So, you've written your first book and think it's good enough
to go to print! So how do you go about achieving this?
The first thing you need to do is ready your manuscript for
presentation purposes - an agent or publisher is very unlikely
to read your manuscript if it is not presented well
will need to do the following:
that your story text is printed and not hand-written
- reading personal handwriting can be a chore if
the reader finds it hard to decipher.
||Get your manuscript
proofread before printing! - it is important that
your text is grammatically correct. Unless you are
very good with language and feel confident that
you can proofread your own work, it is best to use
a professional proofreader.
||Print your manuscript
using a clear and common font such as the one were
using to write this article (verdana) - do not use
fancy or exaggerated fonts as these can be tiring
when reading a lot of text.
It is worth printing your final manuscript(s) on
quality paper - presentation is king and anyone
reading your highly polished manuscript will no
doubt find it aesthetically pleasing, even if they
don't think your story is for them - you may also
want to have it bound and properly titled for further
||You must make sure that
you copyright your work - do not submit your manuscript
without doing this!
Due to the sheer number of manuscripts that publishers receive
most no longer are able to accept unsolicited material for consideration.
Today the best approach to getting your manuscript read by a
publisher is to do so through a literary agent.
Any agent you approach will obviously want to see at least
the first two chapters from your manuscript before considering
representing you and submitting your work to publishing houses.
If the agent doesn't think your writing is suitable then they
will not be a willing representative of your work. On the
other hand, if they do like your work, and think that it could
be a winner, then they will no doubt ask you to sign some
sort of contract. This should be done using a lawyer - NEVER
sign a contract without your legal representives advice!
You should NOT be charged a fee for your agent to read, handle
or even submit your manuscript to publishing houses. You may
be charged a small admin fee if they decide to take you on,
but mostly they don't.
Literary agents make their money if a publishing contract is
agreed between themselves and a publisher - most usually work
on a percentage rate of around 15% of a contracts' worth, but
this may vary from agent to agent.
You can find a full list of UK children’s book publishers
and agents in The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook,
published annually by A & C Black and available from most