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Withdrawing submissions

 
pdblake
(@pdblake)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 132

I withdrew a submission from a magazine today. It's the first time I have ever done it. I won't name the magazine in question (they are listed on the grinder) but the reason I withdrew was the complete lack of communication. The submission was by email, to which there was no confirmation. Then after three months I queried (long after their guidelines says to) and got an auto response. I queried again about a month later and got the same thing. I even tried querying through their website contact just to get a response, but nothing at all.

I realise a lot of these people are busy but I find it unprofessional and just plain rude. I realise this is more a rant than a question as such, but surely I can't be the only one who gets frustrated by this?

I will say though, this magazine is the only one I've come across so far, the rest all seem to stick to their own guidelines. The only others that bug me are the ones who don't tell you if they reject or not. Just assume it has been after a certain time, don't query.

www.pdblake.co.uk

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Topic starter Posted : August 6, 2021 3:57 am
Wulf Moon liked
Morgan
(@morgan-broadhead)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 154

This has happened to me a few times over the years. I give them a couple weeks beyond their response guidelines, then send them an inquiry. If I don't hear anything back after a couple more weeks, I inform them I'm considering their non-response as a rejection and let them know I'll be submitting my story elsewhere.

Can't say this has ever happened with a pro-paying market—semi-pros only. But I did mention it in my comments on Grinder so others would be warned. It happens, unfortunately, and I just make a note to never submit to that venue again.

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Posted : August 6, 2021 5:33 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 375

I've done the same thing, though I think only once out of hundreds of submissions. The Grinder has statistics for both Dead Letters and Withdrawals, which can be a good indicator of how a market can respond, so it's worth taking a look at those for any market you're considering submitting to. Small numbers don't probably mean much, they could just be down to people running afoul of spam filters and the like, but I rule out higher dead-letter figures from any of my submissions. 

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 -nix-/-nix-/15% done
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : August 6, 2021 11:22 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2337

This is why I talk about only subbing to “respectable markets.” Just because they’re listed on the Grinder does not mean they’re respectable, i.e. paying writers for their work and treating writers and their work with dignity and  respect, thus earning the respect of the industry. 

That said, sometimes publishers and editors get overwhelmed by various factors. If I know this, and I’ve gotten confirmation of receipt, I *never* bug them. This practice has gotten me two major sales that each took a year of waiting. And I got thanked by each because I didn’t hassle them, so I’m sure my being understanding helped.

When you understand that publishing moves glacially slow, you can earn the respect of editors. I’ve also seen impatient writers shoot themselves in the foot. Even experienced ones that have gone on public rants that surprise me. They think their generic comments about *some publisher* cannot be identified. I know who they’re talking about, and I suspect the editor can feel the jab as well. Meanwhile, the editor/publisher is trying to keep their publication afloat against financial woes, RL business crises, surgeries and hospital stays, family emergencies, sometimes all at once. Believe me, they remember who dealt with them professionally, and who did not.

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Posted : August 6, 2021 12:15 pm
NVHaskell, David Hankins, DoctorJest and 1 people liked
pdblake
(@pdblake)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 132

To be fair their stats on grinder look alright. Though there was about 4% withdrawal rate. My problem was that I followed their guidelines on queries and they just ignored me. However busy you are that is just unprofessional. 

Anyway I've subbed elsewhere now. 

 

www.pdblake.co.uk

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Topic starter Posted : August 6, 2021 12:39 pm
Wulf Moon liked
pdblake
(@pdblake)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 132
Posted by: @wulfmoo

That said, sometimes publishers and editors get overwhelmed by various factors. If I know this, and I’ve gotten confirmation of receipt, I *never* bug them.

If they tell me they're busy then yes. I have several that have been out months. Something just niggled me with this one. 

www.pdblake.co.uk

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Topic starter Posted : August 6, 2021 12:42 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 375
Posted by: @wulfmoon

This is why I talk about only subbing to “respectable markets.” Just because they’re listed on the Grinder does not mean they’re respectable, i.e. paying writers for their work and treating writers and their work with dignity and  respect, thus earning the respect of the industry. 

That said, sometimes publishers and editors get overwhelmed by various factors. If I know this, and I’ve gotten confirmation of receipt, I *never* bug them. This practice has gotten me two major sales that each took a year of waiting. And I got thanked by each because I didn’t hassle them, so I’m sure my being understanding helped.

When you understand that publishing moves glacially slow, you can earn the respect of editors. I’ve also seen impatient writers shoot themselves in the foot. Even experienced ones that have gone on public rants that surprise me. They think their generic comments about *some publisher* cannot be identified. I know who they’re talking about, and I suspect the editor can feel the jab as well. Meanwhile, the editor/publisher is trying to keep their publication afloat against financial woes, RL business crises, surgeries and hospital stays, family emergencies, sometimes all at once. Believe me, they remember who dealt with them professionally, and who did not.

This is one hundred percent true. I do a lot of market research myself, and I don't submit to markets I don't like. My list of acceptable destinations for my fiction has narrowed considerably since I first got started out submitting.

And if you follow along any editors at all, you'll see their trials and tribulations, as well as some snippets of the appalling abuse that some writers throw their way in response to a rejected story--a kind of 101 in how to poison your well of professional relationships in the industry.

But yes, you definitely do need to have some patience. My longest spell with a story pending at a market was three and a half years, which ended in a form rejection--that one irritated me, just because I had a prior response telling me it had made the final round (about three years before the rejection, in fact), and I would have liked to know a little of why they held it, and why it was rejected, after such a long time. But I just chalked that up to experience, and noted the market as one to never submit to again.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 -nix-/-nix-/15% done
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : August 6, 2021 4:19 pm
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