Reprints. Many magazine and anthologies avoid these like a five dollar hooker with a nasty cough. But what exactly is a reprint, and do publishers even check?
First off, a reprint is any story that has been previously printed elsewhere. In lay man’s terms that means it’s secondhand. In perverts terms that means it ain’t a virgin. Publishers want that virgin piece, that never before read, never before printed work because that’s how they make their money. They want something that others haven’t used before, something fresh.
Now, Deadman’s Tome has been rather cool about reprints. In the digital age, while the same story might be published there, it could also be published here and meet a new audience, or even bring in a bit of crossover. But, some publishers don’t share that approach.
Yet, some times a reprint is submitted as fresh, original content, like a donut shop selling day old glaze as made same day fresh. Criminal, right?
There are authors out there, some I know, some I don’t know very well, and some you know better than me that reuse the same old story over and over again without a care. It’s the con, fraud mentality. It’s the psychology that breaks down what exactly is a reprint and what if a new title is placed on it, what if names are changed, or what if the characters have a gender swap? Is that still a reprint? Is that a brand new story? Does that count? While I’ll entertain the semantic game for a while, it boils down to no. A hard fucking no.
How could it possibly yes? Imagine if Stephen King just changed the names in IT and sold it to a publisher as original? What If Anne Rice gave every one in Interview with the Vampire gender reassignment surgery and submitted it to a rival publisher? What if she did so under a different name? No. It would be bullshit and any publisher that looks for it would throw her out like a damn fraud.
Well, guess what? There are frauds among us. I normally don’t screen for reprints in a rigorous way, or in anyway at all for that matter, but for publishers that do, listen up. There are authors circulating around that are passing around sloppy seconds, thirds, and fourths as brand new never before used pieces. Be careful.
Some authors might read this and feel like I’m just pissing in their Lucky Charms. Well, I’m not. Unless you meet this criteria. Which, if you do, then you deserve it. It’s lying. It’s dishonest, and adds unnecessary clutter in an already very competitive market.