How To Land a Traditional Publisher?

by Erica Surace

We can define Traditional publishing as when a publisher offers an author a deal and then does the printing, publishing, and selling of the book through booksellers and other retailers. The publisher essentially buys the right to publish your book and pays you royalties from the sales.

This article will be considering how to land a traditional publisher.

In traditional publishing, publishers assume all costs and pay you an advance and royalties from sales. It would be best to persuade them to accept your work by submitting an effective pitch or manuscript to avoid being turned down.

Here are five guidelines to walk you through landing a traditional publisher


 Research Your Genre

Talk to authors, editors, and writing coaches for advice on getting published, and 95% of them will tell you to read in your genre intensively. The other 5% will assume you are doing it already.

As an author, you should not be learning from your fellow writers only, but you should also know the kind of books people are willing to buy. That will give you an insight into the type of books publishers are looking for and how your book will fit into their expectations. The quality of your writing always matters a whole lot if you intend to be published traditionally. Read in your genre widely, practice your craft, and get your work polished. Repeat this continuously. 




 Request for Feedback on Your Manuscript And Edit.

This whole article relies on how good your book is. It must not be the finest novel ever written, but it must be something its target audience will enjoy. For that reason, an agent mustn't be the first person to read through your manuscript.

Before you start looking for an agent, consider working with beta readers: people interested in your genre who can offer you a response from a third-party perspective. And try to get a professional! Your family or friend might be willing to help, but for two reasons, they may not be your best choice:

  • As your close allies, they may not be objective
  • They may not belong to your target readership.

Please pay attention to what they say and edit base on the feedback you receive. You might also consider working with professional copy and developmental editors.


Search for Suitable Agents 

At this point, your manuscript is ready, and you have a clear insight into whom it's targeted. With that settled, it's time to get yourself an agent.

While some medium and small size presses accept unagented submissions, securing an agent first will give you the best chance of getting a traditional publishing deal. Agents do not only have good connections at publishing companies, but they will also know how best to sell it to acquiring editors.

Arrange Your Submission and Send Out A Query.

Unless you are personally introduced to an agent, there are laid down procedures for successfully getting an agent for the first time:

  •  Send the agent a query letter (a 1-page pitch letter that briefly describes your work).
  • If the agent is pleased. They will request your manuscript and read it
  • You enter discussions regarding your book and career if they love your book
  • You sign an agreement that permits the agent to represent your book

 Work with Your Agent to Find A Publisher.

Your agent can help to develop your manuscript further. In many instances, they'll see potential in your book and be your first editor of sorts. Ideally, you will discuss how your book will sell before signing an agreement with them.

And once you're both comfortable with your manuscript, it's then up to your agent to go out in the wilderness, pitch your book to publishers, and negotiate the best possible deal.


Image by Lubos Houska from Pixabay