Impress an Editor in 9 Steps
Notes on Queries/Proposals/Submissions
Dear Children’s Picture book editor,
Will you publish my political thriller?
If you were to put a dozen editors in a room and have them discuss receiving and accepting proposals, more than likely the conversations would include one common complaint. The authors who submit to the publishing companies need to do their homework ahead of time.
Sounds like something from third grade.
When inboxes thicken to the hundreds, those authors who haven’t scanned the publisher’s website to at least learn about their accepted genres will often earn a silent pass. Even worse, they might find themselves trying to live down their hasty, uneducated action should they ever attempt to contact the editor again.
It’s actually a matter of respect (and a wise business decision) to inform yourself about a publishing company before you contact one. First, knowledge is power. Second, an editor is more likely to converse with you if you show that you’ve cared enough to learn about his or her company.
My best advice: First, read the submissions page on the company’s website. Make sure they publish your genre or you type of book. Then, read about the acquisitions editors from their blogs, Facebook posts, Pinterest, and conference articles. Submit to one editor at a company—that would mean sending your proposal to only one email address—the one who already prefers your genre.
Making that wise choice will move your manuscript along the road to publication much quicker.