Reaching out to publishers as a first time or new author can be incredibly scary. This will be the first time your manuscript will be in the hands of someone that will put a commercial value on it – this will be the very first time that your work will be appraised. And yes, it is nerve wrecking.
Many authors make the mistake of sending off their manuscript to more than one publisher at a time and this might hurt their chances of getting published!
You must do your research
Yes, I get it. You want your book out there and you want your book to be published fast. Preferably you would have wanted it published yesterday.
The truth is that publishing takes time. Loads of time.
Many authors will not hold a physical copy of their book within 2 years of signing a contract. This is one of the reasons why self-publishing is incredibly popular: It is quick and there’s no fear of being rejected since you are doing everything yourself.
But to make the whole process a bit easier for yourself, it is best to only send your manuscript off to one publisher at a time. Why? Because there’s a lot of research that goes into researching a publisher. You need to know WHAT they publish, WHO they publish and HOW they publish. Especially the how is important. You want to know if they publish eBooks of physical books. You want to know if what they publish is actual quality. Look at the covers of the books, look at reviews of the books on Amazon and go to your local book store or library and look up some of the books they publish to have a look at the quality of the physical publishing. This takes a while.
It gives you time to chase up your manuscript
Only submitting to one publisher at a time will give you the time you need to chase up on your manuscript. Haven’t heard of them after 2 weeks? Try calling them or sending them an email. This way you will not only stay fresh into their mind and memory, you will also show you are incredibly interested and engaged.
You wouldn’t want to piss off a publisher, do you?
Sending off your manuscript to more than one publisher is a bit dangerous. Why? Well, imagine more than one will offer you a contract.
But this also means that you will have to tell one publisher that you are not interested in publishing with them. This will most likely piss them off – they had counted on your book and will now have to accept a bad book OR have an empty slot in their calendar. Not good.
Since publishers are not for life, you would not want to piss off a publisher you might have to work with in the future.