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Electronic vs. Postal Submissions

Being an information technology person, I rely heavily on email, internet, and other electronic means to manage my day and keep up with people.  It’s the year 2011, after all, and nearly everyone has a computer and/or smartphone of some flavor, so there’s no reason why I should have to use the US Postal Service for anything.

In keeping with this line of thought, I’ve mainly submitted stories to markets that allowed me to do so electronically.  Some have cool submissions systems like I’ve mentioned before, where others just have a dedicated email account that accepts their submissions.  Toward this end, many will get back to you in less than a month, some in less than a week, and in a few cases, in less than a day (Abyss & Apex rejected a piece of flash fiction I submitted to them in 6 hours)!  So many publications take electronic submissions now that last year at some point I decided that I wouldn’t bother with the ones that didn’t have that option.  Limiting, maybe, but really, when there are so many other great markets out there, why hassle with dead trees and postage?

My story “Last Man Standing,” which rings in at a tight 8400 words, has been making the rounds of the pro markets for several months.  Problem is, it’s long enough that many publications won’t consider it.  Yesterday I received a fairly positive rejection for it from a publication, and based on that I feel I should continue to fire it at pro markets.  However, there’s a small problem…

The only few markets that are left are postal sub only.  I thought long and hard about it, and decided that I should just bite the bullet and mail it to one.  After a little manuscript reformatting (font changes, cover page addition, typing up a fresh cover letter), I slid it into a flat letter mailer with a return envelope inside, sealed it up, and mailed it off to the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.  Guess I will hear back in around a month, and from there I can just print and mail it again to someone else.

I won’t debate the pros and cons of electronic vs. postal submissions.  It’s just not worth the time and effort spent. 🙂

~shrug~ I still won’t send a lot of stuff to the markets that take postal subs, but since I’ve done one and seen it isn’t too difficult, I won’t be as picky in the future.


4 responses

  1. My jaw dropped to the floor when I got to the part where you have not been submitting to F&SF because they didn’t accept electronic submissions. While one would expect them to get with the times and do so in some fashion, I still cannot wrap my mind around any science fiction/fantasy/horror (or any associated sub-genre) writer not submitting to that magazine in particular. I’m anticipating the shock and amazement when I tell my stitching group as many of them have an intensive background in science fiction, publishing, and the early days of the cons. My brain still refuses to grasp it.

    April 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    • Perhaps I should also explain that my confidence level in my writing, previously, wasn’t all that great. In the last several months I’ve come to realize that I can write a good story and people do want to read it. So, I think that before I also wouldn’t submit to F&SF because I didn’t feel I was up to their quality level.

      April 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm

  2. I haven’t submitted to F&SF in months. Once Analog and Asimov’s went digital, I was just like… m’eh, let’s cut that whole process. Realms of Fantasy still only takes postals, also, though they tend to take a while to respond – whereas I can pick up a rejection from F&SF in a few days. Also, there was a rumour going around that Gordan Van Gelder has only ever accepted one single story from the slush pile…

    Nonetheless, I feel your pain. F&SF is kind of, uh, the market to be submitting to. They’re actually my favourite ‘zine by far, so it’s kind of insane that I don’t regularly submit to them. But postal submissions are annoying, especially since I live in Canada and have to get my in-laws to send me American stamps for my SASEs.

    There’s also Interzone, but I’ve found their editor inconsiderate and rude on multiple occasions, and it costs like seven dollars to send a package to the UK. Yikes. Overall, I would say you’re probably not missing any HUGE opportunities by neglecting postal submissions, UNLESS you’ve run out of other markets. F&SF is a big name, and, well, you never know!

    April 7, 2011 at 8:03 am

    • And that’s my feeling on the matter. With most of the markets out there taking electronic subs, why bother with the hassle of paper, ink, envelopes, and stamps? I know they are a huge market and the place for SFF writers to submit their work. But when you have so many options that don’t need postage, its just easier to neglect markets like F&SF. Besides, like I stated, I’m a information technology worker. I firmly believe in elimination of paper usage wherever possible.

      April 7, 2011 at 8:15 am

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