Annoying Multiple Submissions

Mkay….it’s been a while since I’ve ranted, so I’m going to take a few moments here.

Multiple submissions.

Most houses don’t accept them. Almost all don’t like them. We’re included.

While we might look at another submission by an author within a short timeframe, it’s not cool for the thirty-year writer to submit four books to us at once, begging us to take at least one of them. Why is it not cool? Well, for starters it makes the author look naive and unprofessional, and it immediately raises our hackles rise and makes us want to step back yelling “whoa the **** back, dude!”

Example:

It’s especially annoying when an author sends multiple novels in a single email. A perfect recent example:

Dear Sirs,

Given your likely overload of MS submissions and queries, I am (with your approval I trust) only attaching two synopses of recent titles for your consideration. One (or both) may fit in with your forthcoming publishing plans, and I would therefore welcome your opinion regarding the two proposals attached. Both (though I say it myself !) are somewhat innovative and unusual suspense thrillers, one being platformed in the sci-fi catagory.

The “NOVEL 1” is a rather dark and highly unusual story being based on historical fact. Some may see it in the vein of The Da Vinci Code but this is far from the case as it diverges in to a contemporary gothic suspense thriller, making no claim for authenticity other than the historical material in the opening chapters. “NOVEL 2” has it’s own cynical and disturbing quality. Those that read it will tend to see it as a tale of determined revenge, taken by one man against a faceless corporation implacable and inviolate in its power. Yet the story has an unexpected twist and, as noted above, is technically categorised as Sci-Fi, though the reader only comes to understand this in the last two pages.

Please let me know if any of the two synopses strike home; if so I will forward a complete MS.

Your response would be appreciated.

Well, a little professionalism would be appreciated as well. Not only did we not get a single clue as to what the novels were about, the cover letter simply threw the five-sentence synopsis at us in a single rushing breath, cramming in the author’s attempt at grabbing our attention between name dropping and unneeded commentary. So for the author to ask if either synopses strike home…the answer is no. Besides none of the sentences being of quality enough to be considered a synopsis, they didn’t provide even basic information about the novels.

If in doubt, ask

There have been a few authors that have been rejected, or have submitted a piece and mentioned that they have a second novel they would like to submit, and ask when would be an appropriate time to resubmit or multiple submit. This is great! Questions work, people, remember that. If you’re not sure on what protocol to follow, or your question may not be clearly answered in the publisher’s FAQ or submission guidelines, email and ask. It’s ok. Trust me, most editors don’t mind. We’d much rather receive a polite emailed question than an email with twenty attachments any day.

Once (or in some cases, if) the editor responds, listen to what they say. If they say three months, then wait the three months. If they say go ahead and send it in, get your ass to the post office. But don’t send out a submission the next day if the editor said to wait a month…you’d just be cutting your own throat because you’ve already brought attention to your name and submission, and chances are it will be fresh in their minds when your next one comes in. It’s annoying. Don’t do it.

Our take on multiples

While I think mulitples can be great, they’re not always wanted. Which was why I was relieved when I was assured I was only having one baby….

Here at Leucrota Press, we prefer to only view one manuscript from an author at a time. If an author does have another manuscript typed up and ready to go, hold onto it. After we send out a response to an author, whether it be an acceptance letter, a hold, or a rejection notice, we don’t want to see anything from that author again for at least another three months. Why? Well, because it gives us time to refresh our eyes with new writing, new styles, new names, so that when an author resubmits a new novel we’re not biased in any way, and our judgement is not tainted by our feelings on the last book. Especially if the experience with the previous submission was not a pleasant one.

Trust us, it’s in your best interest to follow directions, and not pile on stacks of your manuscript on an already crowded editors desk. Give us some breathing room, take a breath after that last rejection letter, go back and evaluate your writing, and take into account the comments the editors made on your first submission before sending in another. It will only help you in the long run.

Not following submission guidelines

Ok, so here’s the deal. Leucrota Press has explicit guidelines on what we are looking for in novels as well as how to go about sending it in. While the submissions for the most part have been following the “what we want” part, they’ve been ignoring the “how we want it” when it comes to electronic submissions.

Electronic Submissions

Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of submissions where the author just puts “Here’s a submission for ya, hope you like it!” and then pasting their three chapters (and sometimes the entire novel) into the body of the email.

…In case you’re a little behind, that’s not what we want. It’s annoying as hell to read, a pain in the ass to try to copy and paste it into Word so that we can read it later, and we’re tired of doing it.

So, we’ve decided to stop.

Not only will your submission be immediately rejected, it won’t even be read. You will get a polite (well, polite by our standards) response saying “You failed to follow directions. Sorry.” And then we’ll hit send, then delete your previous email, and forget about you.

Sound harsh? Well, maybe a little. But you have to understand that it’s not anything different than what the “big guys” do. In fact, they might not even bother responding at all. So no, we’re not being mean. We’re being practical – it’s a waste of our times to deal with authors who can’t follow simple instructions on something as simple as an email.

Postal Submissions

As a quick note, those authors that have been submitting by mail have been rather good at following all directions. Though just remember to include all of the required materials when submitting by mail: ie. a SASE.

I recevied a submission last week with no SASE, and no email address. So, guess what, that means no response. Sorry dude.