You are here:

Writing Books/What happens at the publisher's house?


QUESTION: Dear Jannie,
 I recently submitted a Science Fiction manuscript for publishing. Now that the manuscript is out of my hands, I would like to know what the editors do with it and how they come to a decision whether to publish or reject.
 Thank you for your time,

ANSWER: I hope the publisher is a traditional publisher.

The editor(s) will read the MS and make side notes on it, then give their recommendations before a committee board of various editors and the publishing people on the board.

Other editors will read the MS to determine its worthiness and meet again.

The final say is the publisher. The head of the publishing.

You will not get your MS back.

You will receive a rejection letter, or an offer to publish and to contact them.

If you are interested, you should have an attorney that handles publishing deals help you in the contract negotiations.

If you don't-- you can loose your shirt and all your rights.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for a very quick answer, Jannie.
 I have a follow up, pertaining to the dreaded rejection letter. Will they tell you what they see "wrong" with it (in the hopes I fix and resubmit) or will it be a standard "Thank you for submitting, we're not interested" kind of thing.
 Thank you,

Hi Scott,

Generally it is generic. Like "however good, we are not currently accepting that genre right now."

Don't be surprised by what they say, and more importantly, don't get discouraged.

For every 100 MS or queries that you mail out, 99 will be "I'm sorry," but there is that 1!!!!

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jannie Balliett


I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.


I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.

Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.

Writers Post Journal magazine, May 2006 issue, Augusr 2006 issue, Nov/December 2006 issue and soon in 2008, On A Whim, flash fiction anthology, offered in Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

Past/Present Clients
I have numerous clients using my service through my editorial service and numerous members in my Online writer workshops.

©2016 All rights reserved.