On manuscript submissions – Fiction

Previously I discussed the guidelines for submitting nonfiction manuscripts. Now we are going to discuss the process for reviewing fiction submissions.

Everything discussed in submittion nonfiction applies here as well. But it’s a little bit more delicate. The fiction market is oversaturated. Everyday hundreds of books in various genres are being published, the bookstores are reluctant to stock any works of fiction which are not written by renowned authors and big publishers, and the readers too, are very meticulous in choosing the next book they want to read, and are less prone to risking their money on new authors, unless they have heard or read about them. So, the path for new novelists to get some exposure in the market is very challenging. Naturally, publishers too, are quite careful about the books they decide to publish.

However, we do look for new authors. Actually, we are quite up for the challenge of finding and introducing new talent, especially if it has anything to do with the Middle East. We are happy to risk our investment on rising starts. But they need to be really good.

First of all, when you submit your books, give us a full proposal. If your proposal is incomplete, we won’t read them, as you should be caring about your book as much as you expect us to care. Please give us a ‘full’ synopsis. This is the first thing we read, to decide whether we like the story or not. So the more information you give us in the synopsis, the higher the chance for the editor to move on to reading the book itself. In the synopsis, you should explain the main plot, and then start telling us how the story begins, what happens, what is the main focus, who the characters are, what the challenges are, and how the story ends.

If we like the plot, then we will move on to reading the first chapter. Here, you only have a couple of pages to impress the editor. If I don’t get it in the first two pages, I’m sure I won’t get it at all, and for it to be publishable, you need to hook the reader in the first two pages, in the first page, in the first paragraph; because that’s where your readers will look at, to decide whether they want to read the rest of the story.

Send us also your promotional blurbs for the book: You should try to pitch your story to the editor, and if you can’t sell your book to the one person that can open the gate, he or she won’t be to sell it to thousands of readers.

So, this is it for now, more to come later.

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2 comments on “On manuscript submissions – Fiction


    Dear Garnet Publishing,

    Having looked at your eclectic range of publications, I wonder if my novel could be of interest?

    My novel (historical fiction – 107,000 words) titled ‘Aberrant Robber’ is a fast paced, complex tale of life in 1680’s England. At this time, people lived in a lawless society and travel was always fraught with danger. There was a pyramid made up of the various malcontents and villains, from cut-purses to card-sharps, rustlers to murderers. At the top of the pyramid sat the Highway Robber.

    Aberrant Robber is based on the life of a young vicar’s daughter, Tamar Ellerby who had always been rebellious – a tom-boy, preferring swords and pistols from an early age. Tutored by a soldier from the Civil War, Tamar had become the best ‘swordsman’ in Northamptonshire and when her father insisted on an arranged marriage, Tamar decided to leave home, heading for London. Thus began her career as a highway robber, despite falling in love with a Lord’s son and finding herself in Charles’ court. Discovering she is pregnant and catching her lover with another woman, Tamar arranges for an abortion, almost dying in the process. She takes to the road, joining forces with the son of a governess, who has run away after being falsely accused of attempting to rape the Earl of Danby’s daughter. Their escapades and the various characters they meet richly portray the lives of people in 1680 England where life was cheap, poverty was widespread and a life of crime appealed to many. ‘Aberrant Robber’ introduces the reader to the real villainy, the real harshness, the real corruption of the times and is aimed at the adult fiction market, appealing to both men and women of all ages.
    The novel is akin to Robert Goddard’s ‘Sea Change’, appealing to a similar readership.

    I have been successfully published before (The Evil That Men Do – ISBN 978-1-908268-14-3) and have been writing for the past seven years, achieving publishing success with pieces that have including humorous and short stories, travel articles and specialist articles for industry publications. My current project is a novel covering the period 1912-14, the lead up to the start of World War I.

    I would like to know if ‘Aberrant Robber’ could be of interest to yourselves – it really is a very good story! I thank you for taking the time to read this email and look forward to hearing from you in due course.

    Regards, David Jervis

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