Multiple Submission Dangers

These days it’s very tempting to send multiple submissions of your manuscript to a list of publishers and wait to see what comes back. After all, it’s easy, email lists of publishers are readily available so one can save time by not having to research or filter. One email, a hundred submissions, one must come back… surely?

There are several very real dangers with this approach.

Firstly, publishers are running financially tight operations, they do not spend money lightly. Reviewing a manuscript professionally costs money. Before they invest money in your manuscript they like to know there is a good chance of a financial return. If they feel they might put in resources only to be told a month later, ‘Oh, I’ve signed a contract now with somebody else’ they will save their money and throw it out. After all, the one thing a good publishing company is not short of, is submissions.

Secondly, publishers will know your submission has gone to hundreds of others. Quality publishers use sophisticated email filtering systems to protect themselves from just this sort of spam submission. So even if your manuscript is perfectly presented and exactly what they want for their next big launch, the chance of a human ever seeing it is zero. You have just filtered out the quality publishers.

Thirdly, even if your manuscript makes it through the initial filtering it will be spotted as a multiple submission when it hits the reader’s pile. The majority of the larger publishers these days are the results of mergers, take-over & acquisitions. This means that although you may not realise it, many companies are linked and share resources, such as submissions teams. If your book hits the same pile twice it will be discarded immediately.

And finally and most importantly for you, is your protection. If you do not know who these people on the lists are, how do you protect your interests? Oh, you may have registered the copyright but that is really of very little value. Copyright breach is a civil offence not criminal. That means the copyright holder has to bring, and fund, the action. Taking a manuscript, changing the title then doing a ‘Search & Replace’ on the characters’ names takes three minutes. An hour later it’s in every eBook outlet across the world. Are you really able to fund an action against an Asian publishing company in the international courts to prove your copyright?

And it’s not just books, English inventor of the wind-up-radio that sold millions, Trevor Baylis, is now broke as a result of the same problems. See Here

Protect yourself, give your manuscript the best chance possible and resist the spam submission route. However tempting!

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