So today I am going to give a PSA to all the aspiring authors out there. And this is a big one because I see this happen A LOT and it is so bad.
Here is the PSA and then I’ll explain why.
DO NOT EVER SEND A MANUSCRIPT TO SOMEONE WHO HAS NOT REQUESTED IT. DO NOT SEND UNSOLICITED MANUSCRIPTS. DO NOT SEND UNSOLICITED CHAPTERS. DON’T DO IT!
This is a standard instruction for all traditional and indie publishing houses as well as agents. And more and more I’ve seen people in the indie and self-published space sending out unsolicited manuscripts to people that they might hire as a coach or service provider or to people that they want to interview them or hype their book. This advice applies to ALL OF YOU! Here’s why:
When a professional in the publishing space, be it trade, indie, self-pub, whatever, receives a manuscript from someone that they did not request, the first thing that they do is click “delete.” Do not pass go, do not collect anything. Hit delete. It’s not to be rude or a jerk, although if their website clearly says “no unsolicited manuscripts” and you send one anyways it is one way to weed out people who can’t follow instructions. The main reason is say that publisher or agent or book coach is working with an author on a book about a space invasion of unicorns. Pretty unique. Well then out of the blue you send them your manuscript for a space invasion of leprechans. The book they were already working on comes out and you think “hey, that’s pretty unique and I sent them my idea, they must have stolen it!” Drama ensues. They didn’t even look at your manuscript, but the suspicion is there. So instead of dealing with this, they know to click “delete” immediately. Especially if this is stated on their website, expect that they will not read one word.
Beyond the potential legal quagmire, you’re assuming this person is sitting around with nothing to do and is just waiting for your manuscript to come along. Likely not the case, they are busy. Build a relationship or at least a rapport first, then make the ask. IF they agree, then send the manuscript over.
But, I want to throw in some caution to you as the author as well. You’ve worked hard on this manuscript. Most people in the industry are good, but we know there are bad actors. A traditional publisher, an indie publisher, an agent, a book coach will never email you out of the blue and ask to see your manuscript. If someone does, they are a scammer. A legitimate person in this industry will get to know you first, likely get some kind of memorandum of understanding or NDA in place with you, prior to asking for a few chapters to sample. Yes, eventually you need to take a leap and trust, but there will be red flags along the way. Be cautious about who you trust your book baby with!
Okay, PSA over. And remember, if you ever have a question as to whether an offer is too good to be true, a person reaching out to you is legit, ask me, ask another author, ask someone. There is such a strong community here to lift each other up, ask for help if you need it.
For querying and going the traditional route check out
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