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Lupis
05-13-2005, 01:13 AM
Hi, quick question.

Is it particularly bad etiquette to send multiple short stories to the same publisher? As a novice writer, I definately want to avoid stepping on toes, and having someone go through a slush pile and see several stories from the same writer may seem either desperate or annoying. I know perseverance is good quality, but I just want to get some good advice concerning multiple submissions.

Thanks a lot!
Lupis

Tish Davidson
05-13-2005, 03:12 AM
My take is that it is better to diversify and not send too many stories to toe same publisher before hearing back from them. Study the market and send each story where it seems best suited. It will increase your chances of acceptance. Diifferent editors have different tastes, and what suits one may not resonate with anothe, so there is no reason to limit yourself by sending a bunch of stories in a short period of time to the same publisher unless you have already received strong encouragement from them. If you get a rejection on your first story and you think you have another story that is best suited to that publisher, then by all means send it, but I would not innundate them. It really does pay to research markets and target your stories accordingly.

arrowqueen
05-13-2005, 04:04 AM
I usually send batches of three. I've been doing it for 12 years and nobody's hit me yet.

Jamesaritchie
05-13-2005, 04:51 AM
Hi, quick question.

Is it particularly bad etiquette to send multiple short stories to the same publisher? As a novice writer, I definately want to avoid stepping on toes, and having someone go through a slush pile and see several stories from the same writer may seem either desperate or annoying. I know perseverance is good quality, but I just want to get some good advice concerning multiple submissions.

Thanks a lot!
Lupis


It's usually a very bad idea. Some editors actively hate it, and will actually reject stories because of it. Other editors dislike it, and just read with a bad attidtude. Either result is bad.

But it's usually a terrible idea, even if the editor doesn't mind. I know the thought is to give the editor more than one choice, but in reality the result is the opposite. Instead of give the editor more choices, which no editor needs, you have your own stories competing against each other for very limited space.

At the very least, space the submissions a month apart. This way the editor won't see them as multiple submissions, and they won't be competing against each other.

arrowqueen
05-14-2005, 04:21 AM
Really, James? I've never had any problems. Must be different across here - either that or the fact I usually write for weekly magazines.

Jamesaritchie
05-14-2005, 07:51 AM
Really, James? I've never had any problems. Must be different across here - either that or the fact I usually write for weekly magazines.

Well, how do you know you've never had any problems? No editor I know complains to the writer about such things. In a sense you're doing the editor a favor with multiple submissions. Three at once makes rejections easier than one every two weeks, or one a month.

But it is different with weekly, and with regional, nonfiction mags. It's usually somewhat less of a problem with nonfiction in general, though still usually a bad idea because your pieces are competing against each other.

Best case scenario, when everything goes right, is that you sell one of the three things you submit. Stagger them, and all three might sell.

But many editors really do hate multiple submissions. Loathe them.

arrowqueen
05-15-2005, 01:21 AM
I think we'll have to agree to differ on this one. I've been with my editors so long we swop Christmas cards - and they're not slow to tell me what they want or don't want. My Australian editor actually asks for batches of 8/10 at a time.

One of them horrified me by saying that she receives over 400 submissions a week (and that's for 1 fiction slot.) If I send in three a week, I may be competing against myself, but it still gives me three chances rather than just one.

Having said that though, for anyone reading this thread, James is the one with the knowledge of the American markets, so take his advice, not mine.