M. Heitkemper

M. Heitkemper

Monday, June 19, 2017

Ahhh, Submissions...

Ahh, there's nothing like the submission process!  You know, the one that you really look forward to as you're writing your amazing manuscript.  All the way up to those finishing edits, you can't wait to throw that baby out there to wow an editor.  Then for the next few weeks you check your inbox daily if not hourly, anticipating their reply of how much they loved your work.  But that doesn't always happen does it?  Actually, much more often than the preferred, rejection letters will fill the inbox.  But you know what?  That's okay with me.  I appreciate that they took the time to look at my work and respond to it.  And if they took the time to tell me specifically what they didn't like, or what I needed to work on, that's one hell of a gesture that I'm grateful for.  I don't expect everyone to like what I write.  Read the blog title, I write what I want.

You know what really bugs me though?  It's when the editor doesn't take the time to respond at all; not even with one of those cheap automated rejection letters that they've downloaded from somewhere on the internet.  They'd much rather throw your submission to the side and move on.  They don't even consider the idea that I'm sitting here wondering if the email even went through in the first place.  Or, maybe I sent it to the wrong person?  Did it get stuck in their spam folder?  There're are so many uncertainties.  Hence, a simple, "I got it, and it's not for me," would suffice.

Often the publishers will list directly in the submission guidelines that they only respond to manuscripts that they accept; I hate that!  I just have to say, I know you're busy, but what the hell?  Back before email, when the submission process was solely reliant on envelopes, stamps, and the guy in the mail truck, I could easily see that responding to every submission would be nearly impossible, and take far too much time.  Yes, back then, even if you included a SASE with your submission, I get it; an editor has more important things to do than fold, stuff and lick every envelope.  But now days, a simple click of the mouse and an automated rejection letter is on it's way to me.  It takes twenty seconds tops!  You can even set it up so that I can't reply back with a, "<Sob...> Why didn't you like it????"  Why is it that we as writers are not allowed this simple respect? It just seems flat out lazy to me.  Yes, you as an editor have a big job, but as a human being, how about a little common courtesy?

And don't get me started on "No Simultaneous Submissions" policies.  So, you don't want me to submit to other markets until I hear back from you first?  Oh, and lets not forget that you may not get back to me for several months if you get back to me at all.  Really?  I'm sorry, but I think that I have far better things to do with my time.  When I'm looking for a publisher and I run across either one of these policies in their submission guidelines that publisher is moved to the back burner.  There are other publishers out there that understand what personal attention means, even if it's just a simple gesture like clicking the mouse to say I didn't like your work.

I'm sure there're are some out there that will say I'm just throwing a fit because I was once again overlooked by a publisher.  That's fine.  There's nothing better to call this than a rant.  But if you're a writer, I find it hard to believe that you've not felt this same way at some point in your career.  Consider this: in this current world we live, most people respond in texts via their phone hundreds of times a day to the most absurd foolishness in real-time.  Is a simple reply too much to ask?

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