So I recently came across Word Hustler in my web-wanderings. It’s something of a novelty, I think. There are dozens of sites which give you submission information for various publishers, agents and magazines. This is the first site I’ve seen that will actually send your work for you. That’s right. Word Hustler is a mailing service for writers.
I should be clear: it isn’t just a mailing service. There’s thousands of markets and contests listed that you can use for free. That’s right. You can actually get all the market info for free! I was really astounded at that little perk. I’ve trolled through some of the listings and they’re pretty complete, along with links to web sites when applicable. Agents aren’t left out either. If you search through agents, you not only get all the regular contact info and what they’re looking for, you also get their client list, which isn’t always readily available at other information aggregate sites.
The unique thing that Word Hustler does is send out your submissions. For a price, they’ll print your Great American (or any other cultural group) Novel (or short story, or non-fiction book proposal), include your cover letter, a return post card, if you wish and package it all up nice and professional-like. Then they’ll send it to the markets/agents of your choice from their database or you can specify any address you wish (including your own).
So what’s the cost, you ask? It ranges from $.99 (under 4 pages) to $8.99 (50 pages) and .10/page after 50. It includes postage, tracking and SASEs. This can get pretty steep when you’re talking about 350 page books going out to a dozen editors. But for short stories, queries and even contests, this may be economical if you’ve got more money than time and you don’t want to mess with the hassle of getting everything formatted correctly. Check out the price list.
Oh, and when I signed up, I got a code for a free submission, so I’ll give it a try and see what happens. At the very least, that 3000 market database is going to get some good use!
So what do you think? Is it worthwhile to pay a service to send your ms? Making the assumption a service is trustworthy, are there reasons why you wouldn’t use it?