In the last article, we saw what to do before starting the publisher hunt. So, now you are ready with the full completed edited manuscript. For traditional publishing as well as self-publishing, some procedures need to be taken care of. In this article, we will see the steps to be followed, while contacting the traditional publishers as well as literary agents.

Even if you are ready with the full manuscript, the traditional publishing firms would be quite ready to assort their time to read the complete book. Every publishers have their specific terms and conditions for accepting a manuscript. While some, in fact very few, ask for full manuscript, most of the publishers and literary agents would prefer a proposal. What should a proposal contain? Well this is different for different publishers.

  1. Publishers’ Website

Every credible publishers will have a website or a social media page. You need to check it before contacting them. If it is a website, they might be having a page solely for the submission guidelines. The page would specify what all are needed in your proposal. If it is a social media page, you can check the about page. Established publishers will have different E-mail IDs for different wings. Like, etc. Make sure the e-mail ID you use is the right one. Some publishers accept hard copy. In such cases, you should send a printed copy to the mailing address

  1. Sending Proposals

Once you get the guidelines, you should prepare a quality proposal. Generally, the proposal should contain a brief synopsis, first two chapters (two- three poems for poetry books) and author bio. Some publishers might ask for a concept note, marketing plans, chapter outline, target audience etc. If no guidelines are specified, it is ideal to send a brief synopsis, first three chapters, and author bio along with an inviting covering letter.

  1. Waiting time

The publishers would specify as to how much time they would take to assess your proposal. This will vary from two weeks to six months. You should keep your hands of the mail until the specified time is over. If you keep on sending enquiries about the proposal before that, you will end up in the spammers list, which in turn affect the status of your proposal even if your file is exemplary. Hence suppress your anxiety and wait till the proposed time is over

  1. Gentle Reminder

If you don’t get any response after the proposed time, you can send a gentle reminder about your proposal.  Even if no time span is specified, it is ideal to wait for three months before sending the reminder. Again, the reminder should end in a single mail. You should not send mails one after the other forcing them to block your mail ID.

  1. Rejection

Some publishers send a rejection mail informing you that your proposal would not fit in your schedule. Most publishers do not cite a reason for the rejection. Worse of all, some do not respond at all. Make yourself ready for facing rejection. Many successful writers had to face many rejection. Many publishers rejected first book written by Chetan Bhagat, Amish Tripathi, Margerett Mitchell, J.K Rowling etc. Now, where do they stand now? So keep your esteem high.

  1. Acceptance

If your proposal is accepted, the publishers will ask you to send the full manuscript. Asking for full manuscript doesn’t mean that they agreed to publish your book. The publishers might reject your work after assessing the full manuscript. Hence the rules for accepting rejection applies here as well.

If the publisher agrees to publish your book, then what you have to do? The publishers themselves would communicate that. So what are you waiting for? Start preparing your proposal soon.

Next time when we meet, we will see how to prepare a promising proposal.

Also Read

7 Things To Do Before Approaching A Publisher For Your Book

How To Write A Convincing Thriller


Rakhi Jayashankar

Rakhi Jayashankar

Author at MerryBrains
Rakhi was born in a small town in Kerala. Born and brought up as a quintessential small town girl, she had always been ambitious and goal-oriented. After her masters in Biotechnology and Business Administration, she joined as an HR recruiter in a consulting firm. Her eight year old love life blossomed into marriage in 2010 and she joined her husband's family business. Blessed with two children, she is a full time mother and a writer. Her passion for literature made her the author of the poetry collection Un-assuaged- The blossoms of my imaginations.

She started writing her blog Outset- Rakhi Jayashankar's Blog The blog which started off as a collection of articles, switched into a reviewing blog, owing to the unending requests from new authors. Thus she ended up as a reviewer of books on behalf of both authors and publishers.

With a surge of new ideas and articles slithering through the mind, Rakhi tries to entertain and educate the mass of followers.
Rakhi Jayashankar