Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Unsold Manuscript

What do you do with an unsold manuscript?
When we begin writing a lot of us have the same dream, to be published by one of the large New York publishing houses. As time goes on, even as we improve our craft and our work gains the attention of editors and agents, some of us realize the manuscript we are trying to sell may not be what the major houses are looking for.Writers with such a manuscript are left with few options:

The Sock Drawer

A time honored solution to the unsold manuscript is to set it aside and work on another project. Certainly, many first manuscripts should go to the sock drawer and stay there, but even if the manuscript is well-written and worthy of publication, sometimes putting it away is the best choice. An author can always pull it out when the market is more friendly, or after they have had another manuscript published.


This has become a more viable option in the past few years. With a little bit of elbow grease an enterprising author can polish a manuscript and enjoy knowing her book is out there.

The Small Publisher

A small publisher may not have the clout of one of the Big Five publishers, but they can help the author put out a quality product. In addition to having an editorial team, authors from small houses often band together to help support each other in craft and promotion. Finally, even with a small publishing house, especially one that has gone through the trouble of becoming a recognized publisher with writer's organizations, there is an additional degree of validation. Someone besides the author loved the manuscript. Someone besides the author was willing to invest in it.

 At this point in my career, I am looking to be published by a small house. I believe in my manuscript, even though it didn't fit the needs of the larger publishers. While I am working on future projects that may one day be picked up by a larger house, I am willing to put myself out there with the help of others who beleive in me and my work.

Do you have an unsold manuscript? What are you going to do with it?

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