1. puttyfish
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    puttyfish New Member

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    submitting to multiple publishers

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by puttyfish, Dec 11, 2007.

    Hi
    I'm new at all of this and was looking for some advice. I spent weeks doing my research about submitting to several publishers and the advice was if you do let them know that you have done this and it seems accetable. Ok, so far so good...

    That's exactly what I did and sent it out to twelve publishers accepting unsolicated manuscripts. Thing is, I then was 'told' that this was wrong and that I should never submit to more than one at a time because if several publishers do take the time to get behind the manuscript (I know optimistic - gotta be haven't you!) and find out that they have been pipped by another it can damage my credability - DOH!

    Is this the case? I'm a newbie - there is so much conflicting advice it's hard to know which is best...? If it is true, is there a chance that this will be overlooked this time?

    I was then advised that the best thing to do is send my manuscript out to my favourite publisher and then contact several agents (5 at a time, wait three weeks, then 5 more and so on, also telling them that I am submitting to several agents)

    Does any of this sound right? could anyone give me any clear advice I could follow for manuscript number 2??

    Thanks in advance
    K.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...by whom?... if it was anyone other than the publishers telling you that, ignore it... if it was a publisher, then you must not have checked their guidelines well enough, or they neglected to mention they don't take simsubs...

    ...ridiculous, since you say you did let them know that you were sending it as a simsub... so, how can your 'credibility' be damaged when you were honest and upfront about it?... what you were told would only be true if you didn't tell them it was a simsub and they specifically stated in their guidelines that they don't accept same...

    ...no!... for reasons above...

    ...that's why you have to look at who's giving the advice... is it a reputable agent with plenty of experience?... an editor with a major press?... or just another unpublished or sparsely/self-published writer?

    ...it's not true... but even if you did submit simultaneously without saying so and you did get 'caught' at it, if your work was good enough for them to want to publish it, do you really think they'll dump it because of that?... the answer is 'probably not!'

    ...i don't know who's giving you this advice, but it's not in line with what most experienced folks would say on the subject, imo... it's just one person's opinion... what qualifies this person to advise you on such stuff?... and, fyi, it often takes much longer than 5 weeks to hear back from an agent...

    ...no...

    ...if you are determined to deal with publishers directly [having an agent is better], go ahead and query them... what troubles me is that you seem to be sending out mss without first having it requested, after sending a query letter... publishers who take mss cold, without a query first, are not likely to be the best ones to deal with... in fact, many who do that are scams of one level or another...

    ...legit publishing houses mostly want a query first... then they request the ms or sample chapters, if the query gets their attention and the book sounds promising... that's what you should be doing... and simultaneous queries are the norm, don't have to be labeled as such...

    ...you can [and should] also query agents at the same time... again, the majority of legit ones won't accept a ms w/o a query first and simultaneous queries are expected, so you don't have to mention that...

    ...if you're lucky enough to get one or more publisher interested, then it may be easier to snag an agent... and if you snag an agent first, then you won't have to send out any more queries or mss to publishers...

    ...i think you'll find that this advice is close to what most experienced writers and those who work in the publishing industry would offer... as for what makes me qualified to offer it, i've had various works published for pay, had an agent for my books and film scripts and was a paid writing consultant for years, back in my old life... now i help aspiring writers for free... best of luck to you!

    love and hugs, maia
     
  3. puttyfish
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    puttyfish New Member

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    Hi Maia
    Thanks for your reply. The manuscripts I sent out where to publishers in the UK (where i'm from) They are out of the writers and artists yearbook and I did call to check this was the case first before sending anything out.

    my work is for children's picture books and again the stuff I've read is that those taking unsolicaited mss want to see the whole mss as it is only 900 words plus a cover letter.

    So, in terms of contacting an agent (I think I'll go for that approach on mss number 2) surely if they state that they do accept unsol mss then sending my work is acceptable, rather than just a request letter? Or is it better to send a request letter regardless?

    Is it also right that if they don't accept unsol mss then you do send a request letter first and see if they are interested? Am I getting this right...?
    Again thanks in advance
    Karen.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...that's a different breed o' cats... i foolishly assumed you meant a novel, so based my info/advice on that... yes, most will accept the ms for pbs... but probably few will accept a simsub... that you checked first is the best way to go...

    i'm not up on the standards in the uk, but it's generally best to query agents first, regardless... the downside here is that few will want to rep the writer of a single pb, as there's so little money in it for them, compared to what they can make on the sale of a novel... so, in that case, it's best to go directly to the publishers...

    but if you have a series of pbs in the works, it would be worth the time and effort to try to snag an agent first, as that can get you a better deal with a publisher...

    yes... we call it a 'query' letter in the us... may be called a 'request' elsewhere...

    best of luck to you!... love and hugs, maia
     
  5. puttyfish
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    puttyfish New Member

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    Thanks!

    Hi Maia
    thanks a million - big help!!
    Kx
     

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