Be upfront with editors if you are sending the same piece to multiple publications
When submitting an article to a magazine it’s a good practice to inform them if it’s a simultaneous submission, that is, if you’re sending it to others for consideration at the same time.
Making simultaneous submissions is like dating multiple people at the same time. If you are honest and careful, it can work, but if you’re not, someone will be hurt in the process.
If you submit your article to two magazines and both publish it in the same month, then it will look like one copied the other or that neither is interested in providing unique content. Both publishers will be upset with you and your chances of working with either in the future are unlikely. If you do simultaneously submit articles, make sure you inform each magazine you are doing so.
Better still is to submit your article to one first, then consider others later.
If the first publication doesn’t accept your submission, then you can immediately submit to a second. If the first magazine does accept it—assuming you only gave them, “first-rights” to use it—wait until after it is published before considering other magazines. (The first publication will often prefer you wait a certain length of time before you approach other periodicals.)
When submitting an article to someone new, you should indicate where else it’s been published if the piece is essentially unchanged from the original. However, if you repurpose it or sufficiently rework it, there should be no reason to note prior publication.
Following these steps when you submit articles (this doesn’t apply to press releases) is the professional way to do so and will save everyone much frustration.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.