This or That?

I want to know what you think.

I’ve fallen behind on reading submissions, it’s pretty chronic actually, and reached the point where I’ve thought about bringing in a slush reader or two to help speed up the process. The best way for me to do that is to begin using a submissions service/system that requires creating an account and logging in to submit rather than continuing to accept submissions through email.

Some people don’t like creating accounts / signing up to websites to submit.

You tell me, if it would speed up the rate at which your work would be considered and responded to, would you be willing to create an account to submit to Niteblade?

31 Responses to “This or That?”

  • David Wright says:

    Hi Rhonda,
    As a fairly active contributor to various internet magazines, I’d say go for it. Anything that speeds up the response times is a good thing. If writers want to get published in your magazine, then they should be willing to join up and log on. It’s not that big a commitment.

    That’s my two-bits,

  • Amber Stults says:

    I say go for it, if it will help you. I signed up for submishmash when I saw two markets I wanted to submit to used it for their submission process.

  • Sharon says:

    Hi Rhonda,

    Ditto what David said. I have accounts with various mags that I submit to and have never had a problem with it. If it makes your life easier, go for it. Don’t shy away from getting a slush reader either. I read slush for Allegory (along with several others), and it signifanctly reduces the publisher’s workload. That’s a good thing.


  • Alexa Seidel says:

    Yep, anything that makes things faster for everyone, go for it. If you’re an active writer and submit frequently to various kinds of magazines, you’ll have to sign up somewhere eventually, submishmash is used by many zines.

  • irv says:

    I’m one of the people who dislikes such systems but I use them. As long as it’s not too intrusive (What does anyone need to know my mother’s maiden name for anyway?) or take too long, it’s tolerable.

  • Hi Rhonda,

    The problem of slush overload seems universal. ANYTHING that helps you carry your load is fine by me, for sure.

    I personally like submishmash; it seems to work quite well. The only problem for writers is, the outcomes on one’s submissions can be seen by every magazine…

    Best regards, from Suzanne Sykora in Germany

  • Rhonda, I think most writers’ eyes are on the prize – publishing. I believe that they’ll go through the steps it takes to get there.

    I created an account when I submitted to Battered Suitcase once and found their system to be hassle-free. However, I made an account with Every Day Fiction and could never get the stupid system to accept a submission. I wrote to the editors and asked for help, but they never responded. I will never submit to them.

    Please do what makes your life easier — just make sure you use a quality system. 🙂

  • Crystal Lynn Hilbert says:

    I prefer to use online submission systems, actually, because I feel my submissions have less of a chance of getting lost. Also, some submission sites use tracking numbers for authors to make sure their submissions have been received and whether they’re in progress.

    I think it’s a fantastic idea.

  • I’ve used submishmash, too. I have no problem signing up with a submissions service. Whatever helps you manage the workload.

  • Jason Huskey says:

    It’s not much of a problem. I’ve used the old service that many journals adopted five-six years ago, submishmash, and the ones some websites (pedestal review, red fez) use. I prefer the first two over the last category, but pretty much if I’m going to submit to a journal, I’m going to submit to a journal.

    (Unless they ask for a specimen, then I may have a few reservations…)

  • Kaolin says:

    I’m all for automation and being able to see the status of things. Submishmash is nice. 🙂

  • Benel Germosen says:

    Yeah, go for it.

  • Brian Rosenberger says:

    As an author, anything that speeds up the response time is a positive. There have been a few sites that I’ve submitted to that did use a “form” system that have been very good regarding a response and others that I’m still waiting on. It’s really up to you. There’s certainly plenty of other markets and it would be interesting to see if you experience more or less submissions if you do enact a change.

  • Thirdy Lopez says:

    I’d say go for it. 🙂

  • I have no problem at all with using submission services–fine by me.

  • Ajay says:

    I would strongly recommend going for the submission system like Submishmash. Many writers are probably already signed up. Good luck!

  • Beth Cato says:

    I say to go for it. If I really want to submit to a magazine, a log-in’s not going to stop me.

  • Bill Ratner says:

    I say do it. Many submission pages for other literary sites require a sign-up; I think it’s pretty common in the net-lit world. It would solve your overload problem and pose no hardship for prospective niteblade contributors. With software tweaks it also could give you a very legit way to communicate with your reader/visitors. It’s not like you’re AT&T. You provide an invaluable service to the fantasy writer & reader communities, and I think writers know that and would not be turned off by being asked to sign up in order to submit.

  • Tracey Bjorksten says:

    Hi Rhonda,
    Some contributors may not love the idea of creating yet another account, but I think they will understand and be prepared to make the effort. It’s ultimately in authors’ best interest, after all!

  • Josh says:

    Hi Rhonda,

    I think a submission system is a good idea, not only for the reasons the other respondents have mentioned but because it makes it less likely that submissions or responses will get lost in the email.


  • Billy Wong says:

    That wouldn’t be too hard, it sounds acceptable to me… the only thing is, I don’t know if it would really cut down on the number of submissions that much. I mean if someone want to submit, wouldn’t they take the 2 minutes to create an account? It takes less time I’d think than re-formatting a story for some places.

  • Joshua Gage says:

    I think it’s actually EASIER to go through an account submission like this. I’d say go for it!

  • Bret Tallman says:

    My preference is simply through email and long response times are just a part of the deal with short fiction writing. That said, you should do whatever is convenient for *you* since you’re the one who has to go through it all. If that’s easier through email submissions, then writers will just have to be patient and wait; if that’s easier through an account system, then they’ll have to sign up.

  • Bill Burns says:

    I have to say I prefer the human touch no matter how much the rest of the world has automated. I liken this to the newer automated phone answering systems.
    Just because you have a technology that is more efficient, it does not follow that its more effective.
    As a writer I want to know someone is listening when I call.

  • Ash K. says:

    Broken record here: I agree that sub forms are a good idea.

    I’ve used submishmash as well as a slew of other accounts that seem to use the same submission wizard as The Baltimore Review. I like being able to log in and see if there’s been any activity on my submission.

    Besides, faster reading means faster yeses, right? Riiiight? =)

  • Agreed…they’re becoming the norm anymore, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask for someone to enter a few fields.

  • Jonathan says:

    It looks like I’m in the minority, but I hate sub forms. I don’t trust them and I don’t like the added hassle of having to create a user account to submit a story. I know that email isn’t a perfect system, but to me I get more of a “warm fuzzy” that an actual human being will receive the submission via email.

    Personally, I never submit to markets that use systems such as this. If Niteblade adopted a submission service or submission form, I would likely stop submitting my stories here.

  • Agreed. I always appreciate faster responses, and it sounds like it’d make your life a lot easier, too. Win-win!

  • Michael R. Fosburg says:

    I’d say go for it; submission forms streamline the process. Wouldn’t phase me, personally; it takes all of, what, two minutes to register? No biggie. Go for it.

  • Dylan Eccles says:

    I say go for it! Most people fill in a submission form of some description nowadays, whether it be for facebook, MSN, or some other such net based jolly. It takes minutes and ultimately can make things a lot easier.

  • Francis W. Alexander says:

    I have mixed feelings on this, yet, I’m for anything that keeps one of my most favorite editors from being, as your guidelines say, “cranky.” I agree with David, Sharon, and the others that if it makes your life easier, go for it. The system is kinda neat (for example, take Asimov’s) and yet generally, like Irv says, I don’t like them. My main reason is the passwords. I have over thirty pages of different passwords and I’m starting to use the same one because I’m tired of trying to find them when I need them. Then again, I won’t have to struggle with converting my poem from Word onto my AOL email which can be a hassel in inself, so I’d say go for it.

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