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Will Entrekin on professionalism issues related to editor/writer correspondence.

Wil Shetterly links to the article and offers his views.

A discussion follows.

Nicked from slapfights, your online source of energetic discourse.

I am a little baffled by "If an editor rejects you, the only proper response is to send that editor another submission." That's a response but what if it's clear that that the set of things you will ever write does not overlap with the set of things the editor will ever buy? What are you accomplishing by sending them more work? It just ties the material up for the duration of a rejection cycle.

Digression: How does ownership of the words in letters work again? IIRC the physical document belongs to the person who receives it but who owns the actual words? I know how it works in the UK because of the Diana letters but not how it works in Canada or the US.

[Added later: and how does this apply to email, where there's not really anything physical involved, aside from the medium on which the email is stored?]

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You should have a ranked list of editors to send a given work to. The ones most likely to accept it (and the ones who pay the most) ought to be at the top. The ones less likely to accept it get it much later, when the choice is between sending it to them or leaving it in a drawer.

If an editor rejects everything you've sent so far, that isn't a reason never to send him anything else. It is a reason not to send him stuff first.

If you can estimate the probabilities accurately, that approach gives the least time to sale. Especially for newer writers, and especially with the newer editors, I'm doubtful how accurate the estimates will be

On the other hand, it was widely suggested in the magazine era, and from various memoirs it sounds like the advice was widely used, to send things to markets in order of decreasing payment scale. At least you know the payment scales accurately. This would result in the highest achievable price, but probably a longer time to sale. Clearly there was *some* "who might buy this" factor in place, since not everybody always started with the Saturday Evening Post; they started with Campbell.

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