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When discussing book publishing with various cohorts I am often asked. “Is there a publisher who would be interested in my book?” There is no etched-in-stone answer to this question. Why? There are over 20,000 publishers in 132 countries according to Publishers Global. Therefore, it is impossible to know what each one is looking for at any specific moment in time.
We do know that it would be a total waste of time and money to submit your manuscript or book proposal to all 20,000 publishers. However, you have to do your homework to improve your chances in the submission process. The tips below will help in making your research more thorough and effective.
Get The Facts On Publishing Houses. Are you allowed to submit your work to more than one publisher or is it wholly dependent on to whom you are sending it? In doing submissions I have found that each publishing house has its own rules when it comes to multiple submissions. At best you should become familiar with those rules. Another excellent source of information on publisher’s guidelines can be found in the 2023 Writer’s Market, published by Writer’s Digest.
The publisher might turn down your manuscript because…
As you review these resources you should also acknowledge what genres each company publishes and the types of manuscripts and proposals that pique their interest.
For those of us who are swift in thought while in your local bookstore, it would be quite beneficial to look at books that are similar to yours. In doing so it would behoove you to take note of the book’s publisher as well as the agent and editor who handled the book. And if you are wondering where to find this information — it can usually be found in the acknowledgments. The publisher might turn down your manuscript because they have that “been there done that got the tee shirt and the hat” attitude. But then again, if the company has had previous successes with similar subject matter they just might be scouring the desert of manuscripts in hopes of finding more than the same!
Finding An Agent. In scouring your research you may find publishers who are the right for you don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. This is the precursor to your necessity of an agent so you will have to begin your submissions to literary agencies. If this is the exception to the rule the 2006 Guide to Literary Agents is a great place to begin your search. Writer’s Digest also publishes this extensive book which lists more than 400 non-fee charging agents.
And if you are concerned about being scammed all the listed agents in the guide must adhere to the ethical guides established by the Association of Author’s Representatives (AAR) You see, members of AAR are forbidden to charge fees. By using this Guide to Literary Agents you have the security of knowing the agent you’re dealing with is legitimate and simultaneously gaining the understanding of what type of materials the agent represents. Thereby automatically eliminating the submission of your manuscript on a fruitless and costly mission.
Thank you for your continued readership and support. Until the conclusion next week…Blessings and Peace!
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