Email took a lot of abuse in the past. It was used rather unprofessionally. As business has started to make itself known on the internet and the web that has started to change. Either way, you need to be professional and you need to take your email submissions just as seriously as you would your submissions sent by U.S. Mail
Cover Letters and Proofreading
You may want to write a short cover letter in your email along with either your document containing your manuscript or above your manuscript, which is pasted in the email. Most publications will give you an idea of how they expect the electronic mail to be delivered. Your cover letter should generally be brief with a bio and credit listings, but some publications may want more information. Check the guidelines if you are attaching a word processor document and make sure the publication will be able to read your document. Also, be sure to give the publication a way of getting back with you if they need to. Email addresses can change so be sure you have one you feel is fairly stable as the response time of publications varies widely. As far as proofreading goes, an extraordinarily large number of publications will expect you to have proofread your submission and have removed obvious errors. A manuscript full of spelling and punctuation errors can taint your reputation with most editors just as blind email submissions can.
Reading Guidelines and Previously Published Material
The most important thing to remember is to follow the guidelines of the publication you are submitting to. Blind submissions are not a good idea. They are not considered good etiquette, can give you a bad reputation with the editor and have a very low success rate.
It is also a good idea to read some material the publication has already published. The publication will want original work, but this is a great way to get a feel for the publication. Editors encourage you to read their guidelines and read material they have published previously.
On Simultaneous Submissions
Since simultaneous submissions are even easier to do on the web because of email, it is important to discuss this. You should tell the editor that you have also submitted your work elsewhere for possible publication. While most publications will probably accept simultaneous submissions there are certainly some that do not. Check the guidelines and if you can not find a restriction you should be okay submitting this way as long as you let the editor know about it. You can query the editor if you want an absolute answer before submitting.
When your manuscript is accepted for publication, you should immediately notify all other publications. Contact them with an email and let them know you are removing your manuscript for possible publication as it is being published elsewhere. This is just being considerate as it is unneeded work for the editor to continue to review your work and possibly reject potential manuscripts from being accepted while your work has been accepted elsewhere in the meantime.
One of the most important things you will do, is tracking the many submissions you send out and what happens to them. You will want to keep track of them. This can be anything from a simple list on a sheet of notebook paper to a document on a spreadsheet to a web page devoted to tracking your submissions.
The more organized the better, so we have created a page on this that lets you in on a simple recording system you can do yourself. Click here for the Triple Tracking Method.
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