Every writer wants their voice to be heard, and although getting your book recognized by a publishing house is very competitive, you shouldn’t give up on your dream! Here are five tips you should know before sending your manuscript to publishers.
1) Research Your Publishing Houses
With all the options out there, make sure to research which companies fall under your niche for the book you are trying to promote, and which bests suits your values and interests. For example, if you have a romance novel and you submit to a house that specializes in mostly sci-fi and fantasy, your chances of getting selected are slim to none (unless your characters are two aliens in love).
2) Submit to as Many Places as Possible
In order to expand your options, make sure to submit to as many publishing houses as possible, even though it sounds stressful. There is a huge amount of competition, and getting the attention of publishers is a demanding task, and not everyone will be so lucky. Another tip is to try smaller publishing houses to increase your chances, it doesn’t always have to be Penguin Random House, which reviews thousands of submissions yearly. Smaller publishing houses have some great opportunities.
3) Talk to Other Published Authors
In order to network yourself and to gain new insights on the process, make sure to talk to other published authors about their experiences. They will know all the do’s and don’ts, what they wish they had done, and also how to avoid scams (be wary of vanity presses that make you pay them a fee!) You can find people to talk to online, in writing groups, and in writing conferences.
4) Put Effort Into Your Proposal
Your proposal is a very important part of the submission process that reviewers take very seriously. Think of it like a cover letter for your book. You have to make your book seem interesting and presentable in only one page, without over-explaining yourself. In order to get their attention, make sure to make it seem snappy and gripping. Think of one sentence that would make you want to read a book, and try to apply that same philosophy to your proposal.
5) “Sell” Your Book
In order to get a publishing house on your side, you have to convince them that people are actually going to buy your book in order to benefit their business. Make sure you have a set demographic to who your book is targeted towards. (i.e teens, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community) Be clear on what sets your book apart from other similar titles. Another tip is to try to gain some type of social media following-its a good way for an author without an agent to become somewhat established, and publishers will notice.