It can be one of the most intimidating and exciting times in the life of a writer, the prospect of having your work published is something we all strive for.
However, it’s not as easy as just throwing them a copy of your work and hoping for the best.
Tips For Contacting A Publisher
I’ve put together a few tips to hopefully help to make the process a bit easier. One thing that I will say is that sending your work off is such a nerve wracking experience. You will undoubtedly be on edge waiting for their response but try to focus your energy on other projects to distract you whilst you wait.
- Research various publishing companies before choosing who you are going to approach. Some may be more tailored to your genre or writing style. Whilst researching also find out how the contracts work, some publishers will ask for help with publishing costs, others wont. You need to know who you are approaching and how they work. Look at other authors who have been published by them, note how successful their work has been.
- You will start by sending a sample of your work, try to choose a part which shows not only the exciting parts of the final piece but also which you feel showcase your best work, writing skills, imagination and execution of that imagination. This sample will help the publisher decide whether or not they want to work with you, it’s got to be worth them sitting up and paying attention!
- Whilst publishers have their own editors, proofreaders and so forth it is essential that you present them with a solid piece of work. Once you have finished your piece, go back over it. Then go back over it again. Ensure that you have spellchecked and grammar checked thoroughly. Make sure that all of your facts are correct, unless it is a fantasy story where anything is possible you need to make sure that the facts are in line with reality. This applies also if you are setting your piece in a particular real life location, ensure that things are geographically correct.
- Once you have finished writing you may also need to add or take away certain sentences or paragraphs to fit in with you target word count or simply to add more information/take away unnecessary information. Just remember that if approved for publishing you want the piece to be as close to fully finished as possible.
- Whether you decide to send your work online or a hard copy you will need to include a cover letter. The letter (or email if you’re online) should be professional and well written (you can even show off your writing skills here) and should be to the point. Explain who you are and a brief outline of the work you are submitting. You can highlight any previous writing experience for the publisher to look up should they so wish.
- Finally don’t be afraid to ask questions. If successful, this will be a two-way relationship where both parties benefit equally so you have every right to enquire about anything you are unsure of.