Diary of a Newbie Novelist

By JaneIsaac Diary of a Newbie Novelist, Submissions Comments Off on Diary of a Newbie Novelist

End May 2011

As newbies, where can we look for a publisher that will read and consider our work?

It is well known that the major houses will only accept submissions via a literary Agent. So if you don’t have an Agent, where do you start? This was my next dilemma.

My former Agent suggested a few independent houses to start with but, alas, when I checked their websites most of those had recently changed their policy; now only accepting submissions via a literary Agent themselves. I did the normal things like trawl the Writers and Artists Yearbook, googled ‘Independent Publishing Houses’ in as many word variations as I could muster, subscribed to ‘writethismoment.com’, a site advertising calls for submissions. This gave me a handful.

I saw in the news that the London Book Fair had just finished in London. This is an event frequented by Agents and Publishers – so I checked out the stall holders and came up with some new houses this way.

The search took weeks. It seemed that I was spending every spare moment, looking for sites, checking their genre requirements, submission guidelines, making sure they would accept contact from new writers. There were many that fell at the first hurdle; either they didn’t accept my genre or they were closed for submissions. Eventually, I ended up with a list.

Submitting novel queries (introductory letter, synopsis and first three chapters in most cases), by snail mail can prove expensive in terms of printing costs and postage. So I decided to only try those that accepted submission by email, and sent my novel off to the first tranche. Back to the waiting game…


Author’s note: I would like to share my list of potential publishing houses with any budding novelists out there who are looking to submit their work. You will find a list of independent publishing houses, open to submissions, in the forum under Writing Goals – Goal to being published. Good luck to you all!


Jane Isaac is very much a Newbie, she doesn’t even have a website yet (one day…) and with a day job, a family and a very demanding black Labrador, she squeezes her writing into every spare moment she gets. Join her on the rocky road from pen to publication – hopefully!

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