“It’s an awful feeling to write something that you feel is really important…and to feel that you’re being published by people who really don’t get it and/or don’t really care.”

-Alice Walker

Recently, I’ve made mention of “the do’s and don’ts” when submitting a manuscript. Since then, I’ve had a few questions from readers about how the process works. It can be tough to try and make the right decisions when sending out your work because different publishers have different procedures. It doesn’t help that many publishers have become a bit more cutthroat then in years past due to excessive inquiries. Nevertheless, there is a basic course that nearly all of them abide by. The following are some suggestions that will help upcoming authors when pitching their manuscripts. This advice comes from research, published authors, and literature websites.

First and foremost, there’s no rule demanding exclusive submissions. Anyone telling you differently hasn’t tried to submit an article as of late. It’s tough and you need to reach out to anyone who might take it. Submit the piece to several publications. While it might be considered a bit impolite to submit the same piece to competitors, there’s nothing saying that you can’t.


Secondly, understand that review time is considerably different depending on who you’re submitting a manuscript or article to. Magazines move fast and thanks to the Internet, receive and respond to queries relatively quickly. Typically, you can expect a magazine to respond within eight weeks or sooner. If you don’t receive something by then, either move on or write them a polite e-mail to see if they are interested. Please don’t expect magazines to send a professional rejection letter. It is a courtesy, not a requirement.

As for book publishers, first and foremost, learn how to develop a pitch letter. It is the key component to selling your book. With fiction, learn how to write a fluid, immaculate synopsis. With nonfiction, try to have your proposal emulate a business request. Publishers tend not to read a manuscript unless they’re interested in your query. And like with magazines, don’t limit yourself to a single publisher and don’t wait for a reply.

Most importantly, just keep writing. Don’t get discouraged by rejections, lack of responses, or insecurities you might have about your pitch letter. This industry is getting faster and faster, with publishers looking for that next great piece of work without consideration or apologies. If they don’t like your work, they’ll move on. So should you.


13 thoughts on “SUBMIT, BUT DON’T QUIT”

  1. Hello and nice to meet you. Thank you for liking a post and love your picture on your blog.. I am not much of a writer but others can’t give up;)

    1. Thanks for the great comment. The last thing I’ll say, in my opinion, writing is 1 part effort, 1 part luck, and 1 part stamina. It’s a marathon not a sprint!
      Warm Regards

  2. good post. writers need constant reminder that rejection is inevitable, and no reason to quit writing. I could paper my walls with rejection letters.

    1. Hi Raylitt,

      Thanks for the great compliments. On that note, I think it can be a struggle sometimes for writers because we are romantics, and want our works to be recognized immediately by the first publisher we send them to. It’s an unfortunate part of the business, but most publishers will say that what they’re really asking themselves when they review a new manuscript is, “can I sell this?” and not “Is this great writing?”

  3. Thanks for the follow and this post is such a great shot in the arm for those who are feeling a little down when it comes to the hope of ever getting published. You are doing such a wonderful service for your audience. 🙂

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