill. He is one of you as well. (And he invited me to participate in Poetic Asides with him. Thanks for that, Robert!)
Hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday--with lots to be thankful for.