Thursday, July 10, 2008

Getting published costs... so let's help

I know, getting published is not a cheap thing. No, I am not talking about paying someone to edit your work and I am certainly not talking about all of those sleazy agents out there that charge. I'm talking about all that goes into getting those manuscripts out to the right people. It costs bucks and if you are really submitting stories, it will run you a lot of money.

Now, I have to say there is no easy way to avoid this whole process. Until all of the editors and agents go electronic, we will still have to do it the old fashioned way. Understanding this, I wanted to give you a couple of clues to save you a little bit of money.

1) DON'T SEND THINGS EXPRESS MAIL. Unless an editor or agent says to send it immediatly, then just send it normal post. It will get there.

2) DON'T PAY FOR THE SIGNATURE. I have to say, this is a personal beef with me. If you want to know if the manuscript made it, just send it with a Delivery Confirmation. You can track it all you want and you will know when it makes it. The signature thing just becomes a pain. I know that when the mail shows up here at Greyhaus, I am often unavailable. This means I have to go through the whole process of getting that manuscript from the post office. I should also say that I have NEVER (and I rarely say that) signed someone who sent their manuscript this way. No, it doesn't mean I reject them because of it, but...

3) TELL THE EDITOR OR AGENT TO RECYCLE - Save yourself the postage of having it sent back to you.

4) USE A MANUSCRIPT AGAIN AND AGAIN - If you are a person that wants a manuscript returned, I hope you are using it over and over again.

5) SEND IT TO THOSE THAT MATTER - This is that research thing. Agents don't send your manuscript to every editor. We just send it to those that will likely look at it. The same should go for you. Do your research and send it only to those that matter.

6) SEND WHAT IS REQUIRED - Too often, I see people sending a ton of additional material. Send only what they ask for. If it is just a query, then just send that.

Look I know that none of this is going to balance the national budget, but it does help.


  1. Hi Scott,

    I have to agree that this is expensive. Thanks for the great advice! I do have a question regarding the reuse of rejected manuscripts (#4), however, because I have heard that if a MS looks like it has been read (and obviously rejected) an agent/publisher will be more likely to reject it because somebody else already has. Now I know that the nicer folks out there will be fair to every new submission, regardless, but do you think that you might be even a little bit biased if you received a submission with visibly used pages? Or do you think that this will become somewhat of a norm as people are pinching pennies more?

    Thank you!


  2. Libby,

    Good question. Yes, if the manuscript looks awful, I wouldn't re-use it. But if it is pretty good shape, then fo gor it.