Ten Tips for Submitting Material to Publishers

  1. Regardless of how you found the company to which you are submitting, check their website before submitting anything. This will give you a general vibe for the sorts of material they publish along with important information about how to submit your proposal.
  2. Do some research beyond the scope of the publisher’s website. Look for any news articles or social media presence that could give you a better idea of the other sort of titles they’ve published and other up-to-date news about the company. This will also help you see if the publisher will be a good fit for your title.
  3. When submitting your proposal, make sure to pay careful attention to the submission guidelines. Many publishers will not even look at your proposal if you fail to follow their instructions; this is a red flag that you can’t follow directions. Including the pertinent requirements and contacting the right people is step one in a successful submission.
  4. Take time to craft your proposal to cater to the publisher. Making it known that you have looked through their catalog or done research about their company is impressive, and might give you that little leg up as an attractive candidate who cares about handing over their title to the right people.
  5. Try to find something about the publisher that you can connect with on a personal level. Perhaps you have visited or live where they are located or have come across their books in your local bookstore, or maybe you just identify with part of their mission statement. Making a connection helps to make your query more personal and less robotic.
  6. Make sure your proposal is engaging. Boring, dry emails will connote a boring, dry manuscript. It’s okay to add a little personality; that’s what will make you stand out.
  7. While it’s important to be personal and engaging in your query, make sure to not add too much extraneous detail. Publishers like to hear a little about you, but they don’t need your entire life story. Similarly, make sure you are following the guidelines: if the publisher has asked for a five-page sample, do not send your entire manuscript.
  8. Don’t clutter your submission with fancy text, vibrant colors or large images. It might stand out visually, but not always in a good way. Keep it simple and legible.
  9. Proofread your query before sending it. Remember that this is your first introduction of yourself and your title, so it’s important to not have too many visible errors in your submission.
  10. Many publishers will note, either on their website or in an email receipt, how long it usually takes to respond to queries. Pay attention to this and avoid reaching out until said timeline has passed if you can help it. Great care is taken when selecting manuscripts to publish, and while it’s easy to feel antsy, patience is key.

Need more help? Schedule a free consultation call to ask how we can help with your editorial or book design needs!

Editorial support and book production services


Owned and operated by Jennifer Baum, publisher of Scribe Publishing Company, an award-winning traditional book publisher.

Let Jennifer’s twenty years of publishing + marketing experience guide your next project. See her experience on LinkedIn or read her bio on the Scribe Publishing Company site.


From concept to completion, we can manage every aspect of your book production. We have relationships with printers in the U.S. and abroad, so depending on your timeline and budget, we’ll find the right fit for you and take care of all the details.

Please email Jennifer to get started.

Our Process

While every project is different, here’s a general idea of the steps we’ll take to get a book in your hands:

  • Initial conversation to understand goals, budget, and whether you need us to write the copy and secure photography (if needed) or you’ll do that in house
  • Timeline and deadlines agreed upon
  • Proposal submitted and contract signed (35% payment due)
  • Design concepts presented, refined and approved
  • Final text edited and proofed
  • Photographer hired, if necessary
  • Design and review (final payment due)
  • Printing (we have a network of printers we work with in the U.S. and around the world, and one will be the right fit for your goals and budget)

Watch a time-lapse video of one of our books being designed by Lead Designer Miguel Camacho: