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Standard Policies for How to Submit Your Manuscript Online Electronically

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More and more publishing companies are getting with the times and allowing for online submission of manuscripts, either directly through a content box on their website or through an email which they will provide you with on the website.

This saves everyone time, money and paper. While each company does things a little differently, when submitting a manuscript electronically most follow the same basic principles.

online submission

Here is How to Submit Your Manuscript Online to Publishing Companies:

1. Format the manuscript according to each publishing company’s specifications. This will include font style, text size, margins, spacing, headers, footers, page numbers, word count, and so on.

(If the publishing company does not provide specific requirements for how they would like a manuscript formatted you can just use the standard manuscript formatting for your genre).

2. Convert to PDF Format. Most publishing companies require that your document is submitted in PDF version, so you will need to convert your document to this format. This can be done through most software programs by saving or exporting as a PDF document.

3. Include Your Cover Letter as your email or message. The body of your email or message will usually serve as your cover letter. (You will then need to add your manuscript as an attachment).

Helpful Tip: In order to ensure that you are providing the publishing house with the best possible pitch for your book you should first write a cover letter in document format as though you were going to sent it through the mail.

Email is less formal and in just writing to the company in the text box of the email, misspellings, important information being left out and other major errors may occur. In addition, your email may exceed the one page length/word count that editors prefer.

By writing it in an actual document you can be sure you are adhering to the proper length because you can see when the page ends.

Really take your time and spend several days to complete a professional and polished letter that includes the editors name in the greeting, all necessary information in the body, a professional closing, and your signature.

4. Check whether they need a proposal or the full manuscript. Some publishing companies may ask you to send in a book proposal rather than your whole manuscript. If this is the case, you will need to attach a PDF version of this document, in place of the manuscript.

This is all you need to know to be able to make an online submission to a publishing company. If you have any questions, or have ever submitted an online manuscript and have some other tips or would just like to share your experience with the process, please add your comments and questions below.

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9 thoughts on “Standard Policies for How to Submit Your Manuscript Online Electronically”

    • Hi Tiffany! This is a common question, but not an easy one to answer because it depends on so many different factors.
      It is generally best to speak with an experienced copyright law attorney if you have any specific questions about copyright law and protecting your rights as a writer. Unfortunately, it is not a “one size fits all” answer!

  1. Hi my name is Lynda and I am from South Africa. I am completely new to the subject of Book-writing and have found the above information very helpful. Thank you

  2. Thank you for all the info! It feels like I am getting an idea of how to get started. Before, it felt like being lost in a black hole of the Publishing business!

    • Hi Ina, Submission policies can vary widely between agents and publishers. The best thing to do is to check with their submission guidelines and follow the exact format they request.

  3. I am 72 years old and computer dumb. As a pharmacist with one six month course in English Composition back when Noah was out sailing, I have little knowledge of procedure. I have written a query letter but they are requesting this plus the first ten pages of the manuscript to be pasted to the email. How do I do this if you can help.
    Thank you.

  4. I have found your advice and guidance very helpful in my pursuit of writing my first book. I do have some experience in writing. But that was a few years ago and we now live in a new world and new insight is refreshing. Thanks


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