April 26, 2019– Do you guys think that we should have a weekly blog post titled Publisher’s Corner (inspired by Coach’s Corner with the ever fabulous Don Cherry)where I answer your most urgent questions about publishing/writing? I do and last time I checked, I own the place so I can do whatever I want. Every Friday from here on out, we’ll do it! Sound good? Let’s get started.
I received an email last week that asked, “When should I send my novel to a publisher for consideration?”
There are a few things that you need to keep in mind for submitting your work to a publisher.
- AFTER your manuscript is completed.
- AFTER you do your research (see who is accepting manuscripts and if that publisher is accepting your genre)
- AFTER you query the publisher and they REQUEST your manuscript. Your query better be good by the way.
“But Lacey, why wouldn’t I query first to see if they’re even interested? Then if they are, I’ll finish my book. ”
Think of it this way, you send us a killer query letter, we love it, and want to see the manuscript, imagine our disdain if your manuscript is unfinished. You’ve completely wasted your time and ours. This is comparable to a real estate agent saying to you, “I’ve found your dream home! It’s got everything you want, a pool, a big backyard, and three car garage!” You’re excited, right? Then she says, “But it’s not for sale.” That’s how publishers feel when you tell us the manuscript is incomplete. Don’t ever do this, make sure your work is finished before ever considering querying us.
“But Lacey, can’t I just send my book out to a bunch of publishers to better my chances?”
No. Next question. Just kidding; all kidding aside though, you need to research the publisher that is the best fit for your work. Let’s say that you wrote a middle-grade adventure novel and you sent your manuscript to a publisher who only publishes romantic fiction for adults…again, you’ve wasted your time and ours. Do your research, know who you are submitting to, and know what they publish. If you submit something to us that is totally out of our scope, we realize that not only did you NOT do your research but maybe you don’t care enough about a book deal to do your homework. It also makes us leery of working with you because you’ve shown us that you can’t follow instructions.
“But Lacey, can’t I include my manuscript with the query? It will be more efficient and I won’t have to wait as long for a response.”
Do NOT send your manuscript with the query. If we want it, we’ll ask for it. You also need to be aware of the guidelines. A lot of the time publishers request the first 5-10 pages of your manuscript in the BODY of the email. We don’t open attachments so if you’ve ignored the guidelines and sent us your query and manuscript together…you may as well consider it trashed because we won’t open it.
I know that a lot of this advice seems a bit harsh, but this is the reality of publishing. I want you to have your best shot at success. X LLB