An interesting, utterly unpredicted side effect of our September transition to electronic submissions is that we’ve noticed far more international submissions than we used to get on paper. Sucker that I am for number-crunching, I just ran a quick query on our submission database to see if this is really the case. It turns out, yes, there’s really been a marked increase.
During our September 2006 - May 2007 reading period, during which we only accepted print submissions, 2,673 authors submitted work to us. Ninety seven percent of these authors live in the United States. One percent live in Canada. A total of thirty two countries are represented.
From September 2007 through today (or just 41% of the prior period), the span during which we’ve accepted only electronic submissions, 1,591 new authors submitted work to us. (The 278 authors who submitted work during the prior year are not counted here.) Just 91% of those authors are the U.S. Two percent are from Canada. Just under one percent are British, and about the same number are Indian. A total of fifty countries are represented, a 56% increase from the prior year. That comes to, proportionally, a 265% increase in international submissions.
The newly-represented countries are Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, the Slovak Republic, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, The Gambia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates.
Because we only publish four times annually, it’s too early to say what the effect of this will be. If we don’t accept any work from these countries, I’d feel like we’re wasting their time. But if we increase the rate at which we publish work by extra-U.S. authors at the same or greater rate that their submissions have increased, I’d have to conclude that this has been an entirely worthwhile side effect.