Submitting your manuscript to a publisher is scary. Will they like it? Will this be it? Will I finally be a published author? Many times authors find themselves submitting over and over again but never receiving anything more than a rejection letter.
Before You Submit is a small series of things you should do before sending off your hard work to a publisher. It may save a lot of heartache.
Research the Publisher or Publishers:
One critical thing to understand is that no to publishing companies or houses are the same. The editors, the people behind the submission reading, all go through the same thing. Submission after submission that did not follow their guidelines. Many editors and companies do not respond to those stories that they reject, which can be very hard to take. Others are kind enough to let you know that they will not be moving forward with your story. This at least lets you know you can move on and try another company.
But before you do, you should stop yourself and ask “Why was I rejected?”
Many times authors do not realize that not adhering to publishers guidelines will result in automatic rejection. There are websites that make it great for authors to find publishers by compiling them in a list with some information about the publisher. Many times these websites include both the submissions email and the website.
Don’t submit right away.
- What does the publisher request?
- How many pages does the publisher request? First three chapters? 50 pages?
- Verify the acceptable list of genres by the publisher.
- Research about what the company is about. (try to include a little bit about that in your cover letter)
- Find the submission reader’s name. Address your email to them.
- If the publisher asks for no attachments, DO NOT ATTACH ANYTHING. (This is many times the reason of a rejection)
From the publisher’s point of view:
If the author can’t follow directions when submitting, then why would I want to work with them any further?
Submission guidelines are not there just to be ignored.
Before You Submit: Understanding What It Takes