Publishers love getting submissions. We know that each one represents a great deal of hard work and passion. Which is why at Fairlight Books we’ve pledged to consider every submission we receive. It’s important to us to give each writer a chance, regardless of whether they have an agent or not. However, it’s essential for writers, especially those inexperienced with the publication process, to remember that their submission is their chance to make a good first impression.

Here are some tips to give your manuscript its best chance:

Read the submission guidelines before sending your manuscript

Each publisher has different guidelines and it’s a good idea to follow these as closely as possible. Submission readers often have a preferred font and print format that they use to read or print out submissions. So, don’t spend too much time trying to find some clever font and try to avoid locking your document so that it can’t be easily changed by the reader. Some publishers won’t consider a manuscript which has been submitted incorrectly. It’s also a great idea to read the ‘about us’ page and make sure the company is a good fit before submitting.

Don’t forget to give your name

It’s surprisingly common for writers to send blank emails with attachments or to forget to give their name. It makes it difficult to properly log the submission and to contact them later.

Don’t send mass mail submissions

Most publishers are fine with writers submitting to more than one place at a time (so long as you withdraw your submission if you’re successful elsewhere). However, it’s best to tailor your submission to the individual company if it’s to stand the best chance of selection. Publishers receive a lot of submissions and we’re more likely to work with writers who understand us as a company are actually excited to work with us as a team.

Research the publisher

Read the company’s ‘about us’ page and find out what they publish so that you don’t accidentally submit a fiction novel to a non-fiction publisher. There may also be information on the submissions team so that you can address your query letter appropriately.

Make it clear what you’re submitting

Some publishers accept a variety of formats. Make it clear in your query letter if you’re submitting a short story, novella, novel, or poetry. It’s really helpful to the publisher and makes sure the review of your submission isn’t delayed because it’s been put into the wrong spot.

At the end of the day it’s your writing that the reviewer is excited to read. So, don’t worry too much about the guidelines just makes sure your writing, particularly in the first few pages, is the best it can be.

Good luck!

If you’re interested in submitting to Fairlight Books please read our guidelines here.