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Multiple Submissions - Multiple Books

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Is it ok to send out multiple books to multiple publishers at the same time?

I have quite a few picture books that are either ready to be sent off or will be soon.

I have submitted one to a publisher that does not allow multiple submissions.

Is it ok to send some of my other books out to other publishers?

How much is too much?

If a publisher becomes interested in a book, is it ok to show them other books that have been submitted elsewhere?

TIA!
#1 - April 20, 2014, 11:45 AM

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You asked: "How much is too much?"

There are no right or wrong answers to this question. IF you really have a number of publishable manuscripts ready to go and IF you've done your research--then, well, use your best judgement.

Those are two big IFs though. I've often thought a manuscript was ready to make the rounds when it wasn't. And I've also thought that I knew what a particular publisher was looking for when I didn't--and I've been doing this for years.

If you're wrong on either of those two counts, and IF you send the wrong material too often to the wrong people, your name could be the one that makes editors groan when they see it in the slush. You don't want that.

On the other hand, persistence pays in this business.
#2 - April 20, 2014, 02:13 PM
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I think it's OK to send to multiple publishers at one time. In general, that's what agents do. Publishing is a slooooow moving business and if you wait to hear from an editor on a submission before sending it to the next, you could be waiting six months (or more!). Obviously, follow submission guidelines. If the publisher does not allow multiple submissions, give them what they want. (And yes, send out a different manuscript to another publisher in the meantime.) I would probably not send 2 manuscripts to one publishing house.

With all that being said, if you have three or four ready-to-go, sparkly manuscripts, I'd highly recommend looking for an agent. An agent can manage all this for you. She can get your manuscript read a lot faster than something in the slush pile. She will know when to offer exclusives and will know when to follow up with editors. (Not to mention, she will probably have personal relationships with editors and know their tastes.)

Good luck and keep at it. It's a business that requires unbelievable persistence.  (My hubby likes to remind me that I could be a doctor or lawyer if I had used my pre-published writing time to go back to school. haha)
#3 - April 20, 2014, 05:12 PM
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Another thing to consider is how much you can keep track of. Don't do more than you can keep tabs on. Ask yourself how you'll handle the best case scenario - multiple people accepting multiple manuscripts at one time. 

There are other factors to consider - publication dates. If two of your books are picked up, this will become an issue. The publishers may not want to have your work competing with your other story. It also means neither publisher gets to build your career(brand). This is an issue for some. In other words, circulating two pieces at once can create confusion.

Speaking of confusion - multiple submissions generally means sending more than one piece to the same publisher at one time and is frowned upon unless requested. Simultaneous submissions is sending to two people at different presses simultaneously and is fine unless an exclusive has been granted. (Some publishers only accept exclusive submissions.) If the editor doesn't accept multiple submissions, you're fine sending that manuscript to as many others as you want simultaneously. You just can't send more than one to her at a time.

I hope this helps. I'm not sure I'm making sense.
#4 - April 21, 2014, 08:31 AM
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Speaking of confusion - multiple submissions generally means sending more than one piece to the same publisher at one time and is frowned upon unless requested. Simultaneous submissions is sending to two people at different presses simultaneously and is fine unless an exclusive has been granted.


Debbie is right. However, especially in conversation, people don't always draw this fine distinction between "multiple" and "simultaneous." Specifically, people often say "multiple" when "simultaneous" is what they mean.


Does the publisher you sent to forbid *simultaneous* or *multiple* submissions? It's pretty common knowledge that multiples (different mss., same publisher) should not be sent unless requested, and most publisher statements say, if they have this policy, "No simultaneous submissions" (same ms., different publishers).
#5 - April 21, 2014, 11:20 AM
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