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James Barclay
April 30th, 2002, 03:23 AM
Further down this board, we were discussing turnaround times for submissions by publishing houses. Well, for those concerned about the length of turnaround time, I talked to my publisher about it and here are a couple of stats.

In the last 15 months alone, he has received over 300 submissions (from agents and unsolicited). And that's just those addressed to him by name. There are three editors there plus of course many more unsolicited works come in simply addressed to 'The Editor.'

Even if you assume the total into the department is a rather conservative 1000 in 15 months, that's still an average of 2 submissions every day of the year.

You also have to bear in mind that only part of an Editor's job is reading new stuff and you start to get the picture even more clearly. And next, most publishers cannot afford to use freelance readers for unseen work - profit margins simply aren't that big and the commercial reality and rule-of-thumb is that established authors make more money for a publisher than new ones.

My editor also mentioned, by the way, that he would expect people to be submitting unsolicited material to multiple publishers. He doesn't want to know for definite, but he expects it to happen nonetheless - it's another reality.

I'm not trying to put anyone off and this is just one publisher in the UK but I suspect it's a similar tune in other houses across the world.

The point is, people wanting to be published need to know what they're up against. And that's why catching the eye of the publisher immediately is so important.

If people are interested, I could try and get an interview with him on what he feels are the best tips for getting published and give an insight into the workings of a leading SF&F publishers in the UK. Let me know by replying to this message or dropping me a quick email.

Lastly, don't be disheartened. Yes it's tough but new authors are published every year.


Steven Savile
April 30th, 2002, 05:56 AM
Just curious NOM, but is this Simon Spanton or Peter Lavery or John Jarrold? (Just trying to work out if you are someone I've read http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif )

April 30th, 2002, 06:56 AM
Yes, I would be very interested in what your publisher might have to say in an interview! I am not in the UK, but I'm sure that things are similar in the US. I have never tried to publish anything I have written, but I am considering it and could use any tips. (I have learned a lot here, already, but more is always good!)


ps--I, too, am curious, NOM! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

James Barclay
April 30th, 2002, 08:23 AM
Simon Spanton is my editor though I have met both Peter and John many times.

Steven Savile
April 30th, 2002, 01:23 PM
NOM are you the BARCLAY boy by any chance? In which case we watched Mr Taylor destroy a lot of books together in Waterstones a while back, along with Chadders and Steve Erickson...

Steven Savile
April 30th, 2002, 01:25 PM
It IS the Barclay boy - How the devil are you... we met again.

James Barclay
April 30th, 2002, 01:58 PM
Would you believe it - Mr Savile, how excellent to hear from you.

I am extremely well, things motoring along just fine right now - how's the land of England's football manager these days? And what are you up to? (Feel free to use the email address top of the page if you want...)

Steven Savile
May 4th, 2002, 12:54 PM
Okay Mr Barclay, you got me fuddled... I am staring at the top of the page and can't see no stinkin' email address http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif Tried it from your site, if not, I'm on stevesavile@email.com, nice and easy... drop me a line, matey and I can moan about the Gooners winning the FA Cup, Sol bloody Campbell boo bleedin hiss... (bitter Lillywhite boy here)

May 4th, 2002, 07:20 PM
Ah well... there goes the best kept open secret on the forum!!! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

I amazed me that nobody caught on sooner. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

May 5th, 2002, 12:23 AM
Arsenal won the final!!! Yay!!!