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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Significant Increase in Manuscript Submissions, Pt. 1

Something interesting is underway. I call it the reshuffling of the manuscript deck.

The downturn in the economy has resulted in massive cuts in the publishing industry. Job cuts and consolidations have sliced through publishing houses of all size. As a niche/reference publisher, we have not felt the downtown (yet, thankfully), but have prepared for it nonetheless.

One of the interesting ramifications of this, something I began to notice last October, was the increase in manuscript submissions by email, phone, fax, and snail mail. Many were for manuscripts that had been under contract and had sat for months or in a couple cases, as long as two years, before being let go by the publisher. The upshot is that instead of an average of one query a day, it has doubled to about two-plus a day.

We have always been blessed with more good manuscripts than we can use, and our program is stronger and more vibrant than it has ever been. The veritable flood of manuscripts inundating us makes it even harder to decide what titles to produce.

Stay tuned for a discussion of how manuscript submissions break down in terms of subject matter (ancient history, Civil War, current events, etc.) I get asked that quite often, and I think it will be an interesting blog post to produce. (You will have to decide if it is interesting to read.)



J David Petruzzi said...

Interesting, and I look forward to hearing about the genre breakdown. As a fan of all types of history, I'm curious as to what folks are writing about and submitting.


Anonymous said...

This will be interesting to hear. I bet you get a lot of junk across a wide number of categories. There is a author in town who wrote a children's book accepted about 18 months or so ago (guessing) and her publisher, a well known kid's book publisher, released her three months ago. My wife (she associated with an overlapping group) said she kept her advance (was not that big) but now she has to start over again. That would to me at least be really frustrating.