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 Question regarding simultaneous submissions

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Linzi



Number of posts: 17
Registration date: 2008-01-13
Age: 55
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostSubject: Question regarding simultaneous submissions   Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:33 am

I've found, as I look through the listings of publishers, that many stipulate that they do not consider simultaneous submissions. With most taking between four and six months to respond to a manuscript submission, I'm wondering just how many authors actually adhere to the "no simultaneous submissions" proscription. I've been deliberating about it for some time, wondering whether I should ignore it, given that to follow it religiously means that unless you get lucky right off the bat you could be facing a wait of years before finding a home for your work. Indeed, this was the case with my first book and is primarily the reason why I fell prey to the insidious PA, a fact that beggars me every day and one that I must now live with for the next five and a half years (when my contract with them will be up and I shall at last be free of their clutches).

From what I have read from some other writers, many seem to farm the same manuscript out to several publishers at a time. So either they're choosing publishers who accept simultaneous submissions, or they're simply ignoring the fact. Either way, I would appreciate some feedback on the issue, and opinions as to whether I should send my latest submissions out to more than one publisher at a time.

--Lindsay
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Shelagh
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Number of posts: 11541
Registration date: 2008-01-11
Location: UK

PostSubject: Re: Question regarding simultaneous submissions   Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:55 am

Hi Lindsay,

My advice would be to make simultaneous submissions. Only a few publishers accept unsolicited mauscripts anyway, so you won't be making dozens of submissions and if one accepted you will have hit the jackpot. Agents are expected to submit one at a time because they use one acceptance to push up the size of the advance with another publisher. Somehow, I don't think you will be doing that. LOL!

~Shelagh

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Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
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Karina
Three Star Member
Three Star Member


Number of posts: 191
Registration date: 2008-01-19
Age: 40
Location: Corfu Greece

PostSubject: Re: Question regarding simultaneous submissions   Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:26 am

I send three out at a time. I feel it's highly unlikely that I'll get two acceptances at the same time. lol
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Pam
Five Star Member
Five Star Member


Number of posts: 1790
Registration date: 2008-02-01
Age: 49
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Question regarding simultaneous submissions   Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:08 pm

Great thread Lindsay - this is something I have often wondered, so feedback from you Shelagh and Karina is really appreciated. I like the number three; I think that I can work with it!
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Abe F. March
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Number of posts: 8730
Registration date: 2008-01-26
Age: 75
Location: Germany

PostSubject: Re: Question regarding simultaneous submissions   Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:26 pm

Sending multiple inquiries is a must unless you intend to live to a very old age.
Keeping a list of the agents/publishers that you send a quiry or synopsis can be activated when/if you get a positive response, that you accept. A degree of self-satisfaction can be felt when you inform your list of "no-responses" that you have found an agent/publisher and they no longer need to consider your work.
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Linzi



Number of posts: 17
Registration date: 2008-01-13
Age: 55
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Question regarding simultaneous submissions   Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:53 am

Thanks for the replies to this thread, everyone. I was pretty much of a mind to send out several submissions over the next few weeks, and your input further convinces me that this is the best route. With my latest SF novel I'm starting with the bigger names in the field, having just sent off a submission to TOR. I had some favorable feedback from them when I submitted "In Darkness Bound" a few years back, so I'm hoping I might have better luck this time. The chances are slim, however, given that they receive something like ten thousand manuscripts a year and publish only a couple hundred (of which only about five percent are unsolicited). Not very good odds, but I think it's best to start at the top and work my way down. I'll send to BAEN soon, then look into ACE and DAW, and any other SF publishers I can find.

For my YA fantasy trilogy I'm considering submitting to Chicken House, a UK publisher that seems a perfect fit for the type of story I've written. Alas, I'm in Canada, so it's going to be a bit expensive shipping even a synopsis and first three chapters (especially since Canada Post charges an outrageous fee for IRCs).

I've pretty much given up the agent search for the moment. I'll send out a few more submissions for my SF novel, but as far as my YA trilogy goes I'm pretty much left to submitting directly to publishers. The rejections from agents have been a bit disheartening, but I've tried to remain phlegmatic about them and see them for what they are. It's hard to take serious, for example, the rejection from one agent which stated that she didn't think she could sell such a "small" book. Well the trilogy clocks in at 700,000 words in total, with the first book being 220,000 words. I don't know about you, but that doesn't seem small to me. Then there was the agent who served me up this hoary platitude: "Every no brings you closer to yes." That was supposed to make me feel better? On top of that, at the end of this little missive was a typed advertisement for some of the books the agent had written, one of these being about -- naturally -- how to land an agent. I just thought that was incredibly tasteless, and I think I'm almost glad I she didn't accept me as a client.

If anyone has any suggestions for publishers of SF and young adult fantasy to which I might consider submitting I'd greatly appreciate hearing from you. I've got a copy of the Writer's Digest Novel and Short Stories Market Guide, but that's what got me saddled with PA, so I'm understandably a little wary of the quality of the information it contains. Seems to me they don't vet the publishers they list, and I've no desire to end up with the same boondoggle as last time.

Thanks again; and hope to hear from you.

--Lindsay
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lin
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Number of posts: 2753
Registration date: 2008-03-20
Location: Mexico

PostSubject: Re: Question regarding simultaneous submissions   Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:28 am

My policy has always been this:

Shotgun queries to everybody in range.

If somebody wants to see more, send them more. But there is nothing exclusive in that.

Once they want to see a MANUSCRIPT, I tend to be more exclusive. My sympathies are entirely with writers on these issues: we get bombarded with why we have to do everything the way the editors want and they don't give a damn about our side of the issues. BUT, if a serious publisher is seriously reading my MS, I hold off on submitting it elsewhere. I get a timeframe up front. I'm not going to wait indefinitely because these people really suck at the basic courtesies of getting back to you.

HOWEVER

The newer POD-driven small presses are in the habit of wanting to see the whole manuscript first. Then wonder why they are so backlogged that it takes them 8 months to get around to reading it. (Figure from Zumaya, but it's as bad or worse in many others)

So is it really fair to ask somebody to sit on their work for 8 MONTHS just to find out if the publisher is even interested? I don't think so.
On the other hand, I have two books under consideration at two different small presses (the largest of the small) and have spoken with the editors and feel their interest is genuine enough and the advantages of going with them sufficient to hold off shopping those MS's until the process is complete.
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