Hello, everyone. This week I want to talk about what to look out for when submitting to a publishing company.
First off, I’ll start with formatting. Most publishing companies that are open for submissions specify what format they would like you to send them as far as the document itself and what kind of formatting they want in the manuscript. For example, they may ask for twelve-point font as far as size and specify they want Times New Roman, double spaced. They may want submissions to be a pdf or docx file type. They may want a query letter with a synopsis before they even ask for a manuscript. Be sure to read their website/Facebook page or anywhere else they may have this information for potential clients, to find out exactly what they want. Every company has different preferences, so make no assumptions.
Another thing to pay close attention to is the genre or age group of stories they are accepting. Pretty sure a company that specializes in erotica would not be interested in your children’s book. Our company is mostly on the lookout for speculative fiction, but we won’t shun a good paranormal romance or humorous horror story. Pay close attention, because many companies will be very specific about what they will not accept.
The last thing I have to say on this subject deals with any other specifics on a publishing company’s website. My partner and I are both women, and though that means little in regards to the gender of authors we will publish, (In fact, we have signed more male authors than female so far. Women, send us the goods!) it does say a bit about what we look for in a story. For example, we like female characters with substance. Doormats, whiny side-characters, I’m-here-to-make-the-man-look-good, and female leads with no real speaking roles are not our cup of tea. Anyone who pays attention to our blog posts should know that by now. For those who don’t, we also point this out on our submissions page. We aren’t alone in this. I have visited plenty of publisher’s websites who go into great detail about what kind of stories they are looking for. This is more than just your typical No Bestiality, No BDSM, listing. No, we can get pretty specific about what we want and don’t want. As professionals, we have that right.
This is all pretty basic stuff, but considering we constantly get submissions that make it clear from the opening of the email that the writer did not read our website, I felt like it needed to be said. So, dear writer, unless you want an immediate rejection, do your research and don’t send out blanket emails to every publisher you come across that is open to submissions.