The SECRET of Submitting your Manuscript to Publishers

opportunity-tungphotoIMAGINE! You have slaved over your beloved story, completing your manuscript to perfection! What’s your next step in getting your story published? How do you develop a kick-ass submission package that will eXcite and ignite a Publisher?

**I wrote this blog to unblock my paralyzing FEAR of submitting to Publishers. For too long I’ve allowed my completed Manuscripts to loiter in my computer files … Here’s my Self- Motivational Tips for ACTION …

#10 Sizzling Secrets in Submitting your Manuscript to Publishers

1. Perfect your manuscript over many drafts. Make sure your Beta readers have critiqued it. Send your manuscript away for professional assessment, editing and review.

2. Brainstorm a practical plan of action based on research and advice. Investigate the writer’s bible, Australian Writers Marketplace 2011/2012. Join AWM online for up-to-date information. Research publisher websites who are a ‘good fit’ for their specific submission guidelines. Follow the guidelines exactly. Study the publisher’s book catologue. Match and compare their books to yours.

3. Create a kick-ass synopsis written in present tense with the key points to your story. Write each dramatic sentence in book jacket blurb style leaving the editor begging for more. A powerful synopsis will hook the editor in.

4. Develop a *winning* book proposal, detailing positive strategies and a marketing plan with target readership and marketing opportunities. Up-date your bio with your awards, credits and publishing history.

5. Craft an attention-grabbing one page cover letter that hooks the publisher with an elevator pitch, premise and a powerful synopsis. Explain why you are qualified to write this book.

6. Track your submissions in a coloured folder ruled up with date, publisher name, submissions docs and outcome. Great visual way to keep track at a glance.

7. Don’t Rush! Only send out submissions you have thoroughly prepared. Send to Publishers you have researched and matched.

8. Submit to three publishers at a time, so you can Re-submit to others after feedback. Let the publisher know it’s a multiple submission.

9. Send off your manuscript to writing competitions with the best opportunities. Keep your ear to the ground for the latest News.

10. NEVER, ever give up! Follow your writer’s intuition … RETHINK > REWRITE > RESUBMIT

WOOHOO!!  I’ve Finally Submitted my Manuscripts!

I finally took  affirmative ACTION to get my manuscripts out there … No more Hesitating and making excuses!

Last week I sent the first 3K of SAYONARA off to the Debut Dagger writing competition organized by Crime Writers Association UK. Thanks to Janelle Colquhoun from Brisbane Sisters in Crime for the tip-off. Good luck Janelle for your entry too 🙂

With my heart pattering, today I submitted my brand NEW children’s manuscript to Publishers … I proudly launch my picture book: MIGHTY MAX SAVES THE DAY into the UNIVERSE!!!

PENGUIN has thrown their doors open to submissions  to a wide range of genres for the first SEVEN days of each month. Children’s and YA have a separate submission process for EVERY day. Remember: Don’t rush! … Read the guidelines carefully. … Wishing you the best of luck! 🙂

** How do you motivate yourself into ACTION?

**How do you overcome your FEARS and lack of confidence?

** How do you prepare your Manuscripts for Submission?

NB. This blog was edited. KT.

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25 comments to The SECRET of Submitting your Manuscript to Publishers

  • Can I add one more:
    11. Don’t forget to read submission guidelines carefully. This is an important one as publishers can reject on that basis alone. Always take time to read and reread submission guidelines before clicking send (or popping your submission in the post).

    Just a note of interest: Penguin’s monthly catch only applies to adult manuscripts, you can actually submit children’s stories at any time from today onwards, you don’t have to just submit in the first week of the month like you do with monthly catch (even more reason not to rush, as you said in your post).

