We've covered the basics, kinda, so today we look at what goes into a submission, what you mail (or e-mail).
First, I'll say it again, read the guidelines. Legitimate publishers, the big six and indies, will tell you what they want.
Here's the standard rule of thumb - in case they don't.
First the perfect cover letter. (We covered that)
Then a synopsis (Okay, many of us hate that word - me among them, but I've learned few tricks, if like me you do not like them)
Then the manuscript. It might be the first three chapters, over the first fifty pages, or the whole book. Don't send them bits and pieces. I don't care if you've written the world's greatest love scene. If it's not in the pages they want don't send it. Nothing marks you an amateur like that.
Guidelines will usually spell out what font they want and about how many words to a page, (we've covered fonts and we'll cover how to estimate the number of words if you don't use a computer with a word counter on it)
Again, as clean as you can make the copy. If it's on paper, print out a new copy and if "e" they will probably tell you how they want you to send. Follow their guidelines.
Don't forget to include you name (especially if you are writing under a pen name), and if you are sending a print copy to a publisher, be sure to include return postage. (That's another thing I didn't do, first time around. I don't remember what it cost Pocket to return it, but they did.)
And, whatever you do - don't send your only copy. I print out copies of my "e" submissions, and also save them on disk and flash drives.
In some cases, the publisher might want a marketing plan but if they do, don't worry, we'll take a look at marketing plans later, probably in May.
Send and WAIT. We'll get into that soon.
Next Monday I'll tackle that horrible thing the synopsis (Can you tell I don't like them?)
Heart-warming Romance with a Sensual Touch
Betrayed Bride coming in May from Champagne Books