Lipstick & Danger

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Submitting to a Publisher

This morning at 1:17a.m. I sent my manuscript, Winds of Deception to a new publisher. I’ve been keeping an eye on them for a year or two. Several authors I know in another state recently signed with them. After contacting the authors about their experience I decided to take the next step and go through their submission process. These are the items the publisher requested.

1. Query – They wanted only two paragraphs. I needed to create a hook so I had to do some pretty fancy footwork in that department. A good friend gave it a once over to help me feel more confident.

2. Synopsis – Even though they admitted no one enjoys writing these, the publisher explained that this would help them see the whole book in five to eight pages. I was encouraged to include any spoilers to give the overall big picture. “Don’t hold back,” they encouraged. Sometimes these are harder than writing the entire novel. If the publisher liked this part they would move on to the full manuscript.

3. Manuscript – It is the hope of any author that an editor or publisher will be so enthralled by your synopsis that they will dive right into your manuscript. As it was explained to me that would not necessarily be the case. Chances are good if they make it to the manuscript phase, the publisher would open up to several areas and read to get a feeling for the way I write. Considering I won’t know where exactly they’ll start reading, I knew I better make sure the synopsis didn’t leave them in the dark.

That’s it. All three of these things improved my work. Before I hit the send button I read the entire manuscript again with a keen eye to edits. It’s a better story now without all the “that didn’t make sense” parts. Having set it aside for a couple of months made me see things with new eyes. Writing the query and synopsis helped me zero in on what was important.

There’s always the chance of a rejection. It won’t be the first or last time. I feel that it was time well spent getting these three requirements ready for the next time I contact a publisher.

0 Responses

  1. Always a chance of rejection? For most writers it's more like they come one right after another until someone finally picks the manuscript up. I think you have to become like the boxer who, after taking a couple punches in the face, gets so numb to them he doesn't even feel the rest. If you can reach that point, then the acceptance will come sooner or later and it will feel like a pleasant surprise.

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