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IMHO it's not like you just stand by the email and wait all that time. An editor will need x number of weeks regardless of where you send it. If you send it to multiple places the odds are the worst one in least demand will respond first. So you either take that deal never knowing who else would take it, or you wait anyway.
I guess I have never understood simultaneous submissions.
Simultaneous submissions make sense for agents and NY pubs, I think, but I don't think the process of simul subs works in epublishing. I know people who have done it thinking if they get an offer from one publisher that they can email the other pubs and get their MS bumped to be looked at sooner, but that rarely happens. With agents that's how it works (most of the time, anyway), but epubs don't tend to do it that way. They're more apt to just ask if you're going to accept the offer, so they can then remove your MS from their to be read pile completely.
It's also another reason why I think it's a good idea to pick your top pubs and form a relationship with them as an in-house, repeat author, because then you don't need to go shopping around and get read a lot faster than slush.
As to the wait time at DSP, it's been years since I worked with them, but a friend of mine is a regular author there and gets responses to submissions within days. Like, 3 days or so lol. I have no idea about people submitting through slush, though. I don't know anyone doing that. But once you're in, apparently the response time is lightning quick, so there is that.
I've never not simultaneously submitted when submitting to slush. It isn't about trying to get a better offer, its about time management.
In house subs are a whole different ball game. I don't give something to a publisher as an inhouse author and also shop it elsewhere. But i don't automatically assume the publisher who was perfect for a sweet contemporary m/f is going to be the best house for a dark m/m paranormal.
As an editor for an e-pub I find the idea of simultaneous submissions a little frustrating. It usually takes me a week or two to read a submission and it's a bit of a let-down to read something I really like, email the author with an offer and find out the author has decided to go with the first out of the gate.
It's not like most e-pubs take that long to deal with new submissions. So I guess I'm not understanding the impatience.
Besides, I'm usually knee deep in writing the next book so I'm not too concerned with wait times anyway. I don't look at it as 'lost time', because I'm working the whole time on the next book.
A lot of publishers are talking about adding no simultaneous submissions to their guidelines because they're getting tired of reading manuscripts and issuing contract offers only to be told that the story was sold elsewhere. I've seen this very subject come up numerous times and more and more pubs have added/or will be adding it.
I had no simultaneous subs in my guidelines and still received stories that were sent to multiple places at one time. This wasted the time of three people, my first reader, my acquisitions editor and then me when I issued a contract only to be told, 'Oh that story was sold to x because they got back to me first.'
So there's your big reason why publishers don't want simultaneous submissions. It wastes their time to go through all the steps only to be told the story was picked up somewhere else.
Back when I sent things to print only publishers wait times of 6-12 months weren't unusual. Add to that the fact most of the time you get a rejection on those submissions and the time does add up. Reply times are still a lot longer for print horror zines/ezines than they are for most epublishers I know of.
Maybe that's why wait times of a month or two don't phase me at all. I was used to waiting half a year or more to hear back on submissions before I got to epublishers. To me most epublishers are lightning fast by comparison.
Likewise, for the third Samhain book I contracted, my editor responded within a weekend. Once you get through the first time in the slush pile, things seem to move much more quickly.
*The story doesn't release until March/April, and I haven't gone through any of the editorial process yet, so we'll see how the first experience goes. But I did meet some Dreamspinner folks this past summer at a con, and I was very impressed.
"I want you both but that's impossible." --Here For Us
I'm reading this thread because DreamSpinner looks like a good publisher, but is the 40% of digital sales they offer cover or net?
Last edited by gingerwoman; 04-22-2013 at 12:50 PM.
Sim-subbing is a form of betting against yourself.
Also, don't do it with publishers unless their guidelines explicitly say sim-subbing is okay.
Perhaps the protocol is different with e-publishing, but it's not at all unusual to see simultaneous submissions in trade print. There have been any number of times when I have a partial sitting in my inbox, and the agent tells me there's an offer on the table from another publisher, and would I like a bit of time to read it? And yes, it sucks stale Twinkie cream to lose out to someone else, but that's the nature of the biz.
