Irish publishers are not supporting Dublin based, Liberties Press on their introduction of a 100 euro charge for reading unsolicited submissions.
On their website, Liberties Press describe themselves as Ireland’s leading independent publisher. However, other Irish Publishers have not followed their lead.
The chairperson of Publishing Ireland, Ruth Hegarty has said that what Liberties Press are doing is against the spirit of the code of conduct which governs the relationship between author and publisher.
CHICKEN AND EGG
In introducing a fee-to-read policy Liberties Press are specifically targeting writers who are without an agent. Any writer will tell you how difficult it is to get an agent.
Agents often won’t represent writers who don’t have a publishing contract, so the whole thing becomes a bit chicken and egg.
Can’t get an agent without a publisher – can’t get a publisher without an agent. As if a writer’s life isn’t hard enough already.
Sean O’Keeffe of Liberties Press is unrepentant and has tweeted that the policy will not be changing. He apparently hopes this will deter writers from sending multiple submissions to publishers.
It seems that Mr O’Keeffe has never considered the fact that if publishers didn’t take so long to respond – sometimes up to a year, then writers wouldn’t have to make multiple submissions.
Writers know that they may have to make many submissions before finding a publisher. They frequently have to endure many rejections while they are waiting to be published.
Submitting to one publisher at a time could take years – why should writers have to waste years submitting their manuscript one a time. This is bad business and let’s not forget that writing is a business.
Mr. O’Keeffe went on to state that writers who pay the 100 euro submission fee will have their manuscript assessed by their readers and receive useful feedback.
I for one would be really interested to read this feedback and see how useful it is, but the thought of paying 100 euro for it goes against the grain for me.
DON’T DO IT
Sadly, I am sure that there will be many writers who will pay this. The danger is that the idea may prove so profitable that other Irish publishers follow suit.
So my advice to writers is – don’t do it.
Here’s what I recommend – find publishers who:
- Have manuscript submission guidelines on their website.
- Accept submissions.
- Publish work in your genre and type.
- Have a good reputation.
Google will bring all this information and more to your screen in seconds.
Good luck with your writing and your submissions.
Useful Information and Exercises for Writers