Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How do I submit my manuscript to Just Write Books?


People have asked how to prepare manuscript for submission to Just Write Books. Always before, I have said, "Print in a reasonable font size with 1-inch margins." I felt that would give people enough information.  I was wrong. So I developed the following guidelines for manuscript (ms) submission.

Just Write Books does not accept unsolicited manuscripts.  We care about the amount of trees used in the world for paper.  Call, write or email to tell us about your book.  Publisher Nancy E. Randolph will want to speak with the author to learn about the book, the author and why this book should be published. Only a few manuscripts evolve into a book with Just Write Books.

Just Write Books does not return manuscripts. Don't send us your only copy.  If your manuscript is rejected for publication; we carefully shred it.  The cost of return (of packaging and shipping/mailing the manuscript) far out weigh the cost of reprinting.

No reading fee but a donation. This year Just Write Books asks that you donate to the Androscoggin Riverwalk or the Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org when sending us a ms to review.  Upon being invited to submit your ms, please send a copy of your check (to one of the two nonprofits above) with your manuscript. $25 for 1-99 page manuscript. $50 for a manuscript of 100 pages or more. 

Before printing your manuscript, complete a thorough edit. It will survive another another round or two of edits at Just Write Books. Please read it aloud and spell check.  Both of these things will help prevent your manuscript from going through the shredder.
  1. Your manuscript must be a computer-generated printout. No handwritten submissions.
  2. Use clean, white 8 ½ by 11 inch unlined paper of average thickness. No designer paper.
  3. Use an easy to read font. Most computers have Times New Roman. Please do not use different typefaces or sizes. Don't try to make it look "good." You'll only irritate the reader. Our preferred font size is 11 or 12.
  4. Left justify the print. Do not right justify, center or fill the line to force a right flush. Do not format or insert photos. Just the text please.
  5. Provide a list of photographs or illustrations and include a couple of printed samples of the same.
  6. Use a one-inch margin: top, bottom, right and left.
  7. Indent each paragraph by .3 or .5 inch. Do not leave a blank line between paragraphs.
  8. Double space the entire document.
  9. Created a running head with the title of the book and your name.
  10. Place page numbers centered at the bottom of each page.
  11. Do not 3-hole punch, staple or otherwise bind your manuscript. We might take only 20 pages to read away from our desk.
  12. Check every page for clear printing and that every page printed.  
If you have followed the above suggestions; our reader will be able to read your file, make comments, edits and suggestions without straining her eyes or developing a migraine headache.  In addition, when it is time to make your manuscript into a book, it will be in the right format for flowing into desktop publishing software.
  1. Never send the only copy of your manuscript.
  2. Don't include a cover letter. (By this time, we've already told you to mail a copy.) This will allow you to mail the manuscript via Media Mail through the US Postal Service. (If you want to send a cover letter; mail it separately in a first class envelope or email anything you want to tell us. 
  3. Double check everything before mailing, including our mailing address. Just Write Books, 14 Munroe Lane, Topsham, ME 04086.
  4. Seal and drop in the mailbox. 
  5. If you haven't heard from us in 2 months; send a postcard or simple letter.  That's polite and nonirritating.
I hope this helps clarify things for the authors. 

No comments: