Writing Website Review: Wordhustler

So, I’ve mentioned Wordhustler many times in my blog; I read all their enewses, and I adore their comprehensive market listing of agents, publishers, and contests (which they’ll soon be expanding to include listings of editorial services). But even though I’ve been a member for over a year, last Friday was the first time I actually used their primary service: sending manuscripts out via the site.

Here’s how it works: you upload your projects to your dashboard on Wordhustler. When you’re ready to submit a project, you can hunt down markets and click the handy-dandy “submit to this market” button. From there, Wordhustler walks you through a wizard that allows you to select one of your uploaded projects, write or paste a cover letter, pay the fee(s) where applicable, and send that baby off. Wordhustler takes care of printing, packaging, postag-ing, and sending the manuscript, for a reasonable fee.

I used their service to submit to their Literary Storm Novel Contest, and there were a few things I really liked about it: the easy format of the wizard, the security of knowing that I wasn’t forgetting anything and that my submission was properly formatted for the market, and not having to deal with the mess of pages and envelopes and stamps strewn about the desk (or a trip to the post office). One thing I didn’t like was that, when WordHustler converted my Word docs to PDFs, the pagination came out slightly different. Not a big deal for the novel submission, but it bumped my carefully crafted one-page query over one page. So, for future reference: err on the short side when uploading queries to WordHustler, and double check submission paginations (i.e.: did your text get bumped down enough in the conversion to add pages? If so, you’ll both have to pay for those pages, and depending on how strict the market is about following their guidelines, you may jeopardize your chances of being seriously considered.

Now, I’m one of those people who balks at the idea of paying for anything online. One of my first thoughts when encountering WordHustler was something along the lines of, “Sweet! I have access to their markets for free, so I can use that information to send my own submission!” But since the Literary Storm Contest requires submission through them, I was forced to give it a try their way. And it’s a good way, especially if you’re a person who hates dealing with all the pesky details of submitting. Submitting is definitely my least favorite part of writing, so I just might let them ease the burden again in the future.