Submitting Manuscripts to Small Publishers

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Submitting Manuscripts to Small Publishers. Most aspiring authors go straight to literary agents when pursuing traditional publication, because many, if not all, the larger publishers will only consider manuscripts from agents. What they do not realize is that thanks to the print on demand technology, there are more and more small traditional publishers popping out as they no longer require stocking large quantities of books themselves. Many of these smaller publishers and presses have open submissions and accept queries and manuscripts directly from authors. This creates an opportunity for authors who do not wish to publish themselves to get their work out there under a traditional label.

Having said that, there are many things to consider before signing a contract with any publisher.

Know your book as a marketable product.

What genre is your book project? Who is your target market? What is your niche within that market?

Know your platform.

Do you have a platform that relates to your book? (for example: you are a food critique publishing a book about the best restaurants in your area). Do you have a blog or website about the topic of your book? Do you have customers or a follower/fan base that would be interested in your book?

Do your research.

Which publishers have books out like the one you want to publish? Are any of them looking for submissions? Who is the editor, and what type of books do they like?

In short, before submitting to a publisher, you need to know everything about who you are as an author and as a brand to sell your book. You need to know everything about how and who your book will attract as readers. Finally, who is the right publisher for your book? Once you know all this, you will know who you are looking for to publish your book.

All publishers have their own guidelines for submission, so it is a must that you go to their website, learn about their mission and what they publish, and read their submission guidelines before contacting them or submitting any queries. Submitting a well-written pitch and an edited final manuscript is also a must.

All this preparation might seem like too much work and too much time spent “not writing,” but it beats all the time spent reading rejection letters! In the end, writing for publication is a business, and you need to be smart about submitting to make sure you have the right team to publish to make selling your book possible. This is done by choosing the team that is upfront, bold, and genuine when communicating with you. The publisher and the author need to be partners in producing, distributing, and promoting the book for the best possible chance of success.

For information about how to submit your manuscript for consideration to I have Something To Say Press, visit our website and/or email us at

1 comment
  • Le’Vian Dae

    Enjoyable article! It hit on some important points that are probably just within our grasp but not as dedicated to. There are so many aspects of Publishing and Marketing that would’ve been more beneficial pre-order that I wish I would have known beforehand.

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