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How to keep your manuscript out of the slush pile 06/06/2012

Posted by schmublisher in Uncategorized.

Well, to be honest, I can’t tell you how to do that. Tricksy title, eh?  But if I could write a foolproof formula for creating a manuscript that any publisher will jump at the chance of buying, I’d scurry off and churn out that romantic fiction novel I’ve always fancied writing. Publishers are each as different as are people, and their reasons for accepting or rejecting a manuscript range from the practical, the financial, and the pedagogical, through to the political, the personal, and the whimsical.

That said, I know it can be frustrating for authors who continue to package up their hopes and their dreams, along with their shiny new manuscript, and send it off to publisher after publisher, only to receive rejection after rejection. Or, worse, the deafening sound of silence.

What do they do with it at the publishing house? Why does it take so long to make a decision? And why might they say no, even if someone you’ve spoken to along the line has given you some positive signals?

Here’s an attempt to show you all the different stages a manuscript might go through at a typical publishing house, and some of the pitfalls it might meet that will lead it to ending up in the slush pile. There are, I’m afraid, many more. Be armed against these ones, at least!

Click on the image to enlarge.

Click to enlarge image

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