And I'm sure a publisher loses good submissions with an exclusive policy, but hey, if they are getting enough great submissions, I guess they don't mind. As for why I do simultaneous submissions? a) When I started, because I had no idea what was going on. And b) now that I do, I can still narrow it down to 2 primary choices, but response times can be unpredictable and long as heck.
Do I want to wait 4 months for a no-response and then another 3 months for a form rejection? Not when I can do them at the same time. Of course I like it better when they just accept
I enjoy fanfiction myself. The issue is that fanfic is legally gray already; the reason that it stays online for the most part is that it doesn't make money. There's more to publishing as original what was once fanfic than changing the names of the characters. I probably can't pick out the better revisions from books Dreamspinner publishes, but I can pick out the ones that changed the names. Half the time I know nothing about the canon other than a few tidbits, and I can still tell. I think someday some canon creator is going to go after one of those. And that's not something I want to spread to actual fanfic.
*See GamesWorkshop claiming they own the phrase Space Marines recently. Turns out they did trademark it in the UK in the 90s, so they may even get away with it here, but probably not in the US.
Hungry? Check out my other half's blog Colonel Mustard in the Kitchen.
I hope everyone here realizes that '50 Shades of Gray' started out as a Twilight based fanfic.
FYI: I maintain a list of authors who've done this and automatically reject any submissions received by them afterward based on the fact I don't want to waste my time reading another story just to be told they have a contract offer elsewhere. Now, ask yourself, if I do that, how many other epublishers do the same thing?
No simultaneous submissions means no simultaneous submissions, period. It does not mean 'we'll get in a bidding war to have your book'. While it might sometimes work that way at the Big 6, it doesn't work that way with ebook publishers.
It's not like waiting times for responses to submissions are as long with e-pubs as they are with traditional pubs. All right, there may be one or two out there who take their time, but if you really want to be pubbed with one of those, surely there's no problem in waiting. E pubs don't move at the same glacial pace as traditional. So yeah, I'm still not seeing the point of simultaneous submissions when it comes to e-pubs.
As one of the early pioneers of m/m (aka slash, aka yaoi) I can verify that many of the earliest authors publishing m/m at various houses--eXtasy was among the first to give it a try--were also fanfic authors. I know this as fact since I was writing fanfic at the time right along side the other early m/m authors. Back then trying to convince publishers that m/m was going to be 'the next big thing' wasn't easy. At the time only Stephanie Kelsey--who was at eXtasy back then--bothered to listen. She took on several of the early m/m authors and released books under a 'yaoi/slash' header. (Torquere Press was founded by someone who wanted to write original m/m but was turned down at every epublisher she tried. Their first books were coming out about the same time I finally convinced Steph to publish my cyberpunk m/m, Zoner.)
So when you look around at places like Torquere, Dreamspinner, Storm Moon, MLR Press et al, these houses were the result of us early pioneers of m/m who got out there and convinced the existing publishers that m/m was the next big thing. (By the way m/m written that way has always been used to designate male with male fiction. Hence the use of the 'slash' between the two letters.)
Last edited by michael_b; 02-10-2013 at 10:49 PM. Reason: added a bit more to the history of m/m
My personal experience? I did a simultaneous sub one time, when I had a novella I wanted to use to test out new (to me) publishers and I honestly couldn't decide between Samhain and Carina. Neither one had a policy against simultaneous subs so I sent the MS to both, thinking that I would let that be the way I decided between them. Samhain got back to me first so I send a courteous and prompt e-mail to Carina withdrawing the MS (an important step that I didn't see mentioned above) and they responded with what seemed like genuine regret, saying they'd been interested in acquiring the MS but wished me luck elsewhere. And Carina accepted the next MS I sent them (ETA: see avatar!), so they don't seem to have harboured any ill-will about it.
So, again - if the pubs are okay with it and if you honestly don't care where your MS goes, I don't see a problem. But don't forget to notify the slower house as soon as possible!
Yes, always read the guidelines and follow them. If every publisher got a dollar each and every time someone submitted without bothering to read the guidelines we'd all be rolling in money. Double that for submissions which say, "I know your guidelines say you don't take 'X' type stories, but here's one anyway because I'm sure your readers will like a change of pace." (Sadly this is a direct quote from a cover letter I received.)
FYI: This is my last post here regarding this topic. We've sort of derailed the thread which is really about Dreamspinner.