Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Why Won't Publishers Sign New Authors On Proposal
So let me first say, that I am sure someone will show up with an exception to the rule here. But, for the most part, new authors need to "come to the table" with a full, complete manuscript. Editors will not sign a new author without the complete package. So why?
First of all, editors have to know you can actually complete a manuscript and get it completed in a reasonable amount of time. If it takes you a year to write a single book, this is not going to be something a publisher is going to invest in. Think of it, they just gave you an advance on a book and they want to start thinking about making that initial investment back. So yes, this is a financial reason.
Completion of the book is also a factor of your writing ability. Too many authors can think of a great start to a story, but carrying it through to the end simply does not happen for so many authors. There are a ton of "unfinished" projects just sitting out there because the authors really have no idea where to go to from there.
So, why is it that established authors are allowed to do this? Couldn't they run into the same situation of not being able to complete that book? Sure, they may, but the reality is that they have a track record. By the time they start submitting on proposal, they have already proved to everyone that they can do this. They have also been able to demonstrate that they can identify a great concept right out of the blocks.
But also remember, if they do submit on proposal, they now have a fixed deadline to work with. But between the author, the publisher and most likely the agent, they all know that deadline can be met.