Do you have dreams of being the next J.K. Rowling, Stephen King or Nora Roberts? If you want to be an author and dream of becoming the next big thing to hit the publishing world, then you need to get your work in the hands of the right people.
Once you have written your work, it’s time to get it out. Here’s how to get your manuscript to publishers.
- Get information from each publishing house. Go online or call each publishing house you want to submit your work to and get their specific information. Each publishing house has some specific guidelines, such as including a self addressed stamped envelope or including a synopsis along with your letter. You should also choose publishers carefully and try to give your work to a company that is likely to publish your type of work. For example, if you are doing a children’s book, you may want to try Scholastic or Hyperion. If you are doing a romance novel, try Avon or Pocket Books.
- Print your work properly. Make sure that you use plain white paper when you print your work. Your manuscript should be printed with font size 12 in Times New Roman. Make it double spaced. Don’t change the margins so leave it at the one inch margins for both sides as well as the top and bottom. This is the industry standard so follow it. Avoid trying to bring attention to your manuscript by using different colored or textured paper or using italics or other fonts unless it is part of the story. This makes it easy for the agent or editor to read your work. Also, be sure that you submit work that is flawless. There should be no typographical errors or grammatical errors.
- Use headers and create a proper first page. The first page of your manuscript should include the title of your work, your real name as well as your contact information. On the upper left side of the front page, place your name, address, email address and phone number. On the upper right side, you should indicate the total word count of your work. Place the title of the work on the middle of the page and use all caps. Underneath the title, place the word “by” then on the succeeding line, type in your name or your pen name. For the other pages of your work, use a header indicating your last name, title and page number, each one separated by a backslash.
- Send in a letter. When you have prepared your manuscript, type up a query letter. This is to introduce yourself and your work. Include in the letter the audience you have in mind for your literary piece and why you think the book will sell. Depending on the publisher, some may want a synopsis or sample chapter included in the letter. If the publishing house likes your query, you will be asked to send in a manuscript. You only need to send in a few chapters initially.
- Work with an agent. A good way to get published is to first find an agent. Some publishing houses don’t want to deal directly with authors and prefer an agent instead. Find one you like but make sure he doesn’t charge you any upfront fees.
- Send in online. Another way you van submit your work is to go online. The format is slightly different for online submissions.You can try publishamerica.com.
Be patient and don’t get frustrated if you get rejections. Harry Potter was rejected by twelve publishers before it was accepted and became one of the best selling books of all time. If you have good work, you can get it done!