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Black Holes: The Sobering Reality

Philip Overby

Article Team
Submitting to the Black Hole

Thought I would post a link to a site I found through Critters workshop. It seems there is a list of the average response times for people who submit to various publishers. Also almost everyone who submits data to give their response time lists "Rejected" as their manuscript's status.

So basically, write something good, submit it, then forget about it for a long time and start writing something else. Rinse and repeat.

If you just write one novel for 20 years and submit it to one place, then you have to wait 254 days for a response, only to be rejected. That kind of eats up a lot of time, doesn't it?


I've seen something similar to this somewhere else, though I can't remember where. Yes, this is a useful resource–it lets you know what a market's response time actually is, not what they claim (or what they consider their ideal). In most cases, it confirms what markets say about themselves; in many cases, you discover that contributors report better response times than the market claims, rather than worse. As for the ones that trend in the opposite direction… well, you've been warned.
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I think this is actually one advantage to agents. I'm not a big fan of agents (never had one, haven't needed one yet), but I'm not adverse to using whatever tools work for the job you're trying to do. Hiring an agent can help get past that, because you can generally submit a manuscript to as many potential agents as you want, and then an agent, once you hire one, can shop your work around to multiple publishers at once. My strong impression is that many publishers frown on simultaneous subs from writers, so working through an agent is one way to get your work in front of many publishers at once.