August 5, 2021– We’re talking about what publishers want this month, and I hope that you’re paying attention if you’re thinking of submitting your work for publication to a traditional House; we’ve got some great tips that can help you!
Today is all about perspective, no-we’re not talking just about narration or point of view in terms of who is speaking in your book, but new, fresh, and exciting takes on stories, ideas, characters, plots, and settings.
When a publisher considers a manuscript for publication, here are three things that excite us:
- A new take on an old tale. Have you written a new spin on an old story? Perhaps you’ve unearthed a hundred-year-old European fairytale that resonated with you as a child, and you want to try your hand at switching things up a bit in the story. Picture this- the classic story of Hansel and Gretel but from the house’s perspective, set in modern-day, with a neighbour who could pose as a younger woman who studies the occult and witchcraft. If this story came across my desk, I would certainly entertain the idea of seeing what we could do with it!
- Fresh characters. Publishers want to see characters in books that readers will care about. We also want to see characters that are modelled after those in real life. We want differences of abilities, different races and cultures, characters with challenges, and unique beliefs, practices, and physical attributes. This is especially true for children’s books because we want to facilitate inclusion, diversity, and acceptance. Kids can’t be what they can’t see.
- A different look. Publishers especially love different illustrative ideas, new art forms for picture books, and innovative uses of space on the page. If you’re an illustrator, this is especially important to set yourself apart from the competition. Think of doing something totally out of the box, as in using scanned images of fabric to create texture and layers, or a style with a paper mache look, or create images that have a ton of depth so that they jump off the page!
The most important thing to remember when submitting your work for consideration is to ensure that your story is strong, the writing is stellar, that you have characters that readers will care about and resonate with, and that you’ve got a fresh take on old problems! All of these things combined make your manuscript practically irresistible to publishers! Check out my number 1 best selling book called Advice from a Publisher (Insider Tips for Getting Your Work Published) here: Advice from a Publisher (Insider Tips for Getting Your Work Published!): Bakker, Lacey L., Goubar, Alex: 9781989506141: Books – Amazon.ca
August 2, 2021– We’re starting a new theme this month, and it’s all about what publishers want! We’re going to go through things like queries, synopsis’, frequently asked questions (the questions that we get asked the most), how to find the right publisher for your genre, submission requirements, and more! We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s start with one thing at a time; today, we’ll be focusing on how to find a publisher for your specific genre.
This can seem like a daunting task, and often, authors have no idea where to start. Let’s say that you’ve finished your manuscript and you’re looking for a publisher for your cozy romance novel, here’s what to do in a certain order.
- Do what no one else does. What is it? Read the copyright page to see who published your favourite novel. No one cares about the publisher; they care about the author, that is until the author is ready to have their book published! So, if you’ve got a/some captivating new cozy/cozies that you’re reading, flip to the front page and see who published it. Their contact information will be there, and you can find them online.
- Go online. Go to the publisher’s website for two reasons: 1) To find out if they’re accepting submissions. 2) To find the submission guidelines. You’ll be able to answer a bunch of questions just by visiting their site. Do NOT submit unsolicited manuscripts if the publisher does not accept them, and be sure to follow the guidelines to the letter, because if you don’t, your manuscript will end up in the recycling folder and will never see the light of day.
- Read the Bible. No, not the actual bible, but the Writer’s Market 2020 Guide, which I consider the author’s bible. Inside this gem of a book, you’ll find all of the publishers across Canada and the US, who publishes what, and who and how to contact them. It’s an essential tool that can be used to start your search. I’ve bought every edition since 2015 and have been adding them to my personal library ever since. There is also tons of valuable information via agent interviews, author takes, and publisher advice.
We’ve got a lot to cover in August! Subscribe to our blog for new content five days a week; you don’t want to miss a thing! To check out my book, Advice from a Publisher, click on the link below:
March 1, 2021-It’s a brand new month and that means that we’ll be talking about a brand new subject! I’ve decided to focus on the most asked questions I get as a publisher from authors, writers, and writing entrepreneurs. Please remember to follow us on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube); we appreciate your readership!
Let’s dig into the questions that matter, asked by real authors:
Q: “I’ve been writing for about two years now and I’ve gotten nowhere. I’ve sent in multiple manuscripts to publishers, stuff to magazines, and even and editorial piece to an editor, but no one answers me back or I get rejected. What am I doing wrong and how long will it take to get published?”
A: Good for you for sticking with it for two years. It’s a long and tough road, but eventually things will happen for you! This is a bit of a lengthy answer so I’ll break it down into parts.
- I’ve sent multiple manuscripts to publishers, magazines, editors. Have you followed the submission guidelines as outlined? I know for a fact that if you don’t query properly or follow the guidelines to a T, your manuscript will end up being recycled or put into the slush pile meaning it will never see the light of day or cross a publisher’s desk.
- No one answers me back or I get rejected. Personally, we receive approximately 175 submissions per month and we are a boutique publishing house. The big 5 publishers probably receive that many per week or even by the day! Celebrate the fact that someone even had the courtesy to send you out a rejection letter (even if it’s a generic form letter) because now you’re not left wondering. Usually publishers won’t answer or provide feedback based solely upon the sheer volume of submissions. Rejection happens for a number of reasons here are the most common-we don’t have enough room in our roster, our slots are filled with new publications for the upcoming 2-3 years, it’s not a good fit for what we publish, the manuscript needs major work, or we have something too similar already.
- What am I doing wrong? Are you following the submission guidelines? Are you addressing the correct person and the correct publisher for your specific genre of writing? Is the publishing house open to submissions? Is your writing fantastic, interesting, fresh, and new? Are you following up? Is your writing up to par in terms of grammar, structure, and industry standards? There are a number of things that you could be doing wrong that would create a barrier to getting published. My advice is to have a beta group read your work or hire a professional publishing company(such as ours, Pandamonium Publishing House) to give you honest feedback on your work. Education can be the key to your success, so enroll in as many classes that you can to help tighten and perfect your writing. Sometimes we receive such poorly written manuscripts that no amount of editing can salvage them.
- How long will it take? Publishing is a process and can take years before you have success. There is no time limit and to put one on yourself is unnecessary and stressful. Keep writing, keep submitting, keep honing your skills, and educating yourself and it will happen! Success is not an overnight thing, keep working at it.
To get more info on what publishers want, check out my number 1, best selling book on Amazon here: Advice from a Publisher (Insider Tips for Getting Your Work Published!): Bakker, Lacey L., Goubar, Alex: 9781989506141: Books – Amazon.ca
To send in your publishing/writing question, email firstname.lastname@example.org