Some authors have expressed concern about this program, so I hope to lay any objections to rest here. First, allow me to explain what the Slush-Pile Angels program is.
The Slush-Pile Angels program was developed in acknowledgement of the fact that publishers don’t always get it right, and miss out on great stories because of their own subjective biases. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling was rejected by 12 different publishers before poor Harry finally found a home, and unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years you know perfectly well how that turned out! For this reason, I decided it was prudent to give a select few manuscripts a chance to get through to publication, even if the editorial staff doesn’t personally like it. So:
Each week, three full manuscripts will be randomly chosen using dice.
These dice, specifically.
That’s right. A set of D10 gaming dice will decide the fate of the rejected manuscripts.
Once the manuscripts are chosen, the first chapter or 10 pages from each manuscript will be posted on a secure page that is password-protected. Each submission will receive a unique digital watermark for each Angel who accesses it. We do this so that IF, by some chance, the first chapter just “happens” to leak onto the Internet, we can go after the person responsible. We do not, will not, never have and never will condone plagiarism or the theft of intellectual property, so we take this really seriously. More on this below.*
There will be no name or identifying information attached to the chapter, except for a general genre and heat rating for the full manuscript. Trigger warnings will also be applied, just to help readers steer clear of content that may cause them issues later. However, this will be the ONLY identifying information. Each work will stand or fall solely on the merits of the unedited writing demonstrated in the first chapter.
The Angels will have one week to vote on the chapter they like the best, and the book it belongs to will be sent through for publishing with a special Semper Press logo to indicate it was an Angels pick. This gives authors one more chance to evade the dreaded slush pile and gives our readers a voice in what they want to see!
*While we do not expect that any of our Angels would do something like this, we do have a plan in place to deal with it. Therefore, if your digital watermark appears on work that has been submitted to Semper Press and is distributed, published or otherwise utilized in a way not intended by the Slush-Pile Angels program, we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law in civil court in Semper Press’s jurisdiction for $1000, 65% of which will go directly to the author, or actual, verifiable losses, whichever is greater. By signing up to be a Slush-Pile Angel, you agree to these terms and accept all responsibility and liability for anything done under your account, including but not limited to unauthorized use, access, misappropriation or other illegal conduct stemming from from your use of this feature.
We take digital piracy, infringement of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and theft of intellectual property VERY seriously. Please DO NOT share first chapters amongst your friends and family, no matter how amazing they are. If they want to be Angels, they can sign up for it just like you did. Please don’t be a party to theft. It hurts everyone, authors and readers alike. Don’t be that guy. (And yes, that applies to you ladies as well.)