Multiple Submissions

Multiple Submissions

As the name suggests multiple submissions refers to when a writer sends out the same piece of writing to more than one publisher at a time. An action that for obvious reasons is, on the whole, approved of by writers and disapproved of by publishers.

As a writer it can be frustrating to wait several months for a publishing house to get back to us and say whether they like our work or not. Let’s face it, unless we send out multiple submissions it can take a year to approach just four or five publishers with our work. What if it takes submitting to ten publishers before it’s accepted - that’s two years or more.

Publishers, understandably, on the other hand, don’t want to waste their time reading and thinking about a submission that could already have been snapped up by another editor.

Over the years I have always stuck with the principle of never sending out submissions to more than three publishers at once. Not that everything I write is suitable for multiple submission.
The reason I picked three is:
Firstly because what if I sent the work out to ten publishers and only later found out I’d missed a glaring error on page one? Since it’s unacceptable to correct and resubmit the writing, that would instantly be ten possible markets crossed off my list.

Secondly, what if everyone I sent the work to wanted to publish it? I don’t think my ego would feel comfortable with more than three publishers vying against each other to offer me multi-million dollar contract.
So despite the fact that the outlook on multiple submissions is changing, as is the response time of some publishers (thankfully), this topic is still an area that raises a lot of questions. In the end the decision is every writers to make. Although once in a while an understanding editor will add to their writers guidelines ‘multiple submissions accepted’.
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