How To Approach A Publisher

If you are reading this post, chances are that you have written a novel, edited and reedited it, and proofread it until you could say the whole story word for word. Now what?

In this age when all book publishers are very active over the social media you feel like pinging them or inboxing them on Facebook. Or tagging them on your Instagram post or tweet to them about your manuscript.

PLEASE DO NOT DO THAT. Nothing will spell rejection faster than trying to be a Smart Alec on social media. And no, they really don’t care how many followers you have on each of the platforms.

The Six Things You Must Know About Approaching Publishers

  1. Get Hold of E-mail Addresses: Every single publication house in existence today has its own website. And they will have page on Submission Guidelines and Submissions in general. Collect the email addresses from there. Since it is the age of technology, a nice formal query email is how you approach the publisher.
  2. Learn to write a formal letter: I doubt any publisher would be interested in reading a mail which says “PFA the story I have written.” A letter to do the publisher should have three definite paragraphs. The first one introducing yourself, the second one about the work that you’re submitting, the third informing them if you have had any experience with writing before and yes, owning a blog counts. Highlight all the good things about your work. Be sincere and be formal. Don’t sound too eager. Don’t sound too conceited.
  3. Do Your Research: Before you send out the same e-mail to twenty different publishers, do your research. Some publication houses want to see 4 chapters, some want 3. Some want a synopsis, some want chapter-wise summary and others want both. Make sure you send in exactly what they ask for and not a document more.
  4. Wait During the Waiting Period: Most publishing houses take 4-6 weeks to get back to you with a verdict. I know this time is terrible but fight down your urge to follow up with the publication house. And please don’t call them. Not even if you get a hold of the phone numbers. Patience is the key in this industry.
  5. And after the Waiting Period: If you haven’t heard from the publishers even after 6 weeks, the next thing would be to drop them a mail, gently reminding them that you are waiting for a verdict on your writing. They might request more time for evaluation, or they might gently reject your writing.
  6. Now they want my manuscript and they want me to wait!: If it so happens that they like your work and request to see the whole manuscript, you probably shouldn’t bring out the celebratory champagne yet. Final manuscript evaluations take from anywhere around 6-8 weeks to complete. After that you get the verdict, whether you will be published or not. If it is yes, then go ahead and celebrate. If it’s a no, don’t worry. Wait for our next week’s post which tells you how to live through rejection. And dos and don’ts of dealing with rejection.

Until then,
BEE A Hive of Knowledge.


Aniesha Brahma is an author, blogger and social media manager. She has three books under her belt: The Secret Proposal, The Guitar Girl and When Our Worlds Collide. She blogs at: Aniesha’s Musings & Bibliotheque. She is also the editor of BUZZ Magazine. You can connect with her over social media: Twitter|Instagram|Facebook 

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