What Do We Look for in a Manuscript Submission?
Sending a book to a publisher to review can be a nerve-wracking process. They’re reading your work and deciding on whether or not they can publish it. Cue the nail biting! To make submitting your book a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of things that our acquisitions team looks for in a manuscript submission.
For children’s titles, we’re looking for projects that will make a positive impact in a kid’s life. These titles have great messages and touch upon topics that are not always seen in the children’s book world, like the loss of a parent or immigration. We love diverse titles that talk about different cultures and ones that represent kids from all walks of life. Children’s books do not have to rhyme and they do not need to have illustrations in order for us to consider them. We love seeing what you have and figuring out a way to turn your idea into a child’s next favorite bedtime story.
Fiction books are a lot of fun to read! Each one is an adventure and it is always wonderful to be introduced to new characters. There are certain aspects that we gravitate toward with this genre.
The first thing we look for is author voice. We want to be hooked from the first chapter and immersed in this new world. Next up is dialogue. Is it strong in that it dives into who the characters are as people, or is it small talk that doesn’t propel the plot further along? To help answer that question in your own writing, check out this article from NY Book Editors. Lastly, we look at the overall plot. Stories that are unique and haven’t been overdone (i.e. vampires), are ones we’re looking for. If your title matches hundreds of books that you see in bookstores, it may be time to revisit the text and put some extra spice in it—your unique personal spin. Above all else, we’re looking for an exciting, new read that will capture an audience when it’s on store shelves.
Titles that are categorized as nonfiction can be business books, memoirs, self-help, sports titles, etc. The only area of nonfiction titles that we do not handle are textbooks since those require different distribution channels. A lot of our business titles fall under our imprint Amplify. For the other subcategories, we want to hear your story. We look for books that are inspirational and can empower others. We want to know what makes your book stand out from similar titles and why it’s important for readers. How will it help them and meet their needs? Providing a solution in a book (like a financial advising title or marketing strategies) is a great way to capture an audience.
Author voice is essential for nonfiction titles as well. Whether the book is chronicling a moment in time, someone’s full life, or providing tips, an author’s words need to make an impact.
We publish many other genres that aren’t listed above such as cookbooks, coffee table-style books, early chapter, and poetry. While we don’t have as much specific criteria for those genres, we still look for a great read that will inspire and engage readers. An acquisitions editor will review your submission and provide feedback whether or not we are the right fit for your publishing journey.
Not sure if your manuscript fits our criteria? Send it on over! We’re happy to take a look and provide suggestions for your publishing journey.
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