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Submitting a manuscript to a publsiher

Information on Manuscript submission
Preparing your manuscript

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

 You will need to do the following:

1. Make sure 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 presentation purposes.
4. You must make sure that you copyright your work - do not submit your manuscript without doing this!

Getting your manuscript read

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.

Finding a literary agent

 UK literary agents:

1. Author Network
2 David Higham Associates
3 Writer Services.com (UK)
4. Bloomsbury list (UK)

 US literary agents:

1. Doollee.com
2 US Literary Agents
3 Writer Services.com (US)
4. Bloomsbury list (US)

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 public libraries.

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