In the early nineties I had a friend who was married to the chief Editor for the Australian division of HarperCollins Australian publishers. At that time, all I wrote were Christmas Cards or fill in Taxation claims. I never thought I would or even could write. I am now going to submit a few thousand words of my book to them tomorrow.
I looked up if they were open for submissions and surprisingly, they still are. But only on Wednesdays. They don’t accept; “plays, poetry, short stories, essays, mind body spirit, religious titles, health and fitness, children’s books and educational texts.” But will take for consideration; ” Adult fiction, particularly commercial women’s fiction, erotica, romance and young adult fiction. Non Fiction including memoirs, biographies, narrative histories and illustrated non-fiction.”
Most publishers seem to also take submissions more serious through an agent. It will get complicated. Fortunately, most of the information on publishing is available on the Internet, but ‘be aware’. Like sharks circling the carcases of those that have failed through being overly gullible to the lure of fame, remember, money is much easier to part with than to earn. Even in publishing, money raises its ugly head. I mean I am hoping that ‘Almost There,’ with musings of a philosophical nature included, gets a soft and gentle landing not a rip-off.
It is the same with medicine or seeking advice on ailments. No sooner does one type ” erectile dysfunction” or “tooth ache” in Google, and one gets beseeched by eager moneyed eyed Russian Ladies swooningly seeking love or Indian offers for Dental Implants.( on same day.)
I am taking on the advice that under no circumstance do you start a letter in sending a synopsis of your work by Dear Sir or Dear Madam. The Sir is most likely not knighted nor is the Madam running a brothel. Do not fawn, rattle on, or feign a special fondness for books, reading and literature. Most people in the publishing industry chuck letters of submission in the bin within the first few vowels and consonants. You have to achieve a rapport with the first paragraph or so. My back-up is to self-publish but I thought to try and submit first to publishers. It seems very tough to try and woe publishers. Don’t people get despondent? And then what? Eat a good bake or a spoonful of Syrup?
This what I got by sniffing around in the area of publishing and the first step to take. Check it out.!
Name of Literary Agent / Publisher
Address of Literary Agent / Publisher
Dear…the actual name of the literary agent or publisher.
The eyes of a literary agent or a publisher are trained to scan. They have little interest in small talk introductions. They will always scan straight to the story being pitched. So never ever start with why you are approaching them, or why you love to write. They are so inundated with query letters that those opening sentences are monotonous irrelevancies to their eyes. Cut straight to the chase: the book in question.
They want five key details about your book in this opening paragraph:
*A one sentence pitch of your book
This is your CV / Resume in a single paragraph. Pick out the more impressive aspects of your writing history and include them. Do not list them. Use prose to make them readable. If you do not have any writing credentials worth mentioning, then use this paragraph to explain why you alone are best suited to tell the story of your book. Show that you are an authority on the subject in question. This could either be that you did a similar job to the protagonist, or the lengths you went to in your research. This is also the section for you to mention why you are approaching them in particular. When you do so, do not under any circumstance mention another book you are writing, or planning to. Put all the focus on the one book you are pitching in the letter.
Third / Final Paragraph
End the letter with three points.
- Thank the literary agent / publisher for their time and consideration
- If it is a printed query mention that you have included an SAE / SASE for reply
- Emphasise that your manuscript is complete*
*Never send a query letter about a novel that you have not finished. Only Non-Fiction books are allowed to be pitched before completion.”