Thursday, January 22, 2009


E-Publishing Tips – Submitting Your Manuscript the Right Way

With the last feature I wrote on e-Publishing a couple of questions came up a number of times. These questions came up both in the comments of the last article, and in my inbox. As always we’re here to help, and today we are answering your questions. The questions were:

Do you know of an e-Publisher that will publish poetry anthologies?

What should I do to get my manuscript ready to submit?

David Barber referred me to All Things that Matter Press as one e-Publisher that puts out great poetry eBooks (they do a lot more than that, but we’ll get to that). Phil, the editor from All Things that Matter, was kind enough to answer my questions so that I could share his insight and answer the other question for you.

My original intention when I interviewed Phil was to use the information he provided me to create an article on the topic. In this case though, his answers are very well written, and I don’t think I could possibly say it any better than he did himself. With that said here are the results of my query with All Things that Matter Press.

The email Interview with Phil from All Things that Matter Press:

What is All Things That Matters Press, and what types of work do you publish?

ALL THINGS THAT MATTER PRESS is a new, small press. Our goal is to help authors, new and established, get their books published and into the marketplace. There are no fees or costs to the author. We look primarily for authors with a ‘message’ who have something they would like to say to the reading public. We are pretty much open on genre, and we have published poetry, science fiction, young adult, non-fiction, and even a romance. We do not want to see ‘formula’ type books or those that are just for mindless mass appeal. If the author has something really important to say about the world we all inhabit, we will take a look. We do not do children’s books, books with a strong religious bias (Christian lit), chick lit, or any books that promote violence, hatred or pornography. We really like spiritual self-growth/transformation titles and those stories (including poetry) that reach out to the soul and touch the heart.

What do you look for the most when a new author submits a manuscript to you for publishing?

What impresses us the most is if the author seems really excited about their book. Even if the manuscript is submitted elsewhere, they have taken the time to gear their letter to us. It is not that we want the author to tell us how great their book may be, but rather they present a tone that says “I have something really important to say to the world and I have done my best to put it into words.” It is also crucial that the author follows the submission guidelines and appears to have read our web site. A turn off is when someone asks questions that are ‘clearly’ posted on our web page. We also have received emails that start out saying something like, “Before I send my manuscript you need to answer these questions.” Well, while we do not at all mind answering questions, an attitude that our press may not be worthy of their submission is not the best way to start. So if an author sends a submission that shows excitement and clearly demonstrates they are attuned to who we are as a publisher, the door opens a bit wider.

What are your suggestions to those new authors when preparing their manuscript for submission?

You would be amazed at how many authors have not even done a simple spelling and grammar check. I saw a post on a web site where they were all upset that we wanted the manuscript to be edited prior to submission. Go to any publisher’s site and count the times you see the word “edit.” Go to any book marketing site or read any article on how to submit a manuscript; lack of ‘editing’ is top on the list of major mistakes that an author makes. We even get queries with typos. If an author does not take the time to do editing of their own work then any publisher will question that author’s commitment to their project. Does this mean that the ms must be perfect? No. We edit all books that we publish for both mechanics and content (consistency, time lines, etc.). No editing is perfect as there are many way to say the same thing, and even grammar is not really an exact science. We always send a ‘redlined’ edit to the author for review and approval. Finally, it is important that a submission be sent in the format required by the publisher. Each publisher is different so if the author has not made the effort to follow simple submission formats they are not starting off on the right foot.


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