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6 Tips for Submitting your Manuscript to Publishers

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If you are considering submitting a manuscript for publication these tips will help you to achieve the success you are looking for and will reduce the chance of your work ending up in the rejection pile.


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Here are 6 very important Tips for Submitting Your Manuscript to Publishers:

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1. Do your Research

Before submitting a manuscript to any publishing house you will first want to know:

  • if they are currently accepting manuscript
  • whether they accept unsolicited manuscripts (those submitted by authors, not agents)
  • if your work fits with the content they are currently looking to publish
  • what manuscript format they require
  • their submissions policies

Once you have identified a specific publishing house to submit your work to you will be able to find all of this information under the “submissions” section of their websites.

If finding the right publisher/s for your work seems like a daunting task and you are unfamiliar with all the ones available to you, you can find them in the books below. These resources include all the information you will need in a way that is organized and complete. These are a must-have for every writer who is seriously seeking publication and they will save you lots of time and open up many new opportunities that you did not know even existed.

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2. Network

Take the time to get to know other authors in your genre. This can be done by:

  • joining writing groups
  • visiting and participating in online writing communities and forums
  • attending writing conferences
  • participating in workshops in your community and online
  • using social media such as Facebook or Twitter to connect with other writers

You will learn valuable information from other published authors. Their advice and connections may go a long way when it comes to getting your own work published. We have personally found that just as misery loves company, so does success! Once a person finds success in the publishing world, they cannot wait to share their advice, experience and joy and to help others obtain this same success! So if you have not done so already, reach out! You’ll be glad you did.

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3. Format your Manuscript

Prior to submitting your manuscript to any publishing company, it is first necessary to make sure that it is formatted to their specifications. You can find their requirements on their websites. If there are no specific requirements listed you can be sure that the standard formatting is sufficient. When formatting your book make sure to adhere to the proper font, text size, margins, spacing, headers, footers and page numbers.

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4. Submit it to Editing Services

You want to make sure that when you are submitting your manuscript to a publishing house it is as flawless as possible. It is very distracting for editors when they are reading a manuscript when typos, misspellings and grammatical errors keep popping out at them. To ensure you are sending a polished work, consider hiring an editing service to catch these errors so that they are not present to distract the editor and take away from the overall quality of your work.

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5. Tailor your Cover Letter

Make sure that when you are submitting your cover letter you are addressing the person that will be reading your manuscript – this is not the place to write “To whom it may concern.” Take the time to show each individual publishing company that you know who they are, understand their needs and how your work specifically provides them with exactly what they are looking for.

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6. Know the Standard Policies for Manuscript Submissions

More and more publishing companies are getting with the times and allowing for online submission of manuscripts, either directly through their website or through email. This saves time, money and paper. However other publishing companies still prefer (and require) the traditional method of using traditional mail. It is important to know which policy your publishing company of choice is using and to format your manuscript accordingly. You will be able to find out which policy they are using on their websites under their “submissions” sections.

To learn more about how to submit your manuscript, whether it is via the Internet or post office the following articles will provide you with what you need to be prepared to do either:

Standard Policies for Online Manuscript Submissions
Standard Policies for Mailing in a Manuscript Submission

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By using these 6 tips you will be able to find the appropriate publisher for your manuscript and tailor it to their requirements, setting you up for success and a real shot at being offered a contract.

Do you have any other tips for submitting your manuscript to publishers that have helped you on your publishing journey? We would love to hear about them – please share in the comments section below.

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8 thoughts on “6 Tips for Submitting your Manuscript to Publishers”

    • Hi Johnny, this is a great question and something writers need to be careful of! There are sadly a lot of predatory publishers that prey on writers. They make money from these fees they charge writers, not from any sales of a book. I would advise staying far, far away from them. No reputable publisher or agent will ask you for money upfront – it usually works the other way around where they would give you an advance on royalties. You can learn more about publishing and how to choose a publisher on our post here: How to Publish a Book. Hope that helps!

  1. I’ve been writing since I was 12 years old. I don’t know anything about publishing or how to format anything. Is there anyone that can do that for me? Or am I better off posting it online and take a stab in the dark?

  2. How can I get connected with a genuine publishing company in Australia for the publishing of my book?
    Please, I need your recommendation as soon as possible.

    • Many publishers are worldwide, doing a local google search for agents in Australia and independent publishing houses should give you some ideas for where to submit your manuscript!

  3. Your article really inspired me, thanks for putting it here, I’ll need your idea on this,i am an indie author, got two short stories books on Amazon with not much sells: I just concluded my first novel which I decide to publish through a publishing house in the UK, and which they’d ask me to submit my manuscript and do a cover letter. I just want your candid advice on what I need watch out for, as am scared of been rejected and scammers. Please I will like to follow you on twitter if you don’t mind

  4. what should my manuscript consists of ,which i send to publishing company to publish. many websites say that we have to write in many formats. well shuld we write the following
    – unique selling propotion.
    or can we just send the briefe about book ,and sample chapters
    please i need a help on how to send a manuscript to publishing company.

  5. I have a children’s book series that I have been working on that utilizes health state and national standards. They also fit in the Casel Social Emotional Framework . The children’s picture books are geared toward 2-6 year old. I believe they cover the timely topic of social emotional well-being. What would be my first step? Should I try and get an agent?


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