If you’re a writer and submit to literary magazines, chances are you’ve heard of Submittable. Submittable, formerly known as Submishmash, is a cloud-based submission management system that takes the pain out of the process. Created in 2010 by “novelist Michael FitzGerald, filmmaker Bruce Tribbensee, and musician John Brownell,” Submittable saves publishers both time and money.
For Writers, Publishers, and Businesses
I’ve used Submittable both as a writer and to manage submissions for my magazine, Scintilla. From a writer’s perspective, it beats printing out a manuscript, including a self-addressed stamped envelope, and swinging by the post office. The submission process can be a barrier. And, there’s something about that old process which makes it even harder for a new writer. It’s more of an act, a long series of moments where your doubts may consume you. Besides, no one likes dealing with printers and buying ink cartridges. Submittable also allows writers to see the status of their submissions to any publication that uses the service.
Publishers can quickly brand their instance of Submittable and set up separate workflows for types of submissions. Poems can be funneled to the poetry editor, fiction to the fiction editor and so on. Images and video can also be submitted. Even better, there’s a WordPress plugin so you can tie submittable directly into your WordPress site. You can check out an example at Scintilla Press.
One recent upgrade is a resume manager for businesses.
Let’s Talk Money
The great thing about Submittable is that the price scales with no longterm contracts. For independent publishers the service is free. The free package permits two users access and limits the number of free submissions to 100 per month. Last I checked there wasn’t a limit on paid submissions. While there is controversy regarding reading fees, a publisher can help defray costs with a fee of $2 to $3. For larger operations, the monthly pricing ranges from $10 to $100.
Wonderful, But I Judge a Service on Who’s Using It, Not How Great It Is
Relevancy for Educators and Librarians
The cost to start an open-access journal is low. While Submittable was initially created with literary magazines in mind, the service has grown up. The type of publication doesn’t matter. Every journal or magazine needs to deal with receiving, managing, and responding to submissions. By using an architecutre like WordPress, one may create an open-access publication like the Code4Lib Journal or Scintilla and easily manage the submission process. It’s far cheaper and more customizable than Bepress’s Digital Commons. Moreover, if your institution is hosting a contest, whether it be in writing, film or research proposals, Submittable can be used for that as well.
If you want to learn more about how to use Submittable, turn your attention to Submittable’s blog for a few video tutorials.
Do you use Submittable? If so, what have been your experiences? Besides what’s outlined here are there any creative ways you’ve used the service?