Tips For Aspiring Authors On Writing A Submission Proposal

Posted at 12:13pm on 19th July 2010

Dear Mel,

I am a writer and I basically have no clue what to do in order to get published. I am writing in response to the post I saw at :

Now, I am currently working on my final copy of my book, but what do I do in order to submit it for publishing? Do I have to write a letter of some kind first, and if so, what publishing companies should I try? I do not know of any at all.

Thank you for you time, and I hope to hear from you soon.


Mel's Comment:

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your e-mail; please accept my apologies for not having replied sooner; I’ve been somewhat tied up recently.

The short answer to your question is to point you to the Section on my Home page: Writing & Publishing A Book, in which you’ll see a sub-category headed: Manuscript Mechanics, Submission & Publishing. This, along with other Sections on Creative Writing, Blogging, Book Reviews, Bereavement, Personal Growth & Relationships, is a facility I offer to my readers, as a free resource to inform, inspire and encourage them in whatever situation they may find themselves. Each Section is updated, periodically, with the latest articles I’ve written.


However, you’ve written to me with a specific request, so I shall endeavour to answer it for you directly. I’m going to begin with a series of questions which you need to answer for yourself:

  • You’ve said you are a writer, but have not stated what you write – fiction or non-fiction, articles, short stories, or books?
  • My guess, from what you’ve said, is that you are a book author, but that doesn’t tell me whether your book is a novel, biography, or self-help?
  • What market are you writing for? In other words, who are you readers going to be?


These questions are pertinent to what you should do now that you’ve finished your book. (Actually, they’re very relevant before you begin to write a book). Because:

  • It’s vital that you choose the right publisher for your book.

What you need to do is to purchase a copy of Writers & Artists’ Yearbook, The Writers Handbook, or The Writers’ Market. These may well be available at your local library, but you are going to have to make a detailed study of each to find publishers who deal with your particular type of book, so I would suggest that you have your own copy. My article titled: Manuscript Submission Guidelines: How To Write A Publishing Proposal For Your Book will tell you more of this process.


Remember that the first reader you are going to have to impress is the publisher to whom you are writing your letter of proposal. So just as you will have learned to write the opening sentence and paragraph of your book (and the ending of each section) in such a way as to hook your reader, to compel them to read on, so you are going to have to hook the publisher who reads your proposal.

  • Hook the reader – in this case the publisher.


Writing a book synopsis requires a different skill to that of the creative writing you used when completing your book. This is explained in my article: Writing A Synopsis For A Novel To Submit To Publishing Houses. Your submission proposal should include brief details, extracted from your synopsis. The idea is to give the publisher or agent a taste of the aims of the book, the market (readers), theme and storyline. Just enough to compel them to want more!


Which is what I hope you, as an aspiring author, will want! Don’t forget, each category on my Home Page on Creative Writing and on Writing & Publishing A Book has further articles added to it on a regular basis. So why not click the subscribe button (it’s FREE) to receive regular reminders of new posts? Read What It Means To Subscribe to learn more.

Very Best Wishes,


July 2010: Wikio ranking puts Mel Menzies Blog at No. 9,124 out of 205,601. That makes it in the top 4.44%. Isn't that a good reason to SUBSCRIBE? (Click button on right). I love to hear from people, and I will always respond.

Author of a number of books, one a Sunday Times No 4 Bestseller, Mel Menzies is also an experienced Speaker at live events, as well as on Radio and TV. Book her here for your event.

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