Simultaneous Submissions

Clarifications have been made to this post. Please re-read.

Can you submit the same manuscript to multiple publishers at the same time?

This is called simultaneous submissions. Some publishers accept them, others do not. Check your publisher’s submission guidelines. If the publisher you want to submit to accepts simultaneous submissions, then yes, you can send your manuscript to them, and to other publishers, who also accept simultaneous submissions, at the same time. If the publisher you want to submit to does not accept simultaneous submissions, then you must submit to them, wait for them to reject it, and then submit to the next publisher on your list.

The reason some publishers choose not to accept simultaneous submissions is because then they can read at their leisure without worry that someone is going to beat their time. This is unfair to the author, as single submissions can kill you. For example, let’s say you have 10 publishers on your A list and you have to query and submit to them sequentially. And let’s say they each take about 6 months to go through the review process. It could take you 5 years to get through them. Who has time for that?

Personally, I think there should be a law that forces all publishers to accept simultaneous submissions. But until there is, you have to play by their rules. If they say they want exclusive looks, and you want them to consider you, then you have to send it to them and no one else until they make a decision.

One more word: If you decide to do simultaneous submissions to publishers who accept them, let the publisher know in the query letter that you have submitted to others as well. You don’t need to tell him/her who else you’ve submitted to, but it is polite to let them know that others are looking at it also. And if you get accepted somewhere, write or e-mail all other publishers who are still reviewing your manuscript and let them know it’s off the market.

Author: LDS Publisher

I am an anonymous blogger who works in the LDS publishing industry. I blog about topics that help authors seeking publication and about published fiction by LDS authors.

2 thoughts on “Simultaneous Submissions”

  1. I am very pro simultaneous submissions, but I’d be careful with the publishers who explicitly post that they don’t accept simultaneous submissions. If you send your manuscript to such a publisher and note in the query that it is a simultaneous submission, I would guess that your query/synopsis/partial/manuscript (or whatever you sent) won’t even get read. They stated the rules and you didn’t follow them, and the publisher has lots of other query letters to read. Perhaps this sort of rigidity is not the norm in the LDS market, but from everything I’ve learned it is the norm in the national industry. Editors/agents WANT you to give them an easy reason to reject your work. Not following their directions are usually a big pet peeve (Miss Snark immediately trashes your query if you don’t enclose a SASE because the directions to enclose one are on her website).

    So I’ll take a different stance than LDS Publisher and suggest that if you are going to submit simultaneously to a publisher who said NOT to, that you don’t mention it.

    Or that you take a chance on waiting – I chose Covenant as the publisher I wanted to work with and they state that they don’t want simultaneous submissions, so I submitted it only to them, waited and got lucky. 🙂

  2. NO!No!No! I wasn’t suggesting that you send simultaneous submissions to publishers who said they would not accept them. NEVER do that! ALWAYS follow their rules!

    What I meant was, if you decide to only submit to those publishers who accept simultaneous submissions, tell them that it is a simultaneous submission (if it is) and then tell them if/when you accept an offer.

    I am rewording the post to make that more clear.

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