Tips on submitting your books to publishers


#1

Does anyone have tips on submitting manuscripts of books to publishers?

I have never submitted queries to publishers. Has anyone done so?

Has anyone pitched any ideas to any establishment at all? ie,. scripts of their work… Please share your tips

I find that when they open call for submissions on social media like twitter it has been good so author are notified of opportunities. But what they ask for is more than a blurb,… and waiting time is unknown for them to reply.


#2

You need a good agent. And where I stay, they focus, give importance to the author with a strong following and with A 1 marketing strategies.


#3

You need a query package which is usually the query letter and a full synopsis. The length of the synopsis is up for debate because some want only a page while others are often open to more, so it’s good to have both available. I’m still struggling with trying to get a good synopsis together myself so can’t be much help there, but it basically is a blurb that spoils the ending and any major plot twists.

The query letter introduces you and any writing credits you might have while also having a short blurb about the book. Again, still learning how to do these so that’s about all the help I can give there.

https://querytracker.net/ is a good place to seek help with queries or to study queries others have done.

I’ve queried a couple of times through pitch contests, but definitely wouldn’t call myself experienced by any means. Which is why this latest attempt I’m taking a lot more time on just the synopsis. I think it’s almost there but I really don’t know. Right now it’s about a page and a half so I for sure need to get one that’s only a page.


#4

Yes,

Here is a link that should help: Writing Query Letters & Where to send them


#5

Would it hurt if you leaned more to the conservative end, and only send the query letter initially?


#6

You need to do your research on an agent by agent basis. Some want just a query letter, others will want a query, and sample number of pages, some will want a synopsis (while others wont). You should have all the pieces ready before you start to query…then when sending stuff out check what a particular agent wants and send them exactly that. NEVER send something other than what they suggest as it indicates that you’ve not done your research. Agents hate it when they give specific instructions and you don’t follow them. Some will automatically put you in the “no” camp for not following instructions. They get so many queries that you need to give them no excuse to file you in the reject pile.


#7

The only thing I’ve come away from submitting to the Big 5 publishing world is this: Don’t do it.

You have more options available to you, then just being traditionally published. And unless you absolutely have the connections, the talent, the skill, the inside track–to publishing–you’re better off saving yourself a load of grief and frustrations when the industry begins to reject you cold. (For any reason.)

And most people who try to submit think they have the perfect pitch for either agent or publisher–only to get a rejection letter in the mail a week or two later saying: “It’s not the right fit for us.”

And you won’t know why they rejected you either. You can’t just simply write back and ask, because in this business both agent and publisher are deluged by thousands of submissions per week–every month.

So unless you want to spend months or even years getting rejected, it’s best if you set yourself a goal of rejections and then move on the road of indie publishing.

Others who have been rejected, they don’t take rejection all that well. I’ve been rejected 681 times over a ten year period–every one of the rejections either saying, “It’s not the right fit for us” or “we don’t take fiction”.

And this was in the early days before e-books took off or Kindle for that matter–round about five years minimum.

But the point is, the industry didn’t want my novels. So I moved on. I started turning my focus and energies on self-publishing and then indie publishing and working off that. It’s a time-consuming process not for the faint of heart.

In most respects, it’s just as difficult to do as being traditionally published.

Both have their good and bad points, so it’s all what you want to do, but don’t be so eager to jump into the laps of the mainstream unless you know what you’re going to get yourself into.

There’s so many writers here that believe that trad publishing is the road towards fame and fortune and nothing will sway them on that front–sad to say.

It took me 20 some odd years to figure out that’s not even close to the truth. Being published–either trad or indie–is more about luck than skill or talent.

And in the digital age of publishing and technology, there are some hurdles that you won’t be able to overcome no matter how well your book is.

Last week, I came across a video from a highly respected agent on Facebook that illustrated how difficult it is to make it in a world where people are more glued to their phones than in books.

And because of this ongoing trend, the publishing world has been suffering low sales as a result. There’s not many books because sold because people are glued to their phones. And if you think that’s bad, it’s also the same for indie publishing as well.

I’m pretty sure at some point, there will be a way to read books on phones, but for now, that’s not in the cards.

So you also have to think about how you’re going to be able to make a sale in this kind of environment–just as online shopping was all the rage, so to is iPhone technology.

There’s a lot of things you have to take into account as a writer and author. You have a lot of potential sales, but you also have a lot of obstacles and barriers to being published as well.

