Writing Books/Publishing


Hey there! I wrote a book this summer, and though it has taken me quite a few months to mull over, I am finally ready to enter the publishing world for the first time.

When researching the publishers I want to send to, a few questions came up concerning what they want me to send in my manuscript submission. First of all, what is the difference between a synopsis, an outline, and a plot summary? I know what all these elements are, I am just unclear on what each specific publisher wants.

My second question is if I need to send a SASE to every publishing company. Though not all of them really ask for one, I'm wondering if I should send one along just in case they need it but don't say so.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Hello Amanda - a synopsis, outline and plot summary are the same thing - it requires simply a short explanation of your book - say 300 words, although some publishers actually state exactly how many words they want. A plot summary is what you would write if you write a work of fiction. Yes, you should send an SASE to every publisher, but even then some publishers simply have a policy of not returning anything. Good luck!

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Paul Watt


Advice on rewriting PhD dissertations into books; advice on sending manuscripts to scholarly publishers; how copyediting works; what to expect in the production process; explain what to do if a university press rejects your manuscript. I do NOT assess manuscripts


10 years publishing experience at Addison Wesley Longman, and Cambridge University Press Australia and the United Kingdom

Bachelor of Music; Master of Arts; PhD is almost finished! I also teach in editing and publishing courses at university level, both undergraduate and graduate

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