Ask an Expert
Submitting a Manuscript for Publication
Expert: Jacqueline Hushion
I am interested in sending a children's story I recently wrote to a publisher but I don't know who to send it to and how I should do it. Can you help? I'm in Ottawa, Ontario.
Jacqueline Hushion answered:
The first objective in submitting your manuscript for publication will be to narrow the field. The book publishing industry's directory -- The Book Trade in Canada -- is a comprehensive reference tool. Your public library will have a copy. To obtain a copy of the book, instead of borrowing it from the library, email the publisher of The Book Trade at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The children's librarian at your branch of the Ottawa Public Library system, or the buyer of children's books at a bookstore near you, are local experts who will probably be happy to talk with you. They will know who publishes books complementary to yours.
There are many publishing specialties; one is children's publishing. In fact, Canada's international reputation for children's books is impressive. You may approach publishers directly or through a literary agent. The directory has a section on agents. You may send your manuscript to one publishing house at a time and wait for a decision; you may submit it to several houses at once -- and let them know that you are; or, you may retain an intermediary to open doors for you. That is the agent's role. There is no particularly recommended course. Publishers are always on the lookout for promising titles and authors but often the house does its own scouting; some houses do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. But if you try some of these tips hopefully they'll pay off. Good luck.
About the author
Jacqueline Hushion is the Executive Director at the Canadian Publishers' Council.