1. littleparisdress
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    littleparisdress Member

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    Query letter help!

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by littleparisdress, Jan 15, 2009.

    Hi

    This is my first post on writingforums and so far your help has been great!
    I was wondering who to address my query letter to if i am sending a query letter to a publishing company for a novel i've written. Would it be the publishing director? Or the editor? Or?

    Please help and thanks!
     
  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    The guidelines at a publisher may give a particular name you should address it to. If not, just say "the editors."
     
  3. Iaevich
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    Iaevich Member

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    I would always phone them up, have a chat, develop a rapport and find out who they want it addressed to. Often the information that you'll get from someone on the phone that knows the people in the company is very different from what is on the company website. Additionally, you can then reference the person that you have spoken to on the phone by name as well which will personalise your cover letter.
     
  4. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Even if it were professional behaviour to do so, I seriously doubt publishers have time to answer phone calls about that sort of things. This isn't the same thing as getting a job. Calling an employer is a good thing because it keeps them from having to call you and shows how motivated you are to get the job. How motivated you are to get published is irrelevant if you're an unpublished author submitting to a publisher where you do not know anyone personally. They don't call you unless they are already interested. Calling them to do more than get a name would probably only annoy them.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    unless you want your query to land on the bottom of a big pile, NEVER address it generically, like that... you can always get the name of the right person to address... if it's not in their submission guidelines [and it almost always will be], just call the publishing house and ask the operator the name of its 'acquisitions editor'...

    but i doubt you'd get far, if you ask to be transferred to that person... if you did succeed, as rei notes, you might risk annoying them, instead of making a useful/helpful 'connection'...

    but why are you going directly to publishers, instead of first trying to snag an agent for your book?... if it's for the adult market, an agent would do all that work for you and will get you a better deal than you can manage on your own... same goes for YA novels, though publishers who specialize in those may be more open to unagented queries...
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually there is one publisher I know of that says specifically to adress it to "the editors." BUt again, I said that you adress it that way only if you can't get the name, and it's not exactly hard to get the name.
     
  7. littleparisdress
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    littleparisdress Member

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    Hi again

    Are there any publishers who will accept unsolicited material for youth/child/teen/young adult books?
    Any help would be great?
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Of course there are. But without knowing anything about your book, we can't tell you which ones you can consider.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not only can't but shouldn't... you have to choose your own places to query, as no one else knows your book well enough to do it for you and besides, it's part of the 'job' of being a writer... if you don't want to go to that trouble, then get yourself an agent, as that's what they get paid to do... otherwise, go here and check out which ones best fit what you have to offer:
    www.duotrope.com

    and be sure to look over each one's guidelines very carefully, so your query and submission will fit their requirements...
     
  10. Helo
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    Helo New Member

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    GAH! My eyes almost popped out of my head when people started suggesting that you phone the publishing company! As if; they do not have a friendly operator on call to answer all of your submitting questions!

    Most (if not all) credible literary agents / PH who actually WANT new manuscript submissions will tell you exactly where to send your work in the submission guidelines. If they want to see your work, they will not make it an Easter egg hunt; the info will be posted somewhere on their website.

    Until you are a successful, million-dollar-making author literary agents (and sometimes publishing companies if you're lucky enough to be picked out of their slush-pile) will treat you like a slab of meat, even if they've signed you!

    I would strongly recommend going through a literary agency and not sending your manuscript directly to the publishing house (even if it is a small one and even if they accept non-solicited manuscripts, as even then having an agent to pitch your idea is much more effective than taking your chances with the slush pile).

    Please please please go to www.misssnark.blogspot.com before writing your query / submitting your manuscript.
     

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