Submitting your manuscript to the big Aussie publishers

While I decided a few months ago that I would be self-publishing my work, I feel like it’s a compulsory #riteofpassage to submit your novel to one of the big publishing houses that accept unsolicited manuscripts.

I’ve researched enough to accept the reality that I have zero to no chance of being picked from the slush pile of a big publisher, let alone a smaller press. But one thing I believe ardently is if we don’t try we’ll always wonder and you never know, you might be that .01% that does get their unsolicited manuscript published!

Here’s a list of a few of the bigger Australian publishers (plus a mid-tier publisher and an award winning smaller publisher) and their submission requirements:

 

Allen & Unwin – The Friday Pitch

For Young adult/children’s fiction:

No time frame on manuscript submissions – not restricted to Friday’s

Email your submission

Attach (.doc only): 300 word synopsis, first chapter in double spacing, details to be included in body of email

Automatic email receipt

Manuscript assessed within the fortnight, if you do not hear back, assume you are unsuccessful

 

Pan Macmillan Australia – Manuscript Monday

For all fiction:

Accepts submissions from 10am – 4pm on the first Monday of every month

Submit online

Attach: first 100 pages of your manuscript, maximum 300 word synopsis, fill out form online

Word document format only for all attachments

Manuscript assessed within 3 months, if you do not hear back, assume you are unsuccessful

 

Penguin Books Australia – The Monthly Catch

For adult fiction (currently not accepting children/young adult):

Accepts submissions the first week of every month (1st-7th)

Email your submission

Attach (.doc only): Entire manuscript, maximum 300 word synopsis, details to be included in body of email

Automatic email receipt

Manuscript assessed within 3 months, if you do not hear back, assume you are unsuccessful

Random House (division of penguin)

For young adult/children’s fiction:

No time frame on manuscript submissions

Will accept simultaneous submissions

Email your submission

Attach (.doc only): full manuscript (double spaced with page numbers), include synopsis and other details in body of email

Manuscript assessed within 3 months, if you do not hear back, assume you are unsuccessful

 

HarperCollins – The Wednesday Post

For all fiction:

Accepts submissions on Wednesdays only

Submit online

Attach: A synopsis of your work, first 50 pages or first three chapters of your manuscript, a short note about yourself

Manuscript assessed within four weeks, if you do not hear back, assume you are unsuccessful

Pantera Press

For all fiction:

No time frame on manuscript submissions

Email your submission

Attach (PDF only): entire manuscript in 1.5 or double spacing, maximum 2 page synopsis, maximum 2 page author bio

Automatic email receipt

Unknown response time – they may let you know if you are unsuccessful

Good luck submitting everyone 🙂

yzzov3f

You can do it…

 

 

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70 thoughts on “Submitting your manuscript to the big Aussie publishers

  1. Very informative, Millie and I am surprised that the big publishing companies accept unsolicited manuscripts. In the UK we are always told they only go through agents…but must admit I haven’t researched closer. Good luck with your pitch! 😀

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    1. In general they only accept Australia & New Zealand submissions, mainly because the bigger ones have international counterparts – you might have to check each one out individually to see – sorry I can’t be more help! Whereabouts are you?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m in Georgia, USA. 🙂 And no, just this post was already you giving my plenty of help! I did check out their counterparts here in the US, but unfortunately they’re all either for “No Simultaneous Submissions” or “We don’t accept email queries. Please send us hardcopies.” It’s terrible D: Really, who has the resources to print a 400 page manuscript more than once?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Did you see my blog post on the US big 5? It was very slim pickings but there are 1 or 2 that accepted manuscripts. But yes unfortunately the US publishers aren’t very open to unsolicited manuscripts! It’s such a shame, Australian publishers seem to be pioneers in that sense and much more keen to follow the trends. I wish you luck!!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh, I’ll check it out now! And yes, I know what you mean. Most that do accept unsolicited manuscripts say it’ll take them 9 to 12 months to respond right off the bat. It’s a bit disheartening. Thank you though! I’m trying my best! 🙂 I believe I’ll be taking the self-publishing route though, as I’ve already spoken to a wonderful cover designer. I hope to have my book out by Summer or Fall next year! And I look forward to the release of yours as well! 😀

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  2. Thank you so much for this post, it’s so helpful!! 😀 Also, I wish you good luck with the publisher, I have fingers crossed for you! I am so glad I stumbled across your website, I am currently in the “research” phase and wonder what my next steps could be 🙂 I have two questions and I would love to hear your opinion. First, do we always need a finished manuscript so we could submit to any of these publishers? I think so, but I just want to check to make sure. Second, I come from Serbia, so what are my chances as a new Eastern European writer to get published? Thank you very much in advance! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great idea! I’ve actually submitted to a few of the smaller US traditional publishers that accept unsolicited ms, I wonder if the bigger ones in the US take international unsolicited ms?! I haven’t really thought about it – I might investigate ☺️

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  3. With my first book, I tried to get an agent, but for the most part I was completely ignored or received a multitude of form rejection letters. So I published with Amazon, and being the abysmal marketer that I am it has languished way down in the bowels of Amazon’s lists (although my reviews have been great – and some of them are from people I don’t even know). Oh well. With my second book, if I ever get it done, I may go the unsolicited manuscript route – why not – right?

