Okay, so you have written that killer novel, had it beta read and copy edited and you have made it as good as you can possibly make it. Every word has a place and you are ready to send it out into the publishing world.
I am assuming that you are looking for a conventional agent and publisher for your work and are not going to self publish.
Now you have very important work to do so that you give yourself the best chance of getting your work seen and read.
First up, you need to ask yourself some key questions:-
- What genre is it?
- is it for adults or children or is it a cross over of some kind?
- does it “fit” the conventional length for that genre? There is no point writing a 150,000 word Young Adult novel as your first book.
Once you have established that, you need to look at the standard reference texts for agents and publishers. Two of the most popular are,
The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook
The Writers’ Handbook
If writing for children and young adults, there is also the Children’s Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook.
There are others and there are also lists and resources that you can find by searching the web.
Make sure you are using the most up to date version. The publishing world is in a constant state of flux and changes all of the time.
You need to go through these books by reading every agent and publishers entry to see if there is a match for your genre. If so, mark the book or make a separate list in your notebook. Do this for the whole listing. It takes time but it is essential.
The next thing to do is to go through your list and visit EACH agent or publishers website. Many publishers don’t accept submissions from writers. they only accept from agents. There is no point sending to them, you are wasting your time, and theirs.
Check to see if they are currently accepting manuscripts from writers. Some now use a limited “we are open for this week, or month” procedure so you have to know when to submit to them.
If you are sending to an agent, look up each agent and see who your work best fits and send to them, or as directed by their website.
Most agents and publishers now accept submissions by email, some do not. Comply with what they ask for. It is all too easy in this day and age of email submissions to just send it to someone on the off chance. Don’t, please do your research and only send to those that are looking for your work.
It is also useful to join writers groups on various social media. Many of these groups can provide very useful updates on what is going on in the publishing world and who and when certain publishers are open for submissions and so on.
Be professional do your research.
For what and how to submit to an agent or publisher, see my recent blog post