Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Q. I have a dilemma based on the fact that I sent the same article to two different women’s magazines. One was a major publication and the other a smaller one. My problem is that the smaller one responded first indicating they wanted to buy it. However, I’d prefer to sell it to the larger one—which has not yet responded. Now what do I do? If I withdraw it from the smaller one—especially if they see it later in the large one—will I hurt my chances of selling to them in the future? Are simultaneous submissions really a good idea?

A - I am assuming that you told both of these publications that this was a simultaneous submission. If not, you need to let them know that right away. If you did tell them, then the fact that you reject one in favor of the other is not a problem—they know that is a possibility when they accept simultaneous submissions. Your problem now is one of timing. If you hear from the larger market fairly soon—and they accept the piece—then you simply let the smaller one know that and offer them future reprint rights if they are interested. (You would have to wait until it is published by the first periodical before you can offer reprint rights.) However, if the larger publication does not respond in a timely manner, then you may have to simply go with the offer from the first—an offer you don’t want to jeopardize in case the larger publication eventually rejects it. Simultaneous submissions do save a lot of time, but you have to be willing to deal with this kind of problem if you go that route. You could lessen the problem by sending the simultaneous submissions in different batches to publications of similar size in each batch.

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