I received a copy of Sinister Tales today — it’s the magazine that published Dignity Memorial, a short story of mine. And I can say without hesitation that the publication is shameful. Now this didn’t come as a complete surprise. I had a feeling that something was ‘amiss’ back when Dignity Memorial was accepted. Still, this was even worse than I had expected.
Sinister Tales (which I won’t link to…because quite frankly, I’m too embarrased by the finished product) is an 8.5 x 11 magazine. The front cover looks like it was from a ditto machine (do they know how cheap public publishing is these days?) which pretty much sets the tone.
Inside, the pages are pretty standard — but the fonts are of the ‘fuck you’ size (like a 6 or 8 point). No editorial (a nice little ‘welcome to our magazine’), and no inner illustrations. Which wouldn’t normally upset me — expect there aren’t even spaces between the stories.
Now, they can’t take all the blame. After all, I really should’ve pre-ordered one before submitting to them. But that adds time (and money) to an already lengthy process.
If you want to see a nice publication, Eileen Bell recently published two of her stories in the Seven Deadly Sins. Ironically, I also received it the same day. It was everything that Sinister Tales was not. Nice artwork, glossy cover, intro editorial.
No fears for me, however. I”m fairly hopefully for Chicago Overcoat, an anthology due out in a few months that is using a story of mine called the Sorcerer’s Wife. My feeling is that it will be a professional publication that I can proud of (and that I can bug you to buy).