When we write, when we put words down on the page, we often want to be heard, we want our words to mean something. Sometimes that means just putting words on the page, and sometimes that means something huge, like publishing. Publishing is one of the best opportunities for writers, and it is a huge step, no matter what path we,as writers, choose for ourselves.
There are many options and so many choices to make when we decide to enter the publishing world. There is everything from publishing on a blog for just a few followers to sending your work to one of the big publishing companies for millions upon millions to read (if you’re lucky). In between, there are more options and so much to decide in a short amount of time. There is a lot you should know about publishing, and so much you should research for yourself. Publishing has changed so much since books began to become mass published and there are so many terms and conditions that may be confusing to first time researchers.
These are only for short story markets so far, but some do cross over to novels and non-fiction.
Simultaneous Submissions- This refers to how many submissions you send into separate publishing companies. Say you have a story called “Bob’s Lunchbox” and you think it’s the most amazing story ever so you send it to Company A, Company B and Company C. That would be a simultaneous submission and most publishing companies frown on that. They usually prefer that you wait to hear from them before you send your masterpiece somewhere else.
Multiple Submissions- This refers to how many submissions you send to that same company. This means if you have more than one great masterpiece, “Bob’s Lunchbox”, “Purple Robe”, and “Rest for Bob”, you send them all to the same company, Company A. Most publishing companies don’t like that either. They prefer you send one story at a time so they can process that one, decide what they want to do with it, and then get back to you before you submit your next piece.
Previously Published- As writers, we should know what “previously published” means, but with the internet and so many types of art becoming readily available, that definition becomes a little fuzzy. Most literary magazines, publishing companies, and online publishers define previously published as “Anything that has been distributed for audiences on websites, print, or digital”. This means on social media, writing websites, and yes, your blog. But don’t fret when you print it on your home computer, in print refers to anything with a barcode. Say, the createspace option for winners of NaNoWriMo. It may be amazing to have your book in print, but if you want to publish it, and publish it seriously for mass audiences, skip the offer.
These are just some general terms that are on most submission guidelines pages. There are probably a lot more options out there and a lot more terms to research, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. You should do your own research for your own publishing ventures and carefully decide what path you want to pursue. I am not an expert, I am a researcher, just like you, and a writer that wants to inform and protect my fellow writers.
Best of luck if you decide to publish, and best of luck in your writing!
Do you have plans for publishing? Where are you going to start?