Monday 8 February 2021

submitting to publishers and agents is tougher than writing the actual book


So you think you've done all the hard work? - submitting to publishers and agents is tougher than writing the actual book.

I know this is not what you want to hear. It's not what I want to write either. You've worked tirelessly to get a finished manuscript. Honed it as best as you can. Edited and edited it to perfection. 

Now you are ready to send your baby off into the world. 

This should be the easy part, right? This is where I have to be totally honest with you. I find submitting the book to publishers and agents is much tougher than writing the book itself and it can take just as long if not longer.

The reason? The different guidelines that agents and publishers have for submissions.

And when I say different guidelines the very between individual publishers and agents and noticed agents and publishers.

Take the latest book I am submitting to agents and publishers (yes, some do accept manuscripts directly from authors). One publisher, I'm submitting to wanted 5000 words that best show your author's voice. And they don't necessarily have to be the first 5000 words of your book. 

This is an unusual request because submissions usually involve sending your first 3 chapters or 5000-10000 words or similar.

At the moment, I have 7 different publishers and agents on my top list and they all have very different submission guidelines which means some submissions can take a day or even days to prepare. 

What is a synopsis?
The synopsis is a case in point. There seems to be a difference of opinion in what exactly a synopsis is and what it should contain. To some, it's a rundown down of the story, whereas to others, it's more of a pitch for your book mentioning how you think it will stand out who will beat it and what competing books are. 

It's differences in what you have to submit and what interpretations are of what that material should contain that make submitting your novel so difficult.

If like me you are at that stage the best of luck to you. You have entered one of the most frustrating aspects of being a writer - the crazy world of what a proposal should contain.
Please let me know how you get on.

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