If you were unemployed, what would be a better use of your time, sending out 100 unedited resumes to different positions, many wildly outside of your skill set, or sending out five targeted resumes to positions that are a match for you based on your skills, experience, and possibly even contacts within the company?
The answer to this rhetorical question is obvious.
The same rule applies when submitting to literary journals, agents, or publishers.
It really is not in your best interest to submit your writing everywhere. Why?
1. It shows a lack of respect for the agent, publisher, or literary magazine. You’re expecting them to work with you, but you’re not spending even the slightest bit of time finding out what they’re about. If you think about it, it’s a pretty classless move.
2. It can seriously damage your reputation. Even if your writing improves dramatically, once you’re inside, you’ll realize that the literary game is a small world. You don’t want people remembering you as the aspiring writer who carelessly sent work out to everyone in the industry.
3. It will bruise your ego. Facing countless rejections without any acceptances mixed in will hurt. That’s not to say that you won’t get rejected if you strategize, but you’ll mix those rejections with more than a few acceptances.
So, how do you research publishers, agents, or literary magazines?
With that information at your fingertips, you can begin the process of researching good fits for your writing.