1. dboynton
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    dboynton New Member

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    How long should you wait to hear back from a publisher?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by dboynton, May 17, 2010.

    Hello, all. I recently sent a manuscript for a short story I wrote to a magazine. Like many of you, I'm looking for my first publication. According to the publisher's submission guidelines, they accepted unsolicited manuscripts and said they respond within six to eight weeks. Well, it's been nearly ten weeks so far and I haven't gotten any response.

    The publisher doesn't accept simultaneous submissions, so I'm wondering how long it is appropriate to wait before submitting your work somewhere else? I think this is one of my best pieces and would like to get it submitted elsewhere if the current publisher isn't going to buy it.

    Is it professional to contact them and ask for a status? Should this be done via snail mail or, if you submitted the work electronically, via email?

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    TIA
    Denny
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Supporter Reviewer Contributor

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    Sometimes it does take longer than the time they say it will take just because they have so much to read through. But you can send them a polite email and ask for the status of your piece.
     
  3. dboynton
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    dboynton New Member

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    Thanks, thirdwind. Seeing as they're just over two weeks past when they said they would reply, do you think it's too quick to send an email. I guess what I'm trying to avoid is looking panicked or overly eager. I want to look all cool and stuff. :)
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I agree with thirdwind. If it's been ten weeks, then send a query, there's nothing wrong with that, and I don't think it's necessarily too soon.
     
  5. shamrock838
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    shamrock838 New Member

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    Editor Response Times

    Editor Response Times - How Soon to Follow-Up:

    Seems that editor response times have gotten ever longer these days -- for queries and submissions alike. Is part of this due to the economic crisis where freelance activity may have spiked to the point of editor overload? Has it become the norm to follow-up to learn the status of one’s marketing efforts?

    Suppose the guidelines state an editor response time of 2-3 months. When should a writer follow-up – and what’s the most diplomatic way of doing so?

    Thanks.
     
  6. dboynton
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    dboynton New Member

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    Perfect! That's just the kind of advice I was looking for. Thanks!
     
  7. shamrock838
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    shamrock838 New Member

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    Editor Response Times

    Editor Response Times - How Soon to Follow-Up:

    Seems that editor response times have gotten ever longer these days -- for queries and submissions alike. Is part of this due to the economic crisis where freelance activity may have spiked to the point of editor overload? Has it become the norm to follow-up to learn the status of one’s marketing efforts?

    Suppose the guidelines state an editor response time of 2-3 months. When should a writer follow-up – and what’s the most diplomatic way of doing so?

    Thanks.
     
  8. izanobu
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    izanobu New Member

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    I usually either go by their guidelines (some say to query after x months) or just double the response time before I query. A story that they are considering for publication will take longer to respond to than one that they know right away they don't want, so longer waits can be good :)
     
  9. izanobu
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    izanobu New Member

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    Sham, as I said in the other thread, it depends on the guidelines and the editor. For short fiction markets, I generally go by guidelines or double the response time (a story takes longer to buy than to reject) before querying.

    For the book market? I don't query for status. On a query package, I intend to give editors 6 months before I send out to more editors and write them down as a non-response. On a full manuscript? I'd give them at least a year and probably not query ever unless I got an offer on the book from somewhere else. No point in bugging a busy editor without need.
     
  10. dboynton
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    dboynton New Member

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    Thanks, izanobu. I'll figure I'll wait a few more weeks before I inquire.

    Also, I was hoping that a longer wait was a good sign. The first story I submitted was to a major SF journal and they took all of 48 hours to reject it, so I was hoping the fact that the status of this one was still unknown was a good sign. I guess everyday you don't get an answer is another day they haven't rejected it, right? :)
     
  11. shamrock838
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    shamrock838 New Member

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    Izanobu,

    I should have added that I was referring to nonfiction magazine article submissions. Does this make a difference?

    Thanks.
     
  12. izanobu
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    izanobu New Member

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    exactly, dboynton :) Besides, once you get enough stories out on submission, the longer response times will mean less admin work and can become kind of nice. I occasionally will toss a story at a magazine I know is a black hole just so I don't have to deal with that story for a while. :p
     
  13. izanobu
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    izanobu New Member

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    Hmm, I have no idea. I'd go with whatever their guidelines say or give them an extra month? I've never submitted non-fiction, sorry. Hopefully someone who has can give a better answer :)
     
  14. Rei
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    Rei New Member Contributor

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    In my experience, the guidelines they give for responses are best-case senario wait times. I waited eight months once when their guidelines say four to six.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    fiction or non makes no difference, really... when freelancing, my rule of thumb was a month past the stated response time...
     

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