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How to Submit your Manuscript

You have written your book and you are ready to send the manuscript to a publishing house, but how do you do this? The first thing to remember is that every publisher will have different rules and requirements for submission so read these carefully before you start. If the manuscript you send does not meet their stated requirements, then in all likelihood it will not be considered. So follow the rules.

You also need to make sure that the publisher matches the genre that your book fits into, so it is no use sending a horror novel submission to a poetry publisher; this is simply a waste of your valuable time. Some examples of genre include contemporary and historical novels. Know what genre or indeed genres your book is written in.

The next major thing to ask is do they accept unsolicited manuscripts? If they do, fine, but if not you need to find yourself an agent to represent you.

It is also very beneficial to send your manuscript to a named editor at the publishing house of your choice. This is not really a ‘written rule’ but can help you get noticed. There are ways and means of finding out the names of editors who are on staff and one way is by conducting a search on the Literary Market Place.

Send in only the materials requested. So if the manuscript is requested, send in that. If they want an additional query letter and synopsis send that in too. Do not, under any circumstances, send in additional material that has not been requested as it will not be read and this will greatly disadvantage you. Remember that they are inundated with submissions. Do not jeopardize your chances.

When writing a query letter, this is basically a one-page letter that describes your story and who you are. Do not include anything else, keep it short and simple.

A synopsis, if you need to submit one, is a brief summary of your story that should include the plot, characters and the conflicts that arise.

What is important to look out for when finding a publisher is if they accept multiple submissions. That is, will they look at your manuscript if you have sent it to other publishers at the same time? Many publishing houses out there will not accept multiple submissions. If you do send your manuscript to a publisher who does accept multiple submissions, it is still polite to state on your cover letter that your manuscript is currently being considered by other publishers.

Most of the big publishing houses only accept paper submissions and therefore it is important that you submit a professional looking manuscript. Appearance is everything. Firstly, use good quality paper. It should also be typed in an easily readable font such as Times New Roman. Before you submit, you should also check your work for any spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. As already stated, first impressions are important.