Erastes on LJ posted a link to the submission guidelines for Eternal Press. They contain this passage:
Send us a cover letter and please tell us what questionable content may be found within the MS as we do not wish to subject our editors to content that may put them at risk emotionally.
I was rather taken aback by this statement. I've never seen any such requirement in any other market's guidelines, so what's up with this? Do they really have one or more editors who are so delicate that they need to have their slush pre-screened for them? Maybe those individuals would do better working for a publisher specializing in children's books, or inspirational lit, or any other publisher that doesn't accept fiction with adult themes; there are quite a few of those, after all. Why would an editor who's that emotionally sensitive take a job with a publisher which accepts:
Mystery, sci-fi, paranormal, historical, suspense, horror, women's fiction, fantasy, thrillers, erotica, gay and all sub genres of romance as well as.
Any of those genres might well include "icky" material, but particularly the suspense, horror, erotica and romance.
[And hey, Eternal Press -- your guidelines need editing.]
They also assume their readers are just as twitchy:
We do put disclaimers about the content if it could potentially disturb our consumers
Umm, why? This isn't traditional, not in erotica and not in general literature. A few publishers have begun to do it recently, but I don't care for the practice and am never happy to see it spreading.
It's not that abiding by this requirement would be horribly onerous or anything. Everything else looks fine (although kidding aside, their guidelines really do need editing, in more than one spot, which doesn't inspire great confidence about the editing of their books) and they pay a nice royalty, but this requirement to put a warning label on the cover of your story just makes me twitch. I mean, seriously, an editor at a publisher of horror, romance and erotica who has to be protected from "questionable" material? That's like going to the vet and having to warn them ahead of time that your dog's been vomiting, because they have a doctor who's icked out by vomit. Sorry, hon, it's part of the job -- you deal with it or find work elsewhere.
It's unfortunate, but I think I'll pass.