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Open Submissions

Updated on March 27, 2012

'Tis the Season!

That's right, authors and writers! It is the season for open submissions! If you type "Open Submissions" on your search browser(go google) you will find a long list of small publishing companies waiting for your submissions.

For me I am interested in open submissions for novels but the overwhelming majority of these open calls are for short stories, anthology contributions, magazine stories and even poetry! There are also a boatload of contests being held by these companies. Many charge a fee, I have seen $12 and I have seen $35, to read your work and then judge it for the contest. Winners receive money prizes and their work will get published in anthologies or whatever the particular publisher has as a means of getting your work out there.

I would like to know how the rest of you feel about the read fee. Personally I am not in a position to pay anyone to read my work right now. I suppose for the contests it is needed if there is going to be a worthy reward. If I had the money would I do it? I would choose carefully and make sure the publisher I am sending my work to actually publishes my genre. I will admit to making the mistake once of sending one of my novels to an erotic fantasy publisher! Boy, was my face red. They gave me a favorable review of my work but said they failed to see the eroticism in my writing. Lol!

For the novelists out there, and I know you are out there, I typed "Open Submissions Novels" and was rewarded with a long list of small publishers who are holding open calls for novels. There is no reading fee here, of course, since there is no contest involved. Many are offering 40% royalties and both ebook and print! It would be foolish of me to give the name of the publisher I submitted to but I will say the list is long and the submitting methods are pretty simple and straight forward. It took me less than a half hour to prepare my submission, but I have an already prepared synopsis.

It hurts me physically as I submit my work to these small publishers. Now that the big companies will no longer entertain unpublished authors without agents my dreams of getting that big payday are ruined. Now I am forced to take what is given and accept what the book makes deciding what i make. While fair I had always looked forward to a big company signing me and using their considerable influence and marketing experience to sell it. I am not a marketing expert nor a seller with a type A personality. I am an introvert and while I have been a singer in a band and can perform in front of huge crowds I have never been able to sell anyone on anything.

I fear the request from a small publisher that I somehow aid them in marketing. Now, get ready folks because it is rare that I have any good news to share that has to do with writing. The other day I received a letter of interest from a publisher about one of my novels! They said they were intrigued but they needed to see my marketing plan before they went any further in the decision process. This is officially the most promising contact i have ever gotten! How my heart dropped when they asked me for my marketing plan. Luckily I knew that this might come up with this company in particular. I responded with my ideas and what I had thought would be a good plan as far as the cover and who the target market was and how they should be approached.

Having looked over the tips provided by others concerning a market plan I felt I gave them a good outline but I lack confidence in this. I am a writer not a marketing expert, and I told them that and explained that I was open to any ideas and methods they might also have in mind. I can only hope my novel proves worthwhile.

You know what kills me the most? These small publishers want so much from you and what do most of them give you in return? You don't get a contract with $ signs all across it and you don't get 100% of your earnings unless you publish through Amazon or another Ebook publisher in that vein. If I did that I would be in charge of all my own marketing and as I said that is not my cup of tea. I do not have the time or money to do that.

So, now I am looking through my short stories and wondering which would be best to send to a contest. Maybe I could afford one read fee if it wasn't too expensive. I would be remiss, and so would you my fellow scribes, if I didn't at least make the effort. For posterity i will be updating this hub as results come back to me. I hope you also comment and let me know if you have any success. Feel free to use this hub to market your works! I know in some hubs and among some hubbers this is frowned upon but I say balderdash. We are a community of people hoping to accomplish some of the same things in life, why not collaborate and communicate for the betterment of all?

Something to think about

How would you prefer to have your work published?

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    • Barnsey profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

      Thank you for the tip, LoneWolfMuskoka, if this last company doesn't work out I think I might do that with that particular novel. I'll let everyone know on this hub what happens.

    • LoneWolfMuskoka profile image


      6 years ago from Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

      Hi Barnsey

      I feel your pain when it comes to marketing your products or yourself. I'm an introvert myself (and many people confuse that with 'shy' but it isn't necessarily so).

      But I've discovered that it is possible to push through and become more promotional. If you have a great novel that you think should be published, then you'd do well to get Kindle and iTunes versions out there and find ways to promote it.

      Network with other writers and bloggers. Find a small group that sees the value in what you've written and ask them to help you.

      You may never hit the big time, but you'll do better than you ever could by not giving it a go!


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