Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had Sabrina, our slushie, and Robert, our editor, tell you what they are looking for in a submission. Today, as our submission period officially begins, I suppose it’s time to tell you what I am looking for in a submission this year.
First of all, I’m looking for our next bestseller.
As a publisher, I have to look beyond ‘do I like this book?’ to ‘will Mirror World’s audience like this book?’ and ‘Can I sell this book to an even wider audience to grow our fan base?’
They’re big questions and a lot of pressure. So, does your manuscript have what it takes to succeed in today’s market? Does it fit with Mirror’s World’s mission of providing quality escapism fiction? These are the kinds of things I’m thinking about as I review your manuscript and they’re the kind of things you should be considering before you submit.
Next most important thing I’m looking for is potential.
This is hard to describe, but basically, when I read a sample, or a manuscript as a whole, I want to see that ‘something special’. That thing that catches my interest and makes me want to keep reading. That can sometimes take the form of an interesting concept, or quality writing, or sometimes it’s the voice of the manuscript. Whatever it is that you do well, lean into it because it just might make me notice your manuscript and be willing to put in the work to help you improve it to the point where it’s ready for publication.
Beyond that, I’m looking for engagement.
Draw me in. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I want an engaging opening. Your first line, your first paragraph, your first scene. Something in there has to hook me, has to make me want more. If you can hook me, you can hook your readers. That’s what I want to see. If your opening is boring, find a way to make it more interesting, or start at a different point in your story.
Lastly, I want to see that you can tell a good story.
This is where the synopsis comes in. I tend to read the synopsis last out of the package and that’s basically because I want to see where the story goes and how it ends. Especially if I’ve been intrigued by the sample. I want to make sure the story stays interesting and comes to a satisfying conclusion.
So that’s what I’m looking for. You have until December 1st to send me your submission package. Either myself, Robert, or Sabrina (or some combination thereof) will review it and we will give feedback to let you know either what we thought or what you should do from this point. We won’t leave you stranded and wondering where you went wrong, we know what it’s like in this industry and it’s tough. So send your finished works along, we’d love to see them.
Thanks for reading!