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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


Query Required:


Please follow these steps:

  When beginning a query see:

1.   We require all queries and submissions to be EXCLUSIVE, submitted only to Saguaro Books, LLC.

2. Send us a query via email ( to tell us what you have in mind for a submission. Do not include any of your work with this query letter.

  • We want 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.

3.  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.

4. If your work is determined to be consistent with our publication goals, we will include a Submission Guidelines in our communication.

5. You must be over the age of 18 to submit to us. We will not contract with minors.


  • Work by previously published authors and work from authors under 18,
  • Any query from an  author, published or self-published,
  • Manuscripts from an Agent,
  • Manuscripts for any audience other than middle grade, young adult or new 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.
Note to Prospective Authors:

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  

  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

*Saguaro Books has no affiliation with this service.

Send your query by email to:


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.

Five Steps to Completing Your First Draft

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
Your eBook: Click here to download the Basic English Grammar ebook.

These are a couple of time-honored rules:

  • The author is never able to edit his or her own work. "We tell writers planning to publish that the first money they should spend is with a professional editor."(see the note above, if you need an editor.)
  • The author is never the best judge of the right title for the book. The author is simply too close to the work and can't respond as a new or potential reader would. Advising on book titles is one of the essential services Saguaro Books, LLC will provide.


Writing an Author’s Business Plan

All authors should have a business plan for every book they write, regardless of whether the author plans to self-publish or pursue traditional publication. In many cases, the business plan can even help to clarify the choice.
Traditional business plans have seven components:
1. Executive summary
2. Business description
3. Market strategies
4. Competitive analysis
5. Design and development plan
6. Operations and management plan
7. Financial factors
The business plan for a book parallels this structure, with a few changes.

First of all, the business plan is not a book proposal. The proposal is a tool non-fiction and some fiction authors use to sell a book “on spec”,  before the book is written. By contrast, a business plan is the author’s personal,  often private, “road map” for writing, marketing, publishing and promoting a work.
Each section of a successful one-book business plan should contain:
Traditional “Executive Summaries” contain a half-page synopsis and summary of a business plan. In many cases, they’re written last, or written first and revised when the rest of the business plan is complete. In the author’s one-book business plan, the executive summary will contain a one-paragraph description of the book itself, along with a description of its genre, target audience, current status and other “at-a-glance” relevant facts.
The Business Description (perhaps better renamed “book description”) contains a longer synopsis of the work – one page, or possibly two.
Marketing Strategies will normally contain three sub-sections or components: pre-release marketing, release week (or “around release”), and marketing efforts after the initial release publicity push.
A Competitive Analysis requires the author to look at competing or similar works in the marketplace, analyze why readers will (or should) want the author’s book instead, examine strategies the author can use to maximize advantages and minimize weaknesses, and acknowledge and address potential weaknesses in the work and the marketing plan.
The Development Timeline (a change from the traditional “design and development” label) includes multiple timelines. The first development timeline covers the writing process: the deadlines (contractual or self-imposed) for writing the book. Authors pursuing traditional publication but not yet represented by agents will want a plan and timeline for obtaining representation, whereas independent authors will need a timeline for the production and publishing process. Marketing and appearance timelines may also prove useful, especially for authors with complicated or busy schedules.
In an author’s business plan, the Operations and Management Plan  may be simple or very complex, depending on the level of organization the author needs and the amount of assistance he or she anticipates.
Finally, the author’s business plan must consider various Financial Factors. As with Operations and Management, this may be simple or may be very complex. This is a good place to assemble information about the costs of publishing – traditional or independent – and to create a marketing and travel budget. Solid research here can help the author put valuable marketing dollars into places where they make a positive difference, rather than simply throwing money into a project without knowing whether or not results will follow.

Market Your Book Early and Often

            For authors dedicated to the craft of storytelling, it may be natural to view the marketing of their books as a distraction. But if the goal is to have those stories reach the widest
audience possible, marketing is a necessary part of being a successful self-published author. It’s also the best way to ensure authors see a return on their hard work as they endeavor to make writing a financially sustainable venture. Research backs this up. BookBaby, a leading self-publishing services provider, researched the behavior of successful self-published authors and published the findings in the report, Revealed: The Methods of Successful Independent Authors. The research shows that the most successful authors (those who earned over $5,000 in sales over a 12-month period) were more active marketers than lower earners, engaging in 5.3 marketing activities per author compared to 2.2 activities respectively. In addition, successful authors invested in more professional services (including editing and cover design) to improve their final product.
            The research also shows it’s not just a matter of how much you market your book, but when. When asked to agree or disagree with the statement, “The marketing of a book
should begin even before the book is finished,” 81% of high earning authors agreed or strongly agreed. The takeaway? Marketing your book should start even before you write Chapter 1 — and the process never really ends. To be successful, authors must develop a lifetime marketing plan for their books to be used and enhanced over time.