The Publishing Industry
The publishing industry changes so dramatically and, ideally, you want to aim your book at the market for the following year. You can purchase a copy of the Writers and Artists Yearbook or the Writers Market. Both of these books are released each year around autumn, ready for the following year.
You will need the most up-to-date version, as there’s no point relying on information in a copy that is a year or more out of date.
Irrespective of which book you purchase, there is a wealth of information about the publishing industry, and a whole list of agents, but ensure you read each one thoroughly and highlight those which show an interest in your type of manuscript.
Always check the small print published against all of the agents, as some will not accept manuscripts. A cover letter may be asked for instead – do not send the actual manuscript.
Other agents will accept the first few chapters. Check they are a good match for your book – don’t forget those chapters need to be beautifully polished.
It may take a few weeks before you get a reply. If you are rejected by that particular agency, expect to receive the standard “not acceptable” reply. Do not despair; check and recheck your manuscript. Does it need further revision? If so, edit and proofread it again.
Once you’re happy with the end result, package it up and send it to an alternative agency – do not send out multiple agency submissions. It is better to submit one at a time.