Getting Published Tip: What Submission Advice You Should Ignore

Excerpted from Getting Published: How to Access Editors:

Our new ebook is full of possibilities for finding publishers.You know how life is full of contradictions? So is writing. In the last chapter, I told you to follow directions! If a publisher says send it this way, how do you send it? This way!

But there’s one little bit of submission guidelines that you should ignore. That’s the bit that tells you to send your submission to the Acquisitions Editor (or any generic title).

Here’s what happens when you follow that direction. Your manuscript arrives. The sorter glances at is, sees the generic title, and tosses it into the slush pile. This is the pile of unsolicited manuscripts sent in by unagented writers. They often pile up higher and higher, gathering cobwebs in the corner, for quite a while. Most publishers have cut their staff to the bare bones, and the remaining editors can barely keep up with their own workload of books, meetings, and marketing. Some publishers hold once-a-month pizza parties or other events where the editors all pitch in and work their way through the pile, trying to get through the overwhelming number of manuscripts as quickly as possible. These are not the ideal conditions for your book to be read under.

But there’s a way (possibly) around this.

Identify a particular editor at each publisher. This is an editor who has edited books in the same category as yours. Someone you’ve done a bit of research on, who you think might love your book. And then you send your manuscript in…and you address it directly to the editor you’ve chosen.

For more information on this tactic and some off-the-beaten-path journeys to book publication, you can buy our Kindle ebook ($2.99). To read a bit more about the book itself, just click here to visit the book’s page on our site.

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About Laura Purdie Salas

children's writer, poet, reader, visiting author, speaker/teacher, mentor, copyeditor, freelance writer
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