So keep that in mind when you pursue your publishing dreams.


#8

Yes, it is. You can download different kindle apps to your phone. Like Amazon Kindle.


@royal888 Have you looked into PitchWars and PitchMad? That could maybe be a route for you. Other than that, try and follow some publishing houses on Twitter. Sometimes they announce when they’re open for submissions and what kind of stuff they’re looking for. Penguin UK has some workshops in the UK too, for example, where you can send in your manuscript and then work with mentors for a weekend and some have been picked up by Penguin after that.


#9

I know, I’m late to the party. I wanted to add that the querying process isn’t about the writer and what you want to give. It’s the opening to a potential business relationship. The agent (or publisher) is trying to decide if you’re someone they want to do business with. Part of that is following directions, but that’s not why they ask for what they ask for. They are telling you EXACTLY what they need to make the critical decision of “Is this something I love and can sell?”

These aren’t useless hoops. The query, the synopsis, and the opening pages each provide DIFFERENT information. Not all agents use all of it – and the cool thing is that they are telling you exactly what they do use when they say “Send x and y.”

They’re making it EASIER for you to get picked up.


#10

Its not really that I’m doubting. Its an issue unique to my last book.

Ex. The whole thing against female violence thing. Excuse me, I’ll be the judge how much “violence against women” is in my work, as someone who has experienced violence against women. Do not EVER lecture a rape victim about being a victim.

COmbine thi with things that aren’t even rules agents mention, like not hand drawing your cover. No thanks, I’ll do my own cover and they’ll deal with it if they want my 15%.

Hand drawn covers is something I’m just not going to compromise about.


#11

Ermmm… if you want to trad publish, you won’t get ANY say into the cover. Period. That’s not on the table.

If you don’t want to compromise on that, then you need to self publish.


#12

I never said I wanted to trade publish.


#13

I am so confused. This thread is about submitting to publishers. That’s trad (traditional) publishing.

In traditional publishing, authors don’t do covers. Period. If the publisher is really, really, really nice, they MIGHT let you have some say in it. Most won’t even do that.


#14

No that’s the problem, it’s a continuation of a thought thread from a few month ago.

I already through in the towel on trade stuff months ago.


#15

Oh, I see! Sorry.

Yes, if you’re self publishing you can hand draw your cover. That’s a business decision made by the publisher, and you’re the publisher!

NOW that doesn’t mean that a hand drawn cover will attract readers the way a pro cover does. But there’s nothing that says you can’t release with your own cover and then decide later to change it, if it’s not working. Or don’t. Again, the success and failure of the book is yours, because you are the publisher.


#16

EH maybe I wasn’t clear, I’m not great about that. Something I need to improve.

Its actually not clear at this point what I want to do. I’m really only wanting to self publish certain books.

I have an idea which genres are better for agents and ones better to self-publish. For example, literary is best self-published, and science fiction can go the agent route.

That should clarify my goals a bit more.


#17

But realistically I suspect my more experimental just aren’t going to be as big a sellers anyway, and even my older books will be more … re-presentable.

So the way I look at it, why not only have the agent represent the ones I know will sell?

I’m really not wording it like I’m imagining in my head.

Basically I don’t imagine French Western Vampire Lesbian Romance will sell that much. Maybe I’m just pessimistic though.

So it’s only that one I’d self-publish.


#18

I think that’s smart. Look at which ones could be commercially successful and plan to work with an agent on those. Those that would have a very small audience can be self pubbed.


#19

As strange as it sounds L’Famillie De Perdu Purgatory Les Filles would be more sellable, despite it being a similar structure.

English translation: The family of lost purgatory girls. Its a Gothic LitRPG collection.


#20

There’s been a lot of interesting information here and I think the idea of focusing on the ones you think will be commercially successful for an agent/ trad publisher makes a lot of sense. Then self publish the others.

I just want to add that whatever publishing route you go, marketing and building a following is really important before hand. Whether you self publish or are trying to attract an agent, having a strong marketing platform in place is essential (also something you would put in your query letter if you’re sending one). So somewhere in there you have to build your platform- being published in magazines, blogging, millions of views on Wattpad, being an expert or educator in the field you’re writing about. That sort of thing. Something for you, and/or potential agent to work off of.

Some people are very lucky and get discovered without any platform. But I think those are few and very far between. All the research I’ve done so far points to having a strong platform in place before you approach publishers/ agents or launch into self publishing.

I wish you the very best of luck!