1. DaWalrus
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    DaWalrus Member

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    Simultaneous subs & kill fees?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by DaWalrus, Jan 22, 2013.

    Dear All,

    I've just finished a short story and I feel I'm ready to submit. I know, yay, kaboom, party poppers, lots of tequila and weed, but no crack or acid yet. That will have to wait until the story is accepted. But here's a caveat: I am a first-time author.

    I've done some homework, of course. I thought, the best strategy would be to submit to several magazines that allow simultaneous submissions. The pros are obvious. Are there any cons?

    How many magazines are too many? (I have about 20 on my list so far)

    Also, if a magazine mentions a kill fee, should that be a turnoff? Does that indicate they are in a habit of withdrawing accepted stuff?

    I know, questions, questions, questions, but I'd really appreciate any help.

    Happy MLK!
     
  2. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    I would suggest compiling a list of professionally paying magazines. Where elese would you want your work to be presented? I would want it handled no less, nor would I want to treat it anything but professionally.

    duotrope is a great resource for markets, and you can search within the genre.

    I wouldn't really go the Simultaneous route, for it pisses editors off, even if they accept those kinds of submissions. What if they fall in love with it? And you get accepted elsewhere and have to remove it?

    Pretty sure the next time you submit to that magazine, they're going to be a bit wary.

    Anyway, create a list of professional magazines, and then semi-pro magaznies, and so on and so forth, starting with the best, and ending with the last on the totem pole. Be patient and take your time. Editors will silently thank you for the unspoken respect, and you'll also save your reputation, especially if the work is good.

    Go down the list until it finds a home.

    Also, don't be like me and let your anxiousness to get published submit the manuscript for you in haste. Make sure it's the best you can make it, and comb it over for repeated glitches and goofs. It will serve you better in the long run.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Submitting to 20 different magazines seems like you're just blindly submitting to magazines and hoping for the best. Are you sure your story is a good fit for all 20 magazines? To me 20 seems like a lot. I might do 3 or 4. I should mention that it's courteous to let magazines know that your work has been accepted elsewhere, so keep that in mind if you're going to submit to all those magazines.

    As for kill fees, I don't think I've ever seen it applied to short stories, but that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with the journal.

    Congrats on finishing the story, and good luck with the submitting. I would suggest starting with the most prestigious magazines and working your way down.
     
  4. DaWalrus
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    DaWalrus Member

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    Well, I would certainly read something from all 20. I wouldn't submit a piece to a journal I haven't read.

    And I'd let them know if it's submitted elsewhere. Every book advises that, if you go the simultaneous route.

    I was just trying to get a feel for the numbers and see if there are reasons to not do it at all. But thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.
     
  5. DaWalrus
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    DaWalrus Member

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    Tnx, Ghost. Actually, writer's Market has a list of literary magazines. I haven't seen them labeled as semi-pro or professional.

    But those 6 month long turnaround times (or 18, in some cases) look so daunting.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not any major ones, imo... the worst that can happen is your ms will be accepted by more than one and you'll have to choose and then tell the other one 'thanks, but no thanks'...

    that's quite a lot... are you sure they all accept simsubs?... and are they all a good fit for your piece?...

    no and no... it only means they're pros and are willing to pay you if they don't print your piece for some reason...
     
  7. PaulKemp24
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    PaulKemp24 Member

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    If you're going to submit to that many just make sure you tailor your query letter to each one individually. Try to personalize it for each journal. Don't just send out the same form letter to all of them.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto!

    that's a basic 'must'...
     
  9. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    I submitted short story to magazine. Didn't hear anything for almost a year and then received a cheque in payment. I had to phone to find out when the story would be in the magazine. Had I have submitted to 20 magazines and had it accepted by another one as well, apart from that being very lucky, I could have ended up in trouble with both mags.

    Checking the submission guidelines is a must, but in my experience in UK, at least, most magazines don't approve of simultaneous submissions.
     
  10. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    That's odd. A magazine should contact you and let you know that your story has been accepted. I figured that was common sense.
     
  11. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    It is. I've had a few stories published before and you always get an acceptance letter. This time I just got a remittance advice from a company I'd never heard of. I had to phone to find out why they'd sent me a cheque. They were agents for the publisher and told me that a letter had been sent out - but I'd never received it. I asked when it was going to be published and was told that it should be in that month's magazine. It was. Normally you have to sign an acceptance of their terms so it was a bit of a shock to receive the cheque.
    This was about nine years ago, the mag. was 'Yours' and it was a Christmas story entitled 'Countdown to Christmas'.
     
  12. DaWalrus
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    DaWalrus Member

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    Well, I am sure the magazine stuff can screw up, just as the best of us. Except they can afford it.

    PS. Thanks for your feedback, everyone. Peace!
     

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