Dear Miss Snark,
I was bouncing and flouncing my way around the web this morning looking at various publisher websites and came across one that I thought would be a very good fit for my novel. Reading their submission guidelines they do accept queries directly, and since I dont have an agent (yet) I was considering sending a query. Then I came to the last two points of their submission guidelines:
8. Please allow at least four to six months for your manuscript to be considered. If you haven't heard from us after four months, and wish to make sure your manuscript got here, please write a letter stating the genre, the date of submission, and the title of the manuscript, rather than calling. We will respond promptly.
9. We do not accept simultaneous submissions.
Now, the 4-6 month thing I can handle - they are busy, they have a lot of stuff to review. But... the last point about not taking simultaneous submissions - does this mean they honestly expect me to basically put my novel into "Literary Limbo" for six months and not send it out to anybody else for representation.
Am I misreading something here because this seems a bit much to me. How bad would it be to send to this company but still seek representation elsewhere. They have published some quality books from some well-known authors, but the time frame still seems ridiculous to me.
If it takes this long to review a submission, fine. You email the author before you start reading and ask for a five day exclusive if it's still available. You take your chances some better organized, more efficient, smarter, hungrier company beat you to the punch. (spiked punch of course).
This isn't just ludicrous, it's disrespectful.
It's also the hallmark of a company that doesn't have confidence you'll choose them over anyone else. I NEVER ask for exclusives and most of my fellow agent buddies don't either. I figure if you want to work with me I'd better be able to tell you why I am a great agent for your book and what I bring to the table that those other sloths in the industry do not. I specifically do not want to sign anyone who hasn't queried elsewhere. That's the fastest way in the world to get a client with buyer's remorse the second something goes awry (and the first rule of publishing is that EVERYTHING goes awry).
If you queried me about a novel that was tied up for four to six months, I'd probably pass. I like to sell my clients' work, not watch it grow mold.