We do a lot of talking about agents here at Sub It Club. Having an agent represent your work means it has been vetted by a professional. Editors are so busy, this is a big plus for them. Yes, there are a lot of publishing houses that are closed to unagented submissions. But fear not my unagented friends, that does not mean that you have to have an agent! There are still plenty of publishers that are open to submissions from the unagented.
How do you find them?
- You read in your genre, right? Take note of publisher names and websites. Look them up online. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find submission guidelines. Try ‘About Us’, ‘Contact’, and ‘Frequently Asked Questions’. Googling the name of the publisher along with “submission guidelines” can work too. Yes, sometimes you’ll find they’re closed to submissions but sometimes you’ll find gold! They’re open to submissions and have guidelines! Woohoo! It can help to keep a list so you don’t keep rechecking the same publisher over and over. (Yes, I speak from experience.)
- Get a market book. Market books such as Writer’s Market have a section where they list publishers. Some are open to unagented submissions and some are not. Of course, once you find those listed as open you need to go and double check online. Things can change rapidly and you don’t want to waste your time putting together a submission package only to find out they are a closed house.
- Keep in mind that market books don’t list every publisher, so keep your eyes peeled. Look in books at the library and book store. Read Publisher’s Weekly to keep up on the latest publishing news. Try to tune in on Twitter and see what’s happening in the publishing world. Talk to your submitting friends and share info!
Submitting on your own to publishers can be a lot of work, but so is getting together a completed, submission ready piece, and you did that!
You got this.
We need to talk more about submitting straight to publishers, and we will!
Awesome advice as always Heather!
Thanks, Heather! I’ll keep on keepin’ on.
Good for you Deborah! Here’s to finding a publisher who loves your story!
I’m always keeping an eye out for publisher’s names to try and find ones that allow un-agented submissions – when browsing thru the book section of a store, when friends on the internet blog about their books and you can even look at the books on Amazon for their publisher’s name. Finding a publisher to send my stories to is my least favorite thing about writing. But, my books aren’t going to get published sitting inside my computer :o)
It can be tough but it’s part of the job of getting published. Even when you have an agent it is still good to know publishers and what they’re looking for. Good for you for being proactive! Good luck!