The Proposal Process, Part 1

The first thing to note about the proposal process is that it is a process…and, well…processes take time. Plenty of authors submit a proposal on Monday and expect to hear whether or not their book will be published by Friday. In a week or two, when they can no longer stand the suspense, they either assume the worst or start contacting the publishing house to ask about the status of their submission.

The fact is that several weeks may pass before an editor even has the chance to look at what you’ve sent in. Don’t give up! But please understand that extra phone calls and emails just slow us down. (Excessive communication can also make us wonder about what a working relationship with a particular author might be like.)

At OSV, we make a commitment to answering every potential author in some way. Not all publishers do. But it’s important to remember that the quickest answer any author will receive from any publisher is almost always “no.”

In order for a publishing house to invest its resources in your project, an internal coalition needs to form around your proposal. All the necessary planets—editorial, marketing, design, production, and yes, financials—must be brought into alignment.  To do that, lots and lots of questions need to be answered. That is where your acquisitions editor comes in.

More to come…

Jaymie Stuart Wolfe, Acquisitions Editor

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