Contributor to WERZOMBIES PRESS
Before introducing you to the works of Juan, we at the PRESS must first give readers an introduction of sorts….
Many of you probably know him by his real name…or is it? Juan approached us earlier in the week and asked to be a part of a forum that appears to allow writers a platform to speak out on all things entertainment, politics, and news.
Wow, does Juan really have a want to say things. A lot of things.
We here at the PRESS don’t even know if Juan is his real name or if the name he uses in various blogging, Facebook (Twatter) circles, is even the real one.
All we know is…he is a watcher. We also know…he (or is it she?) can write. Do we agree with everything Juan stands for? Enough to allow it to print on these pages. Let us know what you think…
Now….here is Juan…
SILLYVILLE, Pubco – OH MY GOD, are you kidding me?
Now before I begin, I must preface this by saying immediately: Not all publishing companies have the following attitudes, especially smaller presses. Many companies ‘get it’ so please use this for only those who qualify under this argument. Thanks, k?
So, check this out…especially you new and yes, even veteran authors.
What is the deal with no simultaneous submissions?
I mean OMG!
Okay, let me explain before I review.
When an author first starts seeking that one publishing company he/she immediately has to make a decision of which ones sound like they would even be interested in reading your manuscript.
You find one and come across this little bit of protocol when it comes to an initial, unsolicited, submission:
No simultaneous submissions
For those who don’t know what this means it simply means this: YOU ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO SUBMIT YOUR MANUSCRIPT TO OUR COMPANY AT THIS TIME! YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SUBMIT TO OTHERS AND WE ALONE SHOULD BE IN POSSESSION OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT! IF WE FIND OUT OTHER COMPANIES HAVE IT, WE WILL PROBABLY NOT BE INTERESTED OR TAUNT YOU A LOT AND FLICK BOOGERS AT YOU!
What they are telling you is something unprecedented. They are telling you, the hard-working writer with something potentially marketable, this actual message.
YOU SEE, WE EXPECT YOU TO PUT YOUR LIFE ON HOLD. IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED OR NEED SOME EXTRA INCOME OR QUITE FRANKLY HAVE A WINNER. YOU ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO BASICALLY APPLY FOR A JOB WITH US. THAT’S IT! SO NOW WAIT UNTIL WE MAKE A DECISION!
They are telling you, what no other industry does: your life is in their hands and you will either wait on their terms or they may basically tell you to piss yourself.
In normal parlance that would mean any of us out there looking for a job would ultimately have to wait weeks, months, to apply for employment a second time?
OMG! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
How many people reading this actually applied for jobs one-at-a-time? Yeah, you submitted that application to be a bagger at SAFEWAY and then waited anxiously gripping your cell phone for weeks on end as your bills went unpaid!
Even the music industry doesn’t tell artists they can only submit a demo one at a time. Doctors get jobs after applying for positions at multiple locations. Lawyers. Teachers. Police Officers. Firemen.
Dudes, you are a publishing company. GET OVER YOURSELVES.
The reason? Well they don’t want to go to all the hassle of reading a 600-page manuscript, to end up loving it, to end up contacting you, to end up finding out you signed with another company. It’s a waste of time and resources.
Here are some suggestions for ya:
- Maybe find people who CAN READ A LITTLE BIT FASTER!
- Maybe hire a few more people to actually WORK!
- Maybe you could be polite and email those writers back who wait months for no reply and actually listen to your stupid demand. Maybe you could tell them, “Hi Molly. We received your MS but we are in the middle of reading about a dozen stories right now, so we may take a while, please bear with us.” That bit of politeness could go a long way.
But let’s be honest…it’s all big shot bullshit from certain companies who haven’t gotten the memo:
TIMES ARE TOUGH FOR EVERYONE, so unless you EXPIDITE your process who the HECK do you think you ARE to make people WAIT for you???
What makes it even funnier is this:
- They usually know if they will read you at the QUERY letter. So their alleged long list? Probably not so long. Oh, and once they read the Query, respond immediately once you don’t have interest, k? Some have done so, and I have a LOT of respect for them.
- The best part of this argument to diffuse their logic? Most of these companies only ask for one, two, maybe three chapters, at MOST. What the hell is that? 20K-30K words, max? Maybe. Don’t forget that one page synopsis and biography. LORD. Most people who should be educated enough to even be hired as a reader or alas a freaking publisher can read 60 words a minute. That equals 3,600 words an hour. THIS IS A FULL TIME JOB FOR THESE PEOPLE. So at maximum they should be able to read most submissions within 2-3 days and have an answer quickly. Even if they have a log of 30 books they are interested in? Okay, if you have just three people working it that means a max of a month. What the heck is 8-10 weeks? Also, please, you guys and I also know you can read the first 5K words and by then half your pile is in the garbage. You know it. We know it.
Look, I get that the publishers of our world have a tough job. No doubt.
Now, if you get a submission and then get all geeked up all over one then we, the authors, should be more compliant. If you read those first 10K words and are really wanting more? Well then if you respectfully tell the author: “Hey could you PLEASE send us the rest of your manuscript? We really like what we have read so far and are seriously considering your novel? But if you do send it to use, please do not submit it to anyone else for the next week or so. We only have one editor and it will take him a a week to 10 days to process the work. We thank you for your cooperation.”
NOW THAT WE SHOULD RESPECT. I equate this to a second stage of interviewing. Would you take a call from IBM while in the middle of interviewing with Microsoft after they have flown you in to wine and dine you? See, that type of request makes sense.
But making initial submissions? Nah.
It is also evident that traddies are losing the war against self-publishing. More and more reputed authors are considering going that route or already have. The royalties are so-so and in many cases your marketing push leaves it in the hands of the authors themselves so why not fully go DIY?
So…OMG…get with the program.
It’s time to wipe NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS out of the initial, unsolicited, submission language forever. There is no place for it and it is in essence, draconian.
I do wish all publishers luck with their endeavors and their goals for artistic and financial successes.
Just don’t hold it against the writers who pursue those same successes.
OMG! Was that so hard?
WERZOMBIES Press thanks you for taking the time to read this column/article. The Press is an Alan Dale creation and is inspired by his DEAD NATIONS’ ARMY (DNA) book trilogy which launches in July with his first novel, “Code Flesh.” The Press hopes you consider subscribing to the site and look forward to more interviews, news features, columns, and many more in the future. Once again, thank you for joining us here at the Press!