Post: Include these things with your manuscript submission


It’s an exciting moment when you add a punctuation mark to the final sentence of the last chapter of the fiction novel you’ve been working on for months (or years). You no doubt feel a mix of emotions at that time. Perhaps you’re relieved that you’ve completed the project but also a tad bit sorrowful that it’s over. 

That’s just it, though—if your goal is to make your story available to readers all over the globe, then your project is just beginning. It’s time to submit it to a publisher for consideration. The last thing you want is to have a publisher reject your manuscript because it doesn’t meet submission requirements. Every publishing venue has its own guidelines; however, there are several requirements that are par for the course with most companies. 

Keep these manuscript submission guidelines in mind

If you want to increase the chances of moving your manuscript to the next level of review for consideration by a publisher, make sure you include the items on the following list with your submission: 

Cover Letter that includes:

  • Your full name (and pseudonym, if you use one)
  • Your address, telephone number, and email address 
  • Any details of past writing experience
  • Links to any previously published works
  • Links for your social media platforms
  • Your website address, if applicable
  • An estimated word count for your complete manuscript


  • A synopsis is a brief overview of your manuscript. Your synopsis should not exceed 500 words and should provide a reason why your work should be considered for publication.

Include a copy of your full and complete manuscript in a simple format.

Once you’ve submitted a manuscript and cover letter, the vetting process begins. This process typically includes a review of your cover letter and query. If the reviewer likes what they see, your submission will be bumped to the next level. 

Be patient

You might feel nervous and anxious while waiting for a concrete decision from a publisher. Keep in mind, however, that it might take as long as six months or more before you receive an acceptance or rejection letter. If a publisher accepts your manuscript, it could take twice that long for it to be published. 

If you’re an inexperienced novelist, you may want to seek out a publisher who accepts unsolicited manuscripts in the fiction space. Such publishers are typically willing to work directly with aspiring authors, as opposed to requiring literary agents. If you have a specific publishing house in mind for your submission, it’s a good idea to visit their website or contact them directly to make sure you understand the submission requirements before hitting the “send” button for your manuscript.