Friday, January 20, 2006


Message: 14
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 03:38:03 -0000
From: "S. Michael Jennings"
Subject: FYI: Have you ever wanted to write a book about your life?

Manuscripts and Proposals

Generally, you can either send book manuscripts directly to
publishers for consideration or use a literary agent who will present
your manuscript for you. Using an agent means that you must pay a fee
for their service. It can, however, be an effective way to get your
manuscript read because an agent already has established
relationships with publishers who may not accept unsolicited
manuscripts. Whichever direction you choose, it is usually more
effective to approach a literary agent first.

Many publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts or proposals
because of the volume of submissions and the time involved in dealing
with them. Some publishers will accept unsolicited proposals, but not
manuscripts. In either case, manuscripts and proposals submitted by
literary agents will always take precedence.

Submitting Manuscripts

Get a list of publishers and find out what kinds of books they
publish to see if your work would be of interest to them. For
example, if you've written a book of poetry, don't bother sending it
to a publisher that specialises in reference books.
Get a list of literary agents and do the same. Beware - some will
charge a fee to read your manuscript, so ask about their fees up
While you're doing your research, find out whether they accept
unsolicited manuscripts.
If they don't accept unsolicited manuscripts, they probably deal with
literary agents. Ask them which they deal with.
Never send an original manuscript, artwork or photograph. Send a good
Enclose a covering letter, a brief synopsis and sample chapter with
your manuscript. Include information such as:
a) Whether you've been published before
b) Your background
c) An executive summary of the book (max 1 page)
Always enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope, but remember that
publishers have no obligation to return manuscripts.
Don't expect a full critique. Most publishers will return your
manuscript with a standard rejection letter. Others may make a few
comments on why your work was not selected.
If you feel you must visit a publisher, unless you're a best selling
author about to dump your publisher, phone and make an appointment
before you go.
Submitting Proposals

Your book proposal should contain the following information:

Full name, address, telephone number and e-mail address (if
available) of the author.
A brief biography of the author. Be sure to indicate whether you've
been published before.
An outline of the book with a brief focus on each chapter.
Describe the audience for this book.
Does the book warrant translation into other languages?
Does the book require illustations or photographs? If so, do you have
Why you think this book should be published?
What contribution will this book make?
What existing books would compete with this book, and what makes this
project unique?
The present state of the book.
Is the manuscript completed?
How long will you take to complete it?
Is it on computer disk?
Always enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope, but remember that
publishers have no obligation to return proposals.

If anyone has useful info that you think can enrich someone elses
life, please feel free to post it. There is no such thing as useless
info if it makes money.


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