I submit to the proper authorities, which is to say, none of them. I submit ideas to my audience/friends and family on social networks and blogs. But to this point, with the exception of a poetry.com incident and a couple of dreadful entries in my college literary magazine, I do not submit my work anywhere else for consideration of publishing.
The main reason for this is that I haven’t yet produced anything that I consider publishable. Not much to say there.
But I have started looking into small presses where I might submit work someday. Presses and publishing houses are a subject of much more interest to me as a writer than me as a reader; now, at The Dusty Bookshelf, I glance down the row of books for publishers I trust, rather than a limited smattering of authors and titles already in my acquaintance. I know that a book from Verso or Haymarket Press is probably worth my time. Poetry from New Directions usually merits a glance, if not intensive study. For fiction, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux publishes several of the authors I enjoy.
I don’t believe that the rise of e-books spells the end of traditional publishing, nor that the demise of traditional publishing would necessarily be disastrous for writers and readers. But I do hope my favorite small presses can continue to do their important work of connecting niche markets with niche writers, and helping the writers and editors involved at least make enough to eat or to supplement a day job.
When I do revise some of my work to a satisfactory level, I would probably submit to PM Press, an anarchist press that is more sympathetic to spirituality than most; Ice Cube Press, which is out of Iowa and focuses on Midwestern writing; or my church’s publishing house, depending on the nature of that work. (I mean, I would submit to these guys first, then pray a lot, and bite my nails while the inevitable rejection letters rolled in and I tried to find other presses of possibility.) In the meantime, I support the heck out of them with my book buying. They need to stay in business a few more years!
Otherwise, where will I submit?