If you’re not doing these 5 things, your manuscript risks ending up in the dreaded slush pile.
1. Follow Instructions
Every publishing company has its own system for receiving manuscript submissions. Take a moment to research the publisher’s submission process and follow the instructions carefully. By doing so, you show respect to the publisher, attention to detail, and you help ensure that your manuscript makes it to the right person. If you don’t go through the proper submission process, your manuscript will likely be missed altogether.
2. Refine Your Book Description
The book description, or synopsis, is your moment to catch the editor’s attention and make them want to read more. This is the proverbial “elevator pitch,” and you have only a few moments to grab the editor before they need to move on to the next submission. Make sure the description isn’t just interesting, but it is also written with correct grammar and proofread. Sloppy writing with a short description will likely make the editor hesitant to tackle your book, no matter how interesting it sounds.
To learn more about writing a good book description, read our blog post “How to Write a Book Cover Blurb.”
3. Why Should Someone Read Your Book?
Tell the publisher why your book is relevant, what problem it addresses, what story it tells. Let the publisher know how your book connects with readers today. Relevancy to current events and topics is a critical factor for an editor when deciding what to publish.
4. What Are Your Credentials?
Craft a strong author bio that conveys your expertise. Tell the publisher why you’re the right person to tell the story and why people should read what you’ve written. Your author bio is the time to let your personality shine through while also demonstrating your competence and professionalism.
5. Be a Marketing Maven
We often receive manuscript submissions that make it clear the author expects us to do all the heavy lifting to sell a book. No matter how good the book is, we know it won’t be successful with this kind of attitude, so we pass on it.
The author’s role is to write salable content. The publisher’s role is to package that content into a salable product. The publisher and the author share the job of selling the book to the public.
Publishers can do a lot to help market a book, but we can’t sell books without the author’s cooperation and involvement. After all, readers want to connect with the author—not the publisher.
So tell the publisher what you can do to help market and sell your book. If you have a strong readership base, let the publisher know that. If you have contacts with booksellers, say that. If you are savvy on social media and know how to reach your readership, tell the publisher.
Whatever you can do, let the publisher know. A decent book with a strong marketing pitch is more likely to be picked up for publishing than an excellent book with a weak marketing pitch.
Now that you know how to wow a publisher, what are you waiting for? We can't wait to read your manuscript submission.