Sunday, 12 September 2010

The Great Publisher Send Off - Update Part 1

You may remember about a month ago as an experiment I decided to see how easy it was to find out the names of editors and, because I already have an editor myself, I decided I'd do it for picture books as I had some stories I'd written a couple of years ago and not done anything with.

The result was, after three hours, I had a list of fifteen publishers who published picture books. Most of them did not accept unsolicited material, but I had the names of thirteen editors. Number fourteen had a special submissions department, number fifteen I couldn't find the name of an editor, got bored with the whole thing and gave up at that point.

I sent them all off, expecting either to not hear anything for at least three months, or for there to be an immediate turnaround from the 'we don't accept unsoliciteds'. Neither has happened.

I've had two responses. One is from a publisher who accepts unsolicited material where not only I had a named editor, I could drop in a reference to a talk they had given in my covering letter. The other from the publisher who doesn't take unsolicited material and I couldn't find an named editor.

One was a brief, standard thanks but no thanks letter that could have been written to anyone and was signed by an editorial assistant. One was a phone call from the editor telling me she liked my work and that my submission was going to the main editorial meeting.

Guess which response I got from which publisher....


Anne said...

Everyone would have assumed you got the response the publisher where you knew the name of the editor of course. So I assume it’s the reverse. But I was interested enough to go to your blog to see if the second part was posted as the e-mail comes out a day later.
I am finding the same with marketing my gardening book to bookshops in Oman and the UAE the response is random, which is why you have to try every bookshop, tedious though it is.

Sarah Duncan said...

Glad it intrigued enough to check out Part 2.

It's a tough old business, and no less hard for being so random. You just have to keep persisting...Good luck with the book.