It's IWSG day......thanks, Alex. In spite of all the talk I do about my WIPs, my ideas, my manuscripts, and all that I'm-serious-about-getting-a-book-out-there-someday kind of chatter, the truth is, I have only sent out completed manuscripts for consideration to a very small number of industry professionals. I can count the number of official "I'm laying my soul at your feet" submissions with fingers on one hand.
A lot of writers do simultaneous submissions, and that's cool. But I tend to be more slow and selective when it comes to submissions. I like to know who I'm sending my stuff to. I prefer sending stuff to someone I've either researched or have had some previous interaction with, someone who can offer me a vibe from our meeting that there is potential for a fruitful agent or editor relationship. Fortunately, I've met so many lovely agents and editors.
I also dread the thought of sending out manuscripts to 100 people, and weeks later, when my eyes gloss over my work, I see a glaring and blatant error. It would seem unprofessional to send a follow-up "Read-this-MS-instead-and-not-the-other-MS-I'd-just-sent-with-the-boo-boos"...and to those same 100 people again....the horror.
The final reason why I don't do simultaneous submissions is because I don't want my name to be recognized on mailing envelopes or inbox emails as that person who keeps sending queries or manuscripts that all the agents and editors keep passing on. Oh, it's that Cynthia once again, sending yet another tiring query/complete manuscript/first chapter. I wonder if agents and editors who routinely get stuff from the same writers they keep passing on eventually develop a conscious or unconscious expectation that all future submissions from that individual would not be worth a second look. So this takes me back to an earlier point- I like to know who I'm sending my stuff to. That way, I can be assured that the material is suited to the reader's interests.
Do you do simultaneous submissions? Why or why not?