Tips for Manuscript Submissions

Please check out the Contact page if you are going to submit work

I ONLY work with NON-FICTION– if you send me fiction it will get immediately rejected

1)  Have you checked your work? Double-checked it? Few proposals get much attention if the writing is littered with easily fixed errors.

2) Does your work appeal to a potential wide audience? Will people outside your social circle want to read it? (That is not meant as a dig. Self-publishing has a place, & this is one of them–books for your social circle.)

3) Is your outline well thought out? If (for example) you are making an argument in your book, does the opposition get a fair hearing?

4) Does the sample chapter show you at your best? Does it make the reader want to read on?

5) Does your pitch cover everything? If I (or another agent) take you on, obviously the pitch will be that agent’s problem. But if you decide to go it on your own, have you mentioned everything the publisher will want to know?
I once met a VERY successful self-published author in Edmonton. She was in the middle of pitching her next book to a good publisher based in Vancouver. She confessed to me, during our chat, that she had forgotten to mention in her pitch how well her previous books had done. Don’t do this.

6) Triple-check your facts. If your book is going to make a case, make an argument, or build on facts to advocate a theory or cause be sure your foundations are correct.

Publishers will take a look at a book that says Dwight David Eisenhower was a terrible President. They will throw away a book that says Dwigt David Esenhauer made terrible decisions.

7) Finally, have you given some thought to your marketing platform? Sadly, this can sometimes be the deciding factor. Paris Hilton gets book deals only & solely because people know who she is. If you are writing a book on topic x, have you made sure people in the field of x know who you are?

Here is what I want for a submission ( NO GOLF BOOKS PLEASE)

1. Short bio of the author

2. Chapter outline

3. Sample chapter

4. Query letter with your platform outlined- if you have one.

That’s it. I don’t want any long drawn out ramblings of why you think the book is awesome- the writing should do that for you. These are my guidelines. Follow them. And send the scotch. Seriously.

Rachel of gal-friday publicity  is also a publicist, & a very good one: you may want to consider hiring her before you begin formally pitching your book in Vancouver, Toronto or NY. Unless you are already a star, you’ll need some publicity to draw attention to your work!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

3 responses to “Tips for Manuscript Submissions

  1. Maureen Lyall

    I have self published a book, and I was not impressed at the self publishing process. I want to publish children’s books, I have about 7 books written. I was on the Internet to check out the children’s publishers to send my books to, and some of them wanted an agent to send my books to them. My question is will you be willing to be my agent.
    If so how much will you cost?

    Maureen Lyall– email:

  2. Hi Heidi, I am not that interested in golf books, and they are a really hard sell. Most golfers like to play the game, not read about.
    Thanks for asking.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s