Interested in Publishing with Saguaro Books?
SAguaro Books, LLC is a publisher of quality middle grade and young adult (ages 10-18) fiction by first time authors over the age of 18. We are dedicated to making reading fun. We are a print-on-demand publisher, not a vanity press. We adhere to strict editorial and publishing standards. We utilize the newest publishing technology available. We are an equal opportunity publisher and do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, gender, religion or sexual orientation
Please follow these steps:
1. Send us a query to tell us what you have in mind for a submission.
- We are looking for exclusive submissions only. Address your query specifically to the publisher, Ms. Mary Nickum
- We'll let you know if it fits into our plan for publication.
If we find your query letter information of
interest, we will ask you to submit a cover letter and 2-3 chapters to give us
an idea of your work and your style.
3. If your work is determined to be consistent with our publication goals, we will include a Submission Guidelines in our communication.
4. You must be over the age of 18 to submit to us. We will not contract with minors.
WHAT WE WILL NOT ACCEPT:
- Work by previously published authors,
- Any query from an author, published or self-published,
- Manuscripts from an Agent,
- Manuscripts for any audience other than middle grade or young adult,
- Partial or incomplete and unedited manuscripts,
- Necrophilia, rape or incest, racial slurs or cursing,
- Fan fiction [Fan fiction (alternatively referred to as fanfiction, fanfic, FF, or fic) is a broadly-defined term for fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator.],
- Poetry and rhyming text.
To enhance the acceptability and marketability of your manuscript, please consider one or more of these options:
• Join a group that will help you learn about children’s and young adult publishing, such as the SCBWI http://www.scbwi.org.
• Form or join a critique group, either local or online, that focuses on constructive critiques.
Work with an editorial service to improve the quality of your manuscript
before submitting it. Saguaro Books suggests* a service, such as: http://www.firstediting.com/fiction_editing_services.php or https://www.editorworld.com/editors
*Saguaro Books has no affiliation with either service.
Send your query by email to: email@example.com
A Word to the Wise
Writing Your Cover Letter
A solid cover letter ensures your first impression isn’t your last.
Here’s why making a great first impression is so essential:
Mistakes in your initial missive can alienate an editor into deleting your
e-mail or tossing your envelope into the garbage without even reading what’s
behind it. On the other hand, if you manage to charm your superior into giving
it a serious look, she may find herself willing to work with you to make your
piece publishable, even if it’s not already. Here are nine steps to ensure your
submission covers all the bases.
1. BE ACCESSIBLE. Make sure to put your name, full address, phone number and e-mail on top of your letter, your submission and all correspondence (including e-mails).
Many editors will offer cyber rejections, but want to pick up the phone to say “yes,” or to see if you’re willing to rewrite pronto. If they can’t reach you, they might just reach someone else.
2. GET A NAME. You should never send anything without a specific name. If you do, you can’t follow up. Be sure to figure out the right editor to contact. You can find this info on the masthead or website, in an Internet search or with a quick phone call.
3. BE PROFESSIONAL. “Hey Mary, how’s it going?” is NOT a good way to start a professional correspondence, even if the editor is a friend of a friend. “Dear Ms. Nickum” is more respectful. Also, be aware that humor is subjective. Self-deprecation can be amusing when it comes from Pope Francis I or Woody Allen, but you should think twice before trying it with someone you don’t know.
4. EMPHASIZE ANY CONNECTIONS. If you’re lucky enough to have a personal connection to Saguaro Books or one of its published authors, don’t wait until the end of your letter to mention it.
5. PAY RESPECT. Don’t ever begin a missive by launching into your accomplishments, your pitch, your ideas or your needs. First pay respect to the higher-up you want help from by saying you’ve visited the Saguaro Books website and paid special attention to [a particular page(s)].
6. BE HUMBLE. Despite your certainty that you’re a genius worthy of immediate attention, be careful not to come across as arrogant, presumptuous, impatient, self-involved, flippant, insulting, demanding or delusional. I’m not an editor who buys or sells anything, yet I get many requests to read unsolicited manuscripts and proposals. One recent e-mail began: “I’ve just completed 100,000 words of my debut novel, which I’m sure you’ll find talented and worthy of your expertise.” It got recycled immediately (Why should I care?).
7. PERFECT YOUR PITCH. Although a cover letter is different from a pitch letter, you still need to entice an editor to read your submission. So describe your work in a short, engaging way that fits the tone of Saguaro Books, LLC.
8. START SMALL. When first making contact, ask the editor to consider your idea. DO NOT SEND A COPY OF YOUR WORK UNTIL REQUESTED. Looking too needy or demanding is a losing strategy.
What to expect if you have received a request for your entire manuscript:
If we review a manuscript and think it has solid potential as a Saguaro Books book, we will send it to at least two outside readers for review. These are usually individuals who are published authors themselves, who are knowledgeable about the subject matter of the manuscript, and who are experienced in evaluating a project’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as its sales potential. This helps Saguaro Books staff ensure the integrity of each title we publish. These outside reviewers usually require 10-12 weeks to complete their review.
Simultaneous submissions are encouraged. If the work is accepted elsewhere, it's easy to withdraw your submission via email and accept our congratulations. When you submit work to Saguaro Books, LLC you are granting us permission to publish upon acceptance, you will be asked to sign a contract for publication, so be sure to withdraw before this, if your work is accepted elsewhere.
Daily Writing Tips
Follow these stages of preparation and production to assemble a first draft of written (or spoken) content.
1. Identify Your Purpose
What is the reason for writing the content? Are you objectively presenting information? If so, is it for educational purposes, or for entertainment — or both? Are you writing to help someone make a decision, or encouraging someone to take action?
Identifying your goal for the content will help you shape the piece.
2. Identify Your Readership
Who are your intended readers (and your unintended ones)? What is their level of literacy, and what is their degree of prior knowledge of the topic?
Imagining who your readers are will help you decide what voice and tone to adopt, how formal or informal your language will be — though that factor also depends on your approach (see below) — and how much detail or background information you provide.
3. Identify Your Approach
Should your content be authoritative, or is it the work of someone informally communicating with peers? Are you offering friendly advice, or is your tone cautionary? Are you selling something, or are you skeptical? Should the content be serious, or is some levity appropriate?
Determining your strategy, in combination with identifying your readership, will help you decide how the piece will feel to the reader.
4. Identify Your Ideas
Brainstorm before and during the drafting process, and again when you revise. If appropriate, talk or write to intended readers about what they hope to learn from the content. Imagine that you are an expert on the topic, and pretend that you are being interviewed about it. Write down the questions and your answers to help you structure the content. Alternatively, present a mock speech or lecture on the topic and transcribe your talk.
Draft an executive summary or an abstract of the content, or think about how you would describe it to someone in a few sentences. Or draw a diagram or a map of the content.
Using one or more of these strategies will help you populate your content with the information your readers want or need.
5. Identify Your Structure
Craft a title that clearly summarizes the topic in a few words. Explain the main idea in the first paragraph. Organize the content by one of several schemes: chronology or sequence, relative importance, or differing viewpoints. Use section headings or transitional language to signal new subtopics. Integrate sidebars, graphics, and/or links as appropriate.
Incorporating these building blocks will help you produce a coherent, well-organized piece.
Original Post: 5 Steps to Completing Your First Draft
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