Do you know the difference between simultaneous article submissions and multiple submissions?
This is something that trips up new writers, and some more seasoned individuals.
A travel writer I knew sent the same feature length article to two leading newspapers without letting the editors know. Unfortunately, both publications printed the article on the same day. What do you think this does to your reputation?
Immediately the writer's name was put on the list of unreliable contributors and she received a "do not send articles to us again" letter.
Simultaneous submissions relates to sending the same article to more than one publication. The word means at the same time; synchronised, concurrent, coinciding.
Please read this next paragraph carefully, because it will make a big difference to your success.
It is impossible to send the same article or exactly the same idea to more than one magazine because each article or idea should be specifically targeted to a particular publication. The same article will not perfectly fit into both Magazine X and Magazine Y, as each publication has its own style and readership.
Multiple submissions relates to sending a query that consists of more than one idea, or sending more than one article, at the same time, to the same publication. The word means having several or many parts, elements or individual components.
A problem with multiple submissions is you cannot copyright an idea. The way to ensure your ideas cannot be poached is to write a substantial synopsis. Four or five paragraphs in your query letter will constitute a "substantial" description.
For this reason it may not be practical to submit one query to an editor that contained four ideas as the letter/email would be long and this may result in a rejection because the editor simply didn't have enough time to read the query.
In this case it is best to restrict your query to one or two ideas, so you can showcase them properly.
Barb Clews is an award winning journalist with nearly 1,000 published articles to her credit. She has been a writer and editor for 15 years and is the author of "Article Writing for Freelancers" and "20 Tips to Increase Writing Skills" Visit http://www.bcabooks.com/ to subscribe to "Words that Work", Barb's monthly ezine packed with tips for writers.