    Good luck with your submissions! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  • Hi Jo,
    Thanks so much for dropping by to support me.
    I read the Penguin’s explanation of Submissions for Children’s writing and it was a little ambiguous. So I thought it wouldn’t hurt sending it today. I’m relieved that I’ve finally had the courage to send them:. Thanks for all the finger crossing too 🙂

  • Art Antonious

    Well done Karen!!!…..thanks for your courageous example, determination and inspiration. I am really excited and happy for you….I am confident that you will do well with your submission 🙂

  • I just dropped by Penguin’s sub guidelines and it doesn’t look like they’ve got their usual full guidelines up at the moment for children’s subs even though they said they would be opening doors again today. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to send today, I don’t think, since they do say they’re open from the 1st. I’ve got a PB ready to sub to them, too. I’ll have to get onto that tomorrow! One of my goals this year is to get more courageous about subbing. Good for you to have the courage to do it, you’re always so inspiring with your motivation.

  • Thanks Art for your awesome support. I’ve worked so hard in the last two weeks preparing for these submissions and writing this blog. Feel so relieved they’re finally sent on their way 🙂

  • Yes Jo, it does take courage to submit. We work so hard to get our manuscripts to the BEST they can be. Then it takes another Surge of energy to actually send them off. Good luck with your submissions 🙂

  • Art Antonious

    Well deserved and earned Karen, you certainly “walk the talk” and you will be blessed and rewarded for working so diligently and conscientiously as a truly faithful and creative writer!

  • Thanks Art for your very kind words. Feeling a little exhausted after this mighty effort and looking forward to a much slower pace tomorrow 🙂

  • Love your verve Karen. Good to be back and reading all about it again.Fingers crossed for you as always. 🙂

  • Thanks Dimity for popping over with your crossed fingers. Thought you might be interested in Penguin’s Monthly Catch.
    Look forward to reading about your next plans 🙂

  • Good for you Karen and good suggestions. Good to see you taking your own advice All the best with the mss out.

  • Thanks so much Dale for dropping in to support me. Glad you liked my Publishing Tips. Writing and researching this blog helped me to overcome my fears 🙂

  • Good overview Karen. Good advice for all those contemplating the submission process.

    The advice on not rushing is particularly important.

    Good luck with all your brave subs. I hope all your due diligence is rewarded. Crossing everything for you.

  • So glad you liked my Publishing Advice. I agree that the “Don’t Rush” tip is the most important. Thanks Kaz for all your ” lucky crossings” 🙂

  • Hey Karen,
    Good luck with your submission to Penguin Books. I didn’t realise you could submit more often with children’s books. I must print out the submission guidelines for each target publisher. You’ve got to be in it to win it!

  • Thanks Renee for your good luck wishes. Please check those guidelines carefully as some publishers don’t accept multiple / or simultaneous submissions. Good luck with your picture books too:)

  • I’m with Jo… and I know they say don’t send simultaneous submissions.. but if you waited for each one, you’d only get 3-4 out a year.. just go for it..

    I hope self-publishing won’t hurt your publishing chances??? Who know these days.. but it was frowned upon up until recently..

    Good luck!

  • ps from the children’s YA section at Penguin: Important Note: Only one submission will be considered per three-month period from the same author.

  • Hi Anthony,
    We must read those guidelines carefully. And keep checking them. Today Penguin put up new guidelines for CYA as you know.
    I know many established mainstream authors who are now self-publishing. The author ‘s Cred is now as it should be, on the quality of their writing.

  • Thanks Anthony, Jo Hart tweeted me the news … I’m having a Rethink and submitting only ONE 🙂

  • Great tips, Karen. Good luck on your submissions.

  • Thanks Angela for the good luck, Glad you liked my Publishing tips.
    Wishing you all the best with your submissions too 🙂

  • […] 10 Sizzling Secrets in Submitting your Manuscript to Publishers This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Writing Tips. Bookmark the permalink. ← Tips for Young Writers 30: Get Small Don’t Be Cool! → […]

  • Great tips, Karen!

    I have one more: don’t be discouraged by rejection! Many famous and wonderful books were widely rejected before they found a welcoming publisher. You gotta be in it to win it!

  • Hi DC, Thanks for coming over here to check out my website. Sure appreciate it.
    Really appreciate your tip too.
    I have a kids book coming out soon. Please stay tuned for announcements… Karen 🙂

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