Some writers believe that it is in poor taste to send a single article to hundreds of regional publications in a single sitting. Is it? I don't truly know, but here are my thoughts.
1--Reprint. The first sentence of my cover letter states that I am selling this article as a reprint. If it is a reprint, then an editor must assume it has been printed elsewhere and was not written specifically for their publication. They know immediately what I am up to--I am trying to sell my work in as many places as possible. There are no false pretenses what-so-ever.
2--Simultaneous submissions. How is emailing one piece to a group of editors any different than simultaneous submission? Granted, not all of the bigger publications "allow" simultaneous submissions, but many do. If a publication wants to use my work and requests regional exclusivity, then I either say, "Sorry, it's been published by your competitor," or I give them regional exclusivity.
3--Writing is a Business. Because writing is a craft, and often an extension of the author's own opinions or emotions, it is easy to forget that writing is also a business. I don't believe that there is anything wrong with making your work available to as many publications as possible. After all, isn't that why we create websites pitching our work and offering our "articles available for reprint?"
4--Instinct. A writer-friend of mind mentioned that she simultaneously submitted an article to RPPs this past week. She has had some interesting responses. One magazine told her straight up that they don't accept simultaneous submissions. So there you go. Next time, send that publication a query or remove it from your group of contacts. Don't offer them another reprint. My friend also felt strange not personalizing her submissions. The only advice I can give is to follow your instinct. Instinct is an overwhelming gift that we often don't use. I don't currently have a regional publication in my area that accepts the types of articles I write. I am moving and hope to work more closely with a regional magazine that has published my work in the past. Instinct tells me I am doing what is right for me now--writing, gathering clips and getting paid.
I have mulled over this "controversy" for a while now. What are your thoughts?
***Please join me on Tuesday when I host guest blogger Christina Katz.