Teri asked:

1. What is Harvest House especially looking for now as to genre, writing, etc.

As far as fiction goes, the Amish fiction has shown no signs of waning for us. It’s still strong. Contemporary fiction is not as popular. So we’re looking for well-written historical (largely 19th century) or Amish fiction. Non-fiction that does well for us usually addresses a “felt need” in a large number of readers.

2. What are some of the things in a proposal that make you want to request a full manuscript?

I usually consider the topic or genre, the writing as evidenced in the first few pages and, if non-fiction; what are the author’s credentials for writing this book?

3. What will make you put a manuscript in the rejection pile faster than anything?

A poorly written first page.

Those are all short answers to questions that deserve longer answers. I hope to give better answers as time goes by and I can tackle all sorts of topics individually, including those above.
As I said in my last blog post, your actual writing is only 60% of your success. The other 40% involves researching the publishers, following trends, going to workshops, reading the writing magazines and much more. Every writer should have a short list of the 5-7 publishers that are publishing the kinds of books he or she wants to write. You need to have those publishers’ websites bookmarked and visit them often. You need to learn who the editors are and which editors are most likely to appreciate what you do. And that’s the topic I promised to talk about this time….but which will now have to wait till next time. That topic is the crucial editor/writer relationship.

More next time. Please come back….and also tell your writing friends.

3 replies
  1. Richard Mabry
    Richard Mabry says:

    Nick, Sometimes short answers are the best, and my limited experience tells me that yours are quite accurate. Thanks for addressing these questions (and more to come, I’m sure). Glad to have you back blogging.

  2. Lynn Dean
    Lynn Dean says:

    Excellent information, especially the repeat info in answer to Question 3. Writers are writers because they…um…write, right? But the reminder that there are other important aspects to our vocation and that it’s okay to devote time to them is very helpful.


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