Thursday, February 9, 2012

Doing Your Research

Several people have asked me to continue writing about my experience at a publishing company recently. I originally wrote about how people should keep in mind that publishers are not monsters, and then I wrote about the worst part of publishing being rejacketing books. Some people might ask why rejecting authors is not the worst part. Authors do not paper cut you in the same spot three times. Usually, anyways.

I do have a piece of advice for authors based on my experience. Do your research about the publishing house before you send in a manuscript. I worked at a children's publishers. They primarily published children's books, but they would occasionally do a nonfiction piece or a middle grade book (they do those about once a season). You would be surprised the number of submissions they received that were young adult books (which, admittedly, they will publish every once in a while... Maybe once every two years, as an optimistic estimate) and romance novels. A romance novel does not a children's book make.

These submissions were a little baffling to come across. If the author had paid attention to the website, googled the publisher, or looked at the books the company published previously, they would have known the publishing house produced children's literature. The author could have saved on postage, and he or she would not have had to deal with another rejection letter.

I understand that the more you send out a manuscript, the more likely it is to get published; but, I also know that it is pretty disheartening to receive a rejection letter. If you really want to get published, please research the places to whom you are sending your manuscript. If you do not, then it is a waste of your time and theirs. That romance manuscript sent to a children's literature publisher will most likely never see an editor. The intern will read through it, and put it straight in the rejection pile.

If you do the research, you are more likely to succeed when you send in a manuscript. Having an automatic rejection due to subject material just seems pointless when you can easily avoid it. Usually it is as easy as visiting their website and looking through it! It is a really simple, but easily overlooked, way to avoid more rejection letters, and a better way to get more constructive criticism from a professional. Good luck!

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