Author Topic: How do you determine what publisher/press to submit work to?  (Read 752 times)

Offline mfarraday

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How do you determine what publisher/press to submit work to?
« on: December 26, 2011, 10:35:07 PM »
i wanted to know how the other members here choose a publisher/small press to submit your work to???

how do you know what kind of readership the magazine has? do you research it? Duotrope and Poets&Writers and HeyPublisher don't really say much about that. they do label certain magazines as a 'fledgling market' but ...i just want to know, what is the readership for these magazines like? is it print? or mostly online? run by a group? run by an individual?

Poets&Writers seems to list a lot of magazines published by universities. i find that reassuring. and Duotrope DOES list some of this info. but i wanted to know what criteria YOU, a writer's circle member, use as a criteria for choosing a place to send your manuscript. there are so many of them! and i know, i know: GENRE. choose one that likes your genre. i tend to write kids' tales or fantasy. but...

it gets so, so complicated thinking of all these criteria, my head spins, and i end up just submitting stuff to contests. there's a contest being held called Meridian which is deadlining on the 30th. i want to submit a story to them.

i just feel like its simpler somehow to submit to a contest.

i want to know that if my story DOES get accepted by a publisher, that people will actually READ it. and i want to know what that sample population may be.

is that arrogance?

my head hurts. i have a terrible headache....please excuse my rambling!



Lin

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Re: How do you determine what publisher/press to submit work to?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 06:25:56 AM »
I use the Writer's and Artist's Yearbook 2012 and then I research the publisher on the internet to further my choice.  My personal criteria is - do they take my genre and how big is the publisher/agent? I also ask myself if my genre really does fit their profile. It's a bit trial and error.  You have to read the submission guidelines and this often can tell you a lot about the publisher.

I make a list of everyone I want to submit to in 2012.  Then I narrow it down and give each one a mark out of five.  I will do ten submissions for my novel in the spring.

I think with Amazon and Kindle and all the latest technology you really don't have to worry on the book front about readership figures.  But if you are writing for a magazine, then it might be good to see how popular that magazine is.  I think you should be able find readership figures on their web pages. (not sure)  Many magazines already have their quota for the year ahead but it all depends on what your story is about.  So for me advising here, I cannot really provide information, on the grounds that I don't know the genre etc. 

My suggestion is just do it! Procrastination can hold you back.  And don't worry about rejection it's not a personal thing - it's feedback for the next submission. Good luck!

Lin x

Offline mfarraday

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Re: How do you determine what publisher/press to submit work to?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 01:07:50 PM »
thanks Lin!

i just feel overwhelmed by all the options out there sometimes.



Offline Gyppo

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Re: How do you determine what publisher/press to submit work to?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 02:15:12 PM »
I just feel overwhelmed by all the options out there sometimes.

Try not to be.  Just pick a small area to start with and work it.  Don't be paralysed by the enormity of research.  Pick it off a bit at a time.  But don't use it as an excuse for not getting your work out there.


i want to know that if my story DOES get accepted by a publisher, that people will actually READ it. and i want to know what that sample population may be.

is that arrogance?

Not arrogance.  Just hopefulness.

We'll never know for certain how many people read our books/stories.  Some people will buy them as a book club choice of the month and never read beyond the blurb.  There are even people out there who see a filled bookshelf as decor and nothing more.

Then there's the ones who have piles of books all over the house, and quite often a smaller pile of 'favourites' near their bed which they will read several times.

But out of the many who do read your books only a small percentage will ever bother to write and tell you, and some of those will be writing to criticise ;-)  That handful of letters/emails over the years will make you smile though and can be more of an incentive to keep going than the sometimes derisory cheques you receive.

Just remember no-one, apart from vanity publishers, publishes your book expecting it to fail.  They obviously believe it has a market.  Your success is their success.

In case you don't know yet, vanity publishers make their money from you, not from sales.  They should all be shot.  Preferably several times in very painful places.

Gyppo



  
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Lin

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Re: How do you determine what publisher/press to submit work to?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2011, 05:04:42 PM »
Love it Gyppo - you got it right again!

Lin x x x

Wolfe

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Re: How do you determine what publisher/press to submit work to?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 11:00:38 PM »
Maybe I'm old school, but it's recommended you submit to the magazines, press, or publisher whose work you read. That way, you know what the editors expect and you have an interest in the stated genre.

If you intend to submit to any editor, to the point where you'll alter your genre or submissions, in the hopes that it will earn pay or publication . . . well, let me warn you: it's going to be a long and painful road ahead.

Write what you read, submit where you buy.

Offline Hugh

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Re: How do you determine what publisher/press to submit work to?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2011, 12:12:06 PM »
If I have read your question right, you are asking about getting short stories published in magazines, as opposed to book publication, an altogether different topic. A look through your profile and previous posts confirms your interest in writing short stories.

As for whether your story will be read, it is a magazine editorís job to know what her readers like to read, so that if she chooses to print your story, the chances are that it will be read by a lot of those who buy the magazine.

It is also your job to know what a magazineís readers like to read. If there are magazines you buy and read regularly, you will already know the answer. You are a typical reader, and buy the magazines because you like to read whatís in them.

Iím assuming you do read magazines, and the short stories in them, lots of them, so that you know the kind of stories that get published. Are the preferred protagonists male or female, of what age, social group? Do they tend, for instance, to be ambitious career women, or stay-atĖhome mums with young children?

Some magazines provide contributorsí guidelines, but they are no substitute for researching the magazine itself.

If you are not familiar with a magazine that you think could be a possible target, you must acquire at least two recent copies and study them. Read the stories, to get a feel for the preferred writing style, sentence and paragraph lengths, whether they use single or double quote marks, the length of the stories themselves, and vital stuff like that.

The adverts, readersí letters page, and agony aunt column will tell you a lot about the typical reader.

If you do your research, and many would-be short story writers donít, and target your story to a specific magazine, you are in with a chance in a shrinking and highly competitive market.

Meanwhile, donít dismiss contests as a somehow second-rate alternative. They are a great potential market for the kind of stories that might not fit the requirement of a particular magazine.

As Wolfe said, itís a long and painful road to that glorious day you see your by line under a short story in a magazine, but a road well worth following. I wish you the best of luck in your journey.

Hugh