michael fitzgerald

Michael FitzGerald, one of the co-creators of Submishmash (I’m still basking in its awesomeness), put up a few notes justifying a $2-$3 submission fee. Overall, I agree with what he says, especially the point that paying $3 will make writers pay more attention to what they’re sending. It’s often clear that people are writing their best work and submitting — before it’s even a little good.

Is a $3 fee the filter we need?

I’m always surprised and impressed by the diversity of ideas at work in independent publishing. Here’s another one: Submishmash.

Not to get all Wired Magazine on you, but here I’ve done an interview that includes the words, “It’s a services-based MVC architecture. We mostly use open-source technologies (Subsonic, ASP.NET MVC, JQuery).”

See, for the last few years I’ve been managing Publishing Genius submissions through an email address that directed subs into my personal inbox, where I would use various labels to keep them straight. It was easy, so I figured it was a good solution.

But a couple months ago I stumbled across a service for managing subs called “Submishmash.” I liked the curious name, and it was free, so with an ounce of hesitation, I decided to check it out. Since it was in beta, I had to send an email off to the creators. A couple hours later, someone named Michael FitzGerald responded and set me up with an account. He even helped me out by inputting my guidelines from the PG site.

It took me a couple weeks to decide if I wanted to use the service. I had to do my “due diligence” and ask around, find out if they’re reputable. Also, I was worried that writers wouldn’t send their work if they had to deal with signing up for an account with Submishmash.

When I finally adopted the system, I was immediately surprised by how well Submishmash works. Not only did writing continue to flow in, it seems like I started getting more. I don’t know if this is accurate because my old, email-based system doesn’t give me any reports. Submishmash, however, has great analytics. It made receiving subs fun again.

Submission management systems aren’t new. Famously, One Story developed one and sold it to the CLMP. Theirs is a paid system, though, and I can’t afford that, so I have no idea how it works. But I also didn’t know how overwhelmed I was with my email solution, and how disorganized. What I do know, however, is that Submishmash has made my job exponentially easier. It’s intuitive and powerful. It’s packed with features for reading on the screen, automated responding, filtering and reporting. And best of all, at least for me – the developers are great people who know their business, and who know publishing.

I’ve asked Michael FitzGerald, who aside from being a programmer also wrote the novel Radiant Days, if I could interview him about the project. READ MORE >

Behind the Scenes & Technology / 54 Comments
April 21st, 2010 / 1:30 pm