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"No Simultaneous Submissions" is Ridiculous (1 Viewer)

EternalGreen

Senior Member
I don't know if a publication which demands monopolistic rights over manuscripts they don't even pay for deserves to be fed stories.

I can't possibly understand why they would make this demand, beside from shutting out competitors and not risking minor inconvenience for themselves.

It just seems plain rude to disrespect people's time so obviously. It's like they take a slush pile of publishable stories for granted. They don't even pay much for the endless content they're grown to just expect from us.

Everyone wants you to submit to them, but why should you?
 

Tiamat

Patron
I feel like we've had this conversation relatively recently in a different thread. That said, I'm actually changing my stance. Courtesy of our very own Kyle R, I feel like I have a better understanding of some reasons why one may wish to submit to certain zines who don't accept simultaneous submissions. The main reason being: money. Also there's literally no reason for them not to take their slush piles for granted. There are way more of us than there are of decent-paying markets. Now, if you're not in this game for the money and the satisfaction of seeing your name in print is enough of a reward for you, then... what lucky said.
 

BornForBurning

Senior Member
It's like they take a slush pile of publishable stories for granted.
Yes, they do. And if said endless pile were to evaporate overnight, standards would change. However, the current standards are largely due to the fact that there is an endless pile of slush for editors to sort through, and they have adapted accordingly. For example, it's very annoying (and time consuming) to have to scramble last-minute to find the seventh story for your monthly short fiction periodical just because Maria Shotgunsubmitter couldn't be bothered to explain that she'd been accepted two weeks earlier someplace else. Far better, than, to just cut Maria out of your system in the first place. Harsh as it sounds, for a professionally-paying quarterly or monthly zine, there's always going to be another good story. Even a fairly unknown professional zine like Mysterion gets over 300 submissions each period, of which they pick seven. It's also a way of cutting out a sizable chunk of bad writing--shotgun submitters tend to (not always, of course, and it's definitely a fairly tentative rule) be of lower quality than those that submit to a single journal.

The long and short of it is, excluding SS allows overworked editors to streamline their existing systems, and that's not something I really begrudge them. Besides, I've got time, and lots of stories. It's not like I'm sitting here waiting on one story to get published.
 

Darren White

co-owner and admin
Staff member
Co-Owner
In the poetry world this is very common, and I do understand the reason why. PiP and I run Flashes. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but I can assure you it is incredibly annoying when you are enthusiastic about a story/poem, you wish to publish it... And then you get an email that it has been accepted elsewhere and thank you very much for your time and trouble. That is the reason behind it.
 

Lee Messer

Senior Member
I'm not fond of finding my work elsewhere after many submissions. It's not plagiarism, but the concepts are just too unique to just sprout up if not based on current events. I see little bits of my work sometimes and it pisses me off. No one else could've thought of what I came up with unless they were psychic or something.
 

Bayview

WF Veterans
I think my attitude toward this very much depends on response times. IF they're asking for two weeks of exclusivity, I think that's totally reasonable. If they're asking for two months, it's much less acceptable to me. If it's an unlimited period of time? Nope. Doesn't work for me.
 
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EternalGreen

Senior Member
I'm not fond of finding my work elsewhere after many submissions. It's not plagiarism, but the concepts are just too unique to just sprout up if not based on current events. I see little bits of my work sometimes and it pisses me off. No one else could've thought of what I came up with unless they were psychic or something.

Are they? Don't be that person who sees other people doing similar things and thinks they inspired them.

If you actually do influence other writers - which, once in a blue moon, you might - be pleased, not bitter.
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
I think my attitude toward this very much depends on response times. IF they're asking for two weeks of exclusivity, I think that's totally reasonable. If they're asking for two months, it's much less acceptable to me. If it's an unlimited period of time? Nope. Doesn't work for me.

I've said similar myself - if they are willing to be very prompt in their acceptance or rejection, then saying 'no simultaneous submissions' might not be too unreasonable, but they can't expect people to hang on at the publisher's whim when there might be money to earn elsewhere.
 

Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
I'm not fond of finding my work elsewhere after many submissions. It's not plagiarism, but the concepts are just too unique to just sprout up if not based on current events. I see little bits of my work sometimes and it pisses me off. No one else could've thought of what I came up with unless they were psychic or something.

I'm with Eternal Green on this, when you think that people have simultaneously come up with discoveries from the telephone to evolution and the polio vaccine, and that is just a few of them, it is not really remarkable at all that others are duplicating your ideas from time to time.
 

luckyscars

WF Veterans
I think my attitude toward this very much depends on response times. IF they're asking for two weeks of exclusivity, I think that's totally reasonable. If they're asking for two months, it's much less acceptable to me. If it's an unlimited period of time? Nope. Doesn't work for me.

Do you find they usually provide the response time, though? I tend to see things like 'if you haven't heard from us in six months, it's a no' and that's generally the closest thing to a timeline that's offered.

I may just have not paid attention, but I feel like it's always intentionally vague, which seems like it would make it hard to apply this kind of strategy.

A good workaround might be to submit, allow them a couple weeks or whatever is tolerable, and if they don't respond in a reasonable time then contact them to withdraw the submission. If you're feeling sassy, you could maybe send them a follow up first before withdrawing, but I have never done that.
 

EternalGreen

Senior Member
I've been tempted to just simultaneously submit anyway. There's a very small chance they'd ever even find out. Although they might try to blacklist me if they did.

Unlike publishers, writers actually have to follow rules.

I wonder what would happen if enough of us held certain bad publishers to a higher standard.

If they think we're so disposable, they can write their own stories/poetry.
 

Bayview

WF Veterans
If I were going to start listing traits of "bad" publishers, I don't think a ban on simultaneous subs would make the top ten.
 

Tiamat

Patron
I've been tempted to just simultaneously submit anyway. There's a very small chance they'd ever even find out. Although they might try to blacklist me if they did.
Strongly recommend not to do this, because as you say, they would DEFINITELY blacklist you if they found out. Plus, I don't think many people realize just how small the publishing world is. I'm not just talking literary agents in NYC. Imagine pissing off an editor that has connections to a dozen of decent-paying short fiction markets.

On another note, I accidentally subbed a story back in June to a market I didn't realize at first didn't accept sim subs. I did happen to catch it before I subbed that same piece anywhere else, so there's that. But I noticed that the 90 days they quote on their website had passed recently so I sent my first-ever status query letter. Most markets tell you to query after X days but I've never bothered before because usually the story is outstanding several other places as well. This time though, because I can't do anything else with it until I hear from them, I sent an email last night that said, "WHERE MAH STORY AT?!" Well, in a manner of speaking. They replied today. Surprising no one, it was a rejection. :lol:
 

EternalGreen

Senior Member
If you use Moksha you can yoink your story back if they don't respond in time.

I'm not saying I won't consider submitting to no-simultaneous publishers (we're not on strike currently to the best of my knowledge) but I still don't like it.
 

Bayview

WF Veterans
Sounds juicy! Do tell?

Oh, mostly financial, I'd say. Publishers who go out of business and are never heard from again, leaving authors without rights-reversion letters that would allow them to republish their work elsewhere. Publishers who DON'T go out of business but just stop paying their authors (I'm currently dealing with one of those). Publishers who don't report sales accurately and therefore don't pay authors as much as they should.

In general, I think authors are smart people and should be trusted to read and evaluate contracts and publisher requirements. If the contract isn't to your liking or the publisher requires things you don't want to give, you don't work that publisher. No big deal, nobody wrong or bad or whatever... just not a good match. I think the "bad" publishers are the ones who break contracts and cheat authors. No simultaneous submissions? That's their business.
 
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