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9 Important Details To Remember When Submitting A Manuscript To A Publisher

Writing and submitting a manuscript for consideration can be a labour of love, effort and determination. It can also be a study in patience, as many authors experience many rejections before they are successful. Getting all the details right when submitting a manuscript is crucial to give it the best chance of success.

Authors should prepare carefully to submit a manuscript and ensure they have thought of everything before they press send. It is also important to submit to a range of publishers who specialise in the kind of work being presented. Making a shortlist of publishers to submit to can be an excellent way to increase your chances of success.

Proofread Thoroughly

A manuscript should be as error-free as possible when it is submitted to a publisher. Authors should do at least one read-through of the manuscript and more if time allows. Having friends or relatives read through can also be invaluable to get a fresh perspective on the content. There is also proofreading software that can be invaluable to authors who may struggle with getting spelling and grammar right every time.

Research The Publisher

Every publisher has rules and requirements on how a manuscript should be presented. Failing to follow a publisher’s specific rules can result in a manuscript being passed over, so research at this stage is critical. Authors should follow the instructions to a tee and have their work checked by someone with fresh eyes.

The publishers chosen should also specialise in the type of manuscript written. For instance, avoid sending a novel to a publisher that primarily deals in non-fiction. Review a publisher’s catalogue carefully to ensure they are the right fit for the manuscript.

Look For An Agent

An agent can be invaluable for an author, as they can help them navigate the often-complex process of submitting a manuscript. Authors will need to choose an agent who has connections with notable publishing houses and has experience representing the type of work being submitted. Getting a good agent can make all the difference in an author’s chances of being published.

Have Patience

Being patient is often the most challenging part of the publishing process. It takes time for a publisher to read through manuscripts and decide whether they want to go ahead with the full book. Most authors will receive a few rejections before they get accepted, so it is vital to be aware that this is all part of the process.

Ensure The File Isn’t Too Large

In previous years, hardcopy manuscripts were the primary choice of many submitting authors, but thanks to the rise of the digital age most submissions are received digitally now. This means it is critical that the file you send to a publisher isn’t too large, as this can make sending and receiving the file more challenging. Most publishers don’t like manuscripts to take up too much room in storage, so knowing how to compress your files can be invaluable.

Don’t Send The Entire Manuscript – Unless Specifically Requested

Publishers often only want to see a shorter excerpt from the manuscript rather than the whole thing. The number of words required will usually be specified in their publishing instructions, so authors should select an excerpt to submit with care.

Get Involved With The Writing Community

Getting active in the writing community can be a great way to network and improve an author’s odds of getting published. The more connections an author has in the writing community, the more likely they are to get an agent and recommendations from already-published authors. The publishing industry is like any other, and who you know can often have more benefits than what you know.

Learn From Other Writers

There is a long list of now world-famous authors who were rejected by publishers – often again and again, which is why authors often submit their book to multiple agents. Looking at successful authors who have overcome rejection can be a great way to keep hope and boost determination.

Rejection is a natural part of the authorship process, as what appeals to one set of eyes might not appeal to others, making the whole process highly subjective. Authors who are tempted to give up on their dream after a few knockbacks should always look over the list of famous authors to give them hope.

Consider Self-Publishing

Authors who have yet to see success often turn to self-publishing as a way to get their manuscripts out there. Self-publishing is increasingly popular for anyone with the means to get their book published. It is also suited to people of all budgets, with exclusively digital books being the most cost-effective.

Authors who want to publish hardcopy in addition to e-books will need to factor in the cost of printing and binding, so it is often best to publish an e-book first to see what the demand for the book will be.

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