Submittable – Good for Writers…or Not?

Submittable – Good for Writers…or Not?

Many online publishers and even magazines are using Submittable (previously called Submishmash) to collect queries and manuscripts from freelance writers. Is this site a good deal for writers? We don’t think so.

At WritersWeekly, we receive numerous query letters and manuscripts each week. We use an online contact form on our website. It’s not hard. Our Managing Editor, Brian Whiddon, fields those queries, and sends rejections and acceptance letters. When someone’s query is accepted, he copies and pastes a form acceptance letter with our terms and, voila, the job is done. Easy peasy!

I’m not sure why any firm would want to login to a third-party website, and thumb through a database of submissions. Submittable’s Basic program for publishers is currently $999. OUCH!! Oh, sure, they have lots of bells and whistles but I’ve never been one to make a simple process more complex…no matter how pretty the computer screen can look in the process.

Here’s the problem for writers.

When using Submittable, publications can charge writers a fee to submit (the minimum is $2.00) a query or manuscript. Or, they can choose not to charge a fee. Submittable itself will charge the publisher 99 cents per submission + 5% of the fee the publisher charges writers. This may prompt publishers to charge writers even more money in order to pay that fee to Submittable.

So, now it makes sense why some publishers are using Submittable. They can PROFIT from every submission from writers!

In WritersWeekly’s Paying Markets column, we blacklist publications that charge reading fees. Writers should never be charged to have their query or manuscript considered for publication. When we do mistakenly publish a paying market that has a hidden reading fee that we didn’t previously catch (hey, it happens…), we immediately remove that market when one of our readers reports that to us. WE LOVE OUR READERS!!

If more writers refuse to pay reading fees, fewer publishers will charge them. As more writers fall into the reading-fee trap, the more greedy publishers will become.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. DO NOT PAY READING FEES.


Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises. - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

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See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.


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Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE

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2 Responses to "Submittable – Good for Writers…or Not?"

  1. Pamela Allegretto  November 20, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you for always keeping author up to speed on what’s what. Cheers!

  2. Richard Atwood  November 20, 2020 at 5:37 am

    For the most part, I don’t believe fiction or non-fiction publishers charge reading fees for mss. But that is not the way for poetry. You will not be able to submit to 90% or so journals anywhere without being charged a submission fee. And when it comes to submitting book length poetry mss. the cost is way much higher; usually they only allow submissions due to a contest or award they are running, so just plain submissions otherwise are not a usual occurrence. But one magazine went way over the top and is now charging $6.50 to submit your batch of maybe 5 poems! Forget it. When they do things like that, I pass. Not to mention, for the most part, I and the literati do not get along. And I think such things as POETRY magazine and most of those lofty journals are a disgrace and a disgust for what used to be called the genre of “poetry,” anyway. No wonder most people won’t read it anymore.