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The Big Book of Small Presses & Independent Publishers, subtitled Small presses, book contests, university presses, and independent publishers for “unagented” authors by Marylee MacDonald, is a valuable tool for authors who have been ignored by the big presses and agents who sell to them. This book lists over 300 small and independent presses that read manuscripts from unagented authors. Sometimes these presses require a query letter before deciding if they want to see your manuscript. Sometimes they want you to enter a contest. Sometimes, their staff is open all year to look at their specific types of manuscripts.
The Big Book of Small Presses & Independent Publishers has all the instructions and appropriate websites for accessing each of the presses they list. Marylee has sold both fiction and non-fiction books. Here she has compiled a wide selection of presses, so that other authors may do the same. Since this is an ebook, it is easy to search for all the presses that might be of interest. I did a search for “graphic novels” and found two presses that publish books similar to what I’ve been writing, and one press that specifically does not want what I’m writing. This is all useful information. The press information not only lists the types of manuscripts each press seeks, but it also tells you which types they are looking for right now. So, if they sometimes print middle-grade novels, but don’t want them right now, you can save yourself the trouble of contacting them. Also, some presses have word length requirements. If your story is too long or too short, again you can save yourself the trouble. All of this information has two goals: to help authors find the right press for their books and help publishers avoid spending time looking at books that aren’t right for them. Marylee MacDonald has done a service to the publishing industry.