An unsolicited manuscript is something that an unmanaged writer sends directly to a publisher. It can be a way to get your work published, but you’ve got to make sure you’re sending your manuscript to a publisher that will actually accept it. Which book publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts? Here are some of the best options that are available at the time of this writing – keep in mind that publishers can change their preferences at any time.
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#1. DAW Books
This is the fantasy and science fiction division of Penguin Books. They will accept unsolicited manuscripts, but tend to prefer seeing them on paper instead of in an electronic submission. You can only send them one unsolicited manuscript at a time, otherwise your work may be rejected outright without review. It takes about 90 days for this publisher to reply with a response to your manuscript.
This publisher has several divisions which generally accept unsolicited manuscripts in several categories. This includes non-fiction publishing as well. The advantage of submitting to this publisher is that they accept email submissions and will direct you to a specific editor that covers the topic contained within your manuscript. There are specific word counts that your manuscripts must reach. The disadvantage of this publisher is that they will not give you a rejection. You just won’t hear from them.
#3. Baen Books
If you’re a science fiction writer, then you may know about this publisher already. They are extremely friendly as a publisher to new authors and their preference is to receive electronic submissions. There is even an submission form to use on their website. Make sure your manuscript is in .rtf format, otherwise it will be automatically rejected. They also want minimal formatting on your manuscript, but do have specific rules which must be followed, including specific fonts for your document.
This book publisher accepts unsolicited adult and children’s manuscripts for consideration. Unless it is a picture book, you’re requested to either send a full manuscript or a query letter with three completed chapters for consideration. You cannot send a query letter without a manuscript to have your ideas considered by this publisher. Although all categories are considered, self-help, parenting, education, and health-related books are the top priorities of this publisher.
#5. Lee and Low Books
This publisher accepts unsolicited manuscripts for children’s books only. They prefer to have books which offer a multicultural theme to the story. They want an authentic voice that targets minority ethnic groups as that is their primary target audience. Unsolicited submissions from new authors must be send through regular mail only. No electronic submissions will be considered.
#6. NCM Publishing
This publisher will accept unsolicited manuscripts, but only wants you to send the first three chapters with a professional query letter and your contact information. Email queries are accepted. Your manuscript must be edited for it to be considered for publication. You’re also requested to include a book marketing and promotion plan, whether your submission is fiction or non-fiction
This romance publisher is one of the world’s leading publishers of books for women. More than 100 titles are published every month and over 1,300 different authors are represented at any given time. Although their main single title publishing lines accept only agented submissions, their adult fiction imprint Carina Press accepts general adult fiction in several categories. You’ll need to include a cover letter, a story synopsis, and the first three chapters at minimum of your manuscript. It takes up to 12 weeks to receive a response.
#8. Dream Big
This boutique publisher accepts agented and unagented authors. They are looking for full length novels that can be above 120,000 words. There are several categories that are accepting submissions for this publisher, but non-fiction, horror, and religious books are not considered. Poetry is absolutely not accepted or considered. Most authors receive a response in about 2-3 weeks. This is a print on demand publisher, however, so it may not be a first-choice publishing option for some writers.
Before sending in your manuscript, make sure it meets the expectations of the publisher so it will be considered. Follow all instructions to the letter and you’ll give yourself a shot at being published. And, if you end up with a rejection letter, you can just try again with another publisher.