In this section:
I've written a book and I'm looking for a publisher. What should I do?
If you would like to be considered for publication, please visit the submissions page on our website and make an inquiry (even if you are a current author and have been published by us before). For a helping hand with how to submit, please watch the video below.
We don’t like to leave you waiting, and you should get a response in a matter of days, sometimes hours. Occasionally, at very busy times, it may take longer, but it's unlikely to be over a week.
We receive lots of inquiries and decline about 75% of them in the first instance. If this happens to you, don’t despair, it’s not necessarily a reflection on your writing; it may just be that we don’t think we can add enough value to your publishing process, or it may be that another publisher may be a better fit, or perhaps other avenues such as self-publishing may be more suitable.
If we like what we see, we’ll ask you to provide a full proposal.
NOTE: We cannot offer a contract on the basis of a synopsis only; when it comes to full proposal stage we will need a minimum of three complete chapters to assess style and level.
Two things you must do before you complete your full proposal:
Make sure you understand how we work:
This will ensure a good fit between you and our company.
You've accepted my initial inquiry, I understand how you work, and I’d like to submit my full proposal.
Great news! To submit a full proposal:
How to fill in the Book Details and Proposal Page
Take extra care over this stage. Even though it’s early in the process, the information you submit here will influence our reader reports and help us evaluate how your book will sell in the current market, and its appeal to potential readers. In the event we offer you a contract, our publicists and production staff will use it as the starting point for your sales, marketing, publicity and back cover copy too. So it’s definitely worth taking the time.
The Book Details page is designed to tell us everything important about your book.
The Profile page is designed for you to tell us everything important about you as an author and your “author platform:
Of course, if you are offered a contract, you can edit your Book Details right up to the point the manuscript goes into production, and you can make changes to your Profile at any time. But it’s in your interest to get this info as polished as possible as early as possible.
Book details you need to fill out:
For guidance on how to complete each item on the Book Details page, put your cursor over the title, and the word "help" will appear. Click on it for more information.
You can access your Profile page by clicking "Profile" on the left-hand menu. Your "author platform" defines your reputation and your reach, including your social-media networks. The size of your platform helps us predict the likely sales of your book, which is crucial to awarding a contract. Your author platform consists of:
Your geographic location: Enter the address in your Profile. Where you live impacts the audience you can reach; if you live in New York, you will certainly have a better marketing reach than someone who lives in a cave in the Himalayas. If you are well known in other areas, say your birthplace, let us know about it.
How well known you are to your target audience: In Author Full Bio, in Profile, mention any awards or honors, or whether you hold a high-profile job or position that connects you to potential readers.
Your personal and professional networks: Add any institutions, organizations, clubs, informal networks you belong to, and how many people you can reach in each.
Media profile: Have you done TV/radio/print media interviews? Do you have relationships with specific journalists or outlets who would definitely interview you about your book? Are you a blogger or do you manage a website, podcast or internet radio show? Tell us how many people you think you can reach in these ways.
Social media networks: Please be precise about the number of twitter/FB/Linked-In/Instagram etc. connections that you have, or contacts of yours who have large networks who would help you publicize your book.
Your previous books and how many copies you have sold: This is important for marketing and publicity. It indicates whether bookstore buyers know you and want to order your book.
When completing the proposal, please avoid using ampersands, quotation marks, hyphens and other special punctuation. Avoid non-English characters, such as Greek lettering or French punctuation. You can, however, use italics. Why is this important? Some of the text you provide in the proposal, like the title and your short bio in the Profile, will feed through to our website; other passages, along with these, will feed through a number of other databases used by bookshops, Amazon, etc. These databases use a restricted set of characters and will turn anything else into gibberish.
Please do not copy and paste information into these fields; it needs typing in from scratch. Copying/pasting results in font changes, odd colors etc. which may not be apparent to the editor, and end up feeding through to the finished information on the website.
While we accept the proposal manuscript in various formats, you can only submit the final manuscript for publication in MS Word. So it will save you time in the end if you also submit the proposal manuscript to us in Word.
When you upload your full manuscript, remember to click on upload file
We will be evaluating your work based on what you upload. Especially if this is your first book with us, make it look as complete and professional as possible. Please submit only one document, not several for different chapters. We will only consider your book for publication once, so show us your best work. You will diminish your chances of publication (at least of getting it without being asked for a subsidy) if:
The publisher receives your proposal and a team of readers are notified for their comments on the proposal and the manuscript. Based on their consensus, our Editorial Manager makes a decision to offer a contract or not. We usually get back to authors within a week or two. See ContractLevels for more information. There is nothing legally binding on either side until contracts are accepted. However, if you have made it through to the proposal stage, it means we are taking your book seriously. We offer contracts to about 50% of the submitted proposals. So please invest your time and energy into completing the form.
"At any one time there could be a million manuscripts floating around London agencies. Only one or two thousand new fiction titles are published every year" (by the major publishers); Editor-in-chief of The Bookseller.