Pet Peeve: Downloadable Guidelines

I keep track of guidelines for various publications that accept freelance submissions. That RSS feed in the side bar of new markets is basically the list I keep in order to make searching for new markets simple.

But I have a pet peeve when it comes to guidelines: I really dislike websites that use .doc or .pdfs for their guidelines. I dislike having to download anything from sites I don’t know really well. If it was hard to post text to the web, I’d be a little more understanding, but the fact is that I just don’t like it.

I’ll download submission guidelines only if I know that I have something that’s certain to fit in a given market. If it’s a market that I rarely, if ever, have a story that might match, I’ll ignore the guidelines entirely and move on. Sure, with a little thought, I could probably come up with something to fit most markets, but I concentrate on writing for markets that make it easy to do so.

Do you have any pet peeves about working with freelance markets? I’m in the mood for a little griping today, before I get back down to business.


  1. Steve Davis   •  

    I hate sites that don’t allow similtaneous submissions. They expect the writer to submit to them and wait 6 months before querying or submitting the article to someone else. Give me a break. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with the practice providing you tell them and that if you sell the article somewhere else you let them know right away.


  2. Oktober Five   •  

    I’m no freelancer, but any site that makes you download a doc or pdf in order to get the info you’re looking for is annoying.

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