Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Editors Answer: Submission Response Times

Question: Your web site says that you will respond within two months. If you, or another publisher, doesn't respond within the timeframe they have stated, should the writer just move on and send it to another publisher? I have yet to submit a manuscript to a publisher. Is it common for publishers to reject manuscripts without response? How is a writer to know how long to wait if stated timeframes aren't met?

Answer: First, be aware that publishers post estimated response times. Sometimes response is much faster, but if the editors are swamped with submissions at some point, it may take longer than stated.

However, always feel free to send a polite email requesting status if it's been longer than stated. (Do not phone call!) We all know emails go astray. Are you sure the publisher received your submission (whether emailed or mailed, for pubs that take paper submissions)? Or they may have replied and you didn't receive it.

At EC, our process is that we acknowledge receipt of each submission within a few business days. Then within eight weeks you will receive either a "no thanks, not right for us" or a notice that your submission has been put in queue for an acquiring editor to take a look at. After that, it could be a few weeks to a few months for a response from that editor.

I can't answer for other publishers. But if you submit to EC and don't hear back, do indeed email to and ask! We respond to every legitimate submission received.


Anonymous said...

I am really glad you posted this. I submitted to a publisher a couple of months ago and never heard back. So, I wrote a polite note and found out the publisher never even got my submission. Woe is me.

Kurt said...

What if you submitted something and my web host goes belly up, so the email is no longer valid? Can we email submissions with an updated email, even if I don't know who the acquiring editor assigned to my submission is?

This is my predicament.

ECPI Editors said...

Hey, Kurt,

Yes indeed, email and give your submission title and the date you originally sent it (if you know), and your old and new email addresses. We will update our database.


Kurt said...

Thank you, Raelene.

I have done just that. I appreciate your quick attention and understanding.

Summer Anne said...

I have received a rejection for a manuscript submission. I have written additional manuscripts for the same theme/genre. Would you recommend submitting or is it irritating to continue to receive submissions from a writer that you have previously rejected?

Summer Anne said...

Sorry! I should add that the manuscript made it past the initial editorial reviewer and was placed in the queue for acquiring editors to consider further.