April 27, 2014

Non-Email Manuscript Submission

Dear M,

I wonder why the publishers of English books in India still expect authors to send their works by post. Yes, you heard it right. Most (if not all the good ones) publishers have written very clearly that emails are not entertained. (There has been a slight change in the recent times, though, and one publisher has given an email ID in their website, however no one seems to be on the other end of it, except a bot that sends auto-thank-you-responses.) Another well-known publisher had enabled email submission guidelines, but before long they reverted back to post submissions.

What could be the reason?

The only reason I can think of is that, since these publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts, once the email channel is opened, there is bound to be a flood of submissions daily. There is no effort in shooting an email to anyone at any time of the day. But think of taking print outs of about 50-60 pages of your work (after formatting them according to specifications), making sure the pages are in order, copying down the name and address (making sure the query letter is addressed properly) and taking them to the courier/post office - and doing this fifteen times? (And at least once mixing up the names, and addressing the Penguin editor in the courier that went to Harper Collins?) No, unless you are serious about publishing even one tiny bit, you would not go through all that trouble.

I am not surprised that the publisher who had temporarily opened email submissions had quickly closed it down.

Maybe there is a simpler reason behind it. If there is, I would like to be enlightened.

Love.

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1 comment :

  1. That seems valid. People who are really interested would only take efforts to send it through post. From the publisher's end, that is one way or narrowing down the entries.

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