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    1. Exactly, why not! I haven’t received any form rejection letters yet, as still early days for me. I’ll be happy to get some kind of response, even if it is negative. I’ve had done good feedback from a smaller publisher so crossing my fingers they take me in! Anyway, it’s a bigger that happened to yours! Good luck with your scone book and just keep writing , writing, writing… ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck, Millie. I submit to the biggies now and then. It doesn’t cost anything except some time, so why not? Good luck with your publishing journey and don’t be afraid of indie-publishing. It has its good points too!

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  5. I don’t live in Australia, but here in America the prospects aren’t much different. For my first book, I decided to go the self-published route. I decided that if I can make any kind of dent at all… say I hit the top spot on Kindle Sci-Fi for a day or something crazy like that, then that would be a huge feather in my cap for if I decide to send out my next book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Jeremy, how did you go with your self-publishing? I’ve submitted to 4 publishers so far, and need to finish editing my added scenes before I can submit to some of the others. I think I might end up self-publishing too and hoping it goes well like you mentioned!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Millie I used CreateSpace for my paperbacks, and I recommend them very much. Fro my eBooks, I used Kindle Direct Publishing (which of course gets you on Amazon and other sites) as well as Smashwords (which gets you on Barnes and Noble site, Google Play, Apple Store etc…).

        You might start by looking into CreateSpace because you can do all-in-one there, paperbacks and Kindle.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG…this is the stage I’m at now…looking at my book thinking who, what where…I’m doomed…. Great post Millie and…thank you for following my blog too…that was uber generous…and, of course, activated the return visit clause in my blogocies….ok made up word but faster the typing blogging policies…except it isn’t now because I’ve done it anyway explaining the stem of the word…ergo it was, in fact, much slower….blast it!

    Point is I came to look and found a writer…which is brilliant and that alone said hit follow…which I have…looking forward to see how you get on 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Millie, Love your blog 🙂 Just wanted to add my own experience – My debut novel is forthcoming from Momentum/Pan MacMillan Australia this summer. Their acquisitions editor favorited one of my tweets in Q2’s #PitMad, so that’s how I got “in.” I’d really encourage (if haven’t already) participating in the various Twitter contests – #PitMad, #Pit2Pub (next one is in July!) etc. I decided to work w/Momentum and they’ve been fantastic, but I saw a lot of success with the other Twitter parties 🙂 Sometimes the bigger houses watch the Twitter feeds! Good luck to everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi James, thank you! I just checked out your website, looks like you love #1linewed as much as me!! By the way your debut novel sounds fascinating, what a cool idea.

      I’ve heard about authors pitching via tweets, but had no idea about #pit2pub & #pitmad. Next ones are June 9 & July 13, which is pretty good timing for me. Thanks for sharing your story!! That’s so cool that your journey stated through #pitmad
      🙂

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      1. Hi Millie, yep I’m a huge fan of #1LineWed! I’ll make it a point to look for you next week too! And thank you for checking out my website and for your compliments on my debut – hopefully others find it fascinating too lol

        I hope to see you at #Pit2Pub and #PitMad! Having to drill down a pitch to 140 characters I feel also helped my querying. It’s quite the challenge! 🙂 Best of luck to you!

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  8. Ha, yes. I think in order to have any chance with big houses is to find an agent. It doesn’t increase your chances by much, but, it helps. Otherwise maybe a smaller house would be better suited, especially a younger one that had a strong local presence. That way, you might not be huge nationally, but you’ll get exposure and may be able to work your way up from there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sarah, that’s a great piece of advice! For my second novel I might start seeking out some of those smaller houses and see how I go! I reckon then I’ll try and submit to every small, large & local publisher I can find that takes unsolicited manuscripts. (79 rejections later… Hahaha) Thanks ☺️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Do what Stephen King did, put a rail spike on your wall (and print those rejection emails, if necessary), and impale those rejections as motivation to do better. I know Pen Name Publishing is looking for new authors. But they want either a series that will have new books, or fresh content. So if you have an unpublished manuscript laying around, you could try them. 😊

        Liked by 2 people

  9. I have sent manuscripts to all of the above publishers. The only one that I heard back from is Random House, who told me that my m.s ‘was not right’ for their list.
    They gave me a helpful guide of Australian publishers and then hoped that I had success with another publisher.
    That was it. I am now going down the self publishing route and also looking into Kindle Scout, which uses a reader’s choice scenario – the more votes on your m.s, the better. They can offer a publishing deal for 5 years ( and give you $1,500 advance ) I’m still unsure though, what to do.
    Good luck with your endeavors 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow thanks for sharing, I was really hoping to hear about someone else’s experience. That’s interesting that you heard back from random house! How long did that take them? And did you submit to pantera? I’m sorry you didn’t have any success, I don’t think I’ll get anywhere either but I always new I would self-publish anyway ☺️ I’ll have to read up on this kindle scout thing properly. Thanks and good luck to you too!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I sent to Pantera Press in February. I had an acknowledgement e mail from them, but that’s all (sigh :(). Random House wrote to me back last year after around a month but I heard they can take longer to get back. Hope this helps 🙂 It s a treacherous business but we love it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s awesome thanks!! I’m glad to hear random house sends replies (a months really good!), after all that effort we put into writing our novels it must be nice to hear back ☺️ Did you get an acknowledgement email from Allen & unwin? I sent my manuscript off to them but never got the automatic email. And my god that is so true, it’s a tough world out there being an aspiring author, but we wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

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