I recently received a further consideration from a publisher that included what can best be termed an escape clause, and it prompted me to ask the following question. When should you, if ever, pass on a publication that is obviously interested in your story?
First, the letter:
I love this story! I have short-listed it. And it’s a short list.
Would you mind if I held on to this story until the close of submissions, February 1st? We just opened and we’ll receive a lot more submissions.
This is a great further consideration letter, and I’m thrilled the editor digs the story. He’s also given me the option of pulling my story if I don’t want to wait until February. That’s a very considerate and professional thing to do, and I appreciate it. I really want to see this story in this particular anthology, so I don’t mind waiting, and I communicated that to the editor. Hopefully, my story survives the winter.
Though I decided to be patient and wait for this editor to make a decision, it left me wondering: Under what circumstances might I have pulled a story when given that option by a publisher? Obviously, if I submitted a story to a publisher, it’s because I want to see my story published with them, and I usually don’t have an issue with waiting, especially if the editor is very communicative and upfront like this one. I really tried to come up with a reason I would pull a story in a situation like this, but I kept coming back to the fact that a foot in the door with one publisher is almost always better than a cold submission to another. That said, here are a two plausible(ish) reasons you might pull a story when it’s under consideration
Personally, if I get a further consideration letter like the one above, I’m going to wait. Though an enthusiastic response like this one isn’t a sure thing, I like my chances. Couple that with a perfectly reasonable wait time, and I can’t see a real reason to pull the story.
I’d love to hear from my fellow writers about this one. Would you pull a story in this situation or one like it? If you would or have done so in the past, tell me about it in the comments.