Saturday, 7 August 2010

Multiple Auto Submission…

or words of mass obstruction as I like to call them. What am I on about? Writing. You thought it was sex? Maybe it will be. I’ll see how the ramble goes…

I got an email from a publisher who was upset that authors multi-submit their newly finished books to lots of publishers. Well yes, a lot of authors do. It’s due to a few things. First up is the suckability factor. This is when you're fairly sure someone will hate your story because there’s too much sex, not enough sex, too many commas or they just have run out of coffee and are declining all submissions from authors who’s names start with A. Multi-subbing gives you the best overall chance of getting a contract. Second, a lot of writers want the best royalties so they horse trade until they get them. Third, authors like to spread their work around the different publishers. I personally learned that sticking with one publisher was a baaaaad idea. Why? You get complacent, you’re never sure if they are accepting your book because they have no others on offer and you forget to have a basic mistrust in them until it’s too late.

But, I also understand where the publisher is coming from. They have to read mighty fast and offer contracts to good writers to get them into their stable. Imagine reading through a story, offering a contract and the author saying “sorry – I’ve already got one.” How bloody frustrating.

So, unless you’re with one of those publishing houses that auto accept their friends then edit their friends books – credibility factor nil – it’s a tough business for both writer and publishers. As for sex? I like it. I like it a lot.

Amarinda Jones
Penn Halligan
Be an Amarinda book


J said...

As an author I have no qualms about simultaneous submissions. Some places just take too darn long. One pub spent almost two YEARS with my MS "shortlisted," only to end up passing on it.

That said, I've done acquisitions for a couple places and I know firsthand just how sucktacular it can be to spend hours reviewing a manuscript, get all excited and send out an acceptance, then get back an, "Oh, sorry...that one's already taken." Seriously?

When we submit simultaneously, we should be diligent about letting the "other guys" off the hook when we accept a contract elsewhere. It's the zen and professional thing to do.

Sandra Cox said...

It is tough. If you were assured of a reply in a month, auto sub would be okay, if not......