Nancy's Books

Sunday, July 14, 2019

I’ve Finished My Manuscript, Now What? Part 2

Finding a market for a manuscript is as labor intensive as writing it. Once the story is polished, go to your local bookstore/library and look at books in the same genre geared toward the same age group as your manuscript. Check out the publisher. Does it match those on your list? If not, add to your list. Check out the Acknowledgement Page. The editor is sometimes listed there, and sometimes at the end of the book.
Look at publishers’ catalogs. You can find them on their websites. Do the books seem to be similar to the manuscript you wrote, but different enough to not compete with books in the catalog? If you’re going the agent route, study the type of books s/he represents.

At this point look at books listing editors and/or agents, and make a list of approximately 15-20 that seem to be a good fit. Turn to your trusty computer and research the editors/agents’ names. Look for interviews to determine the type of manuscripts they are interested in, the subjects they want to publish (some may state they would love to see a fiction story about a rescue animal or a specific request such as that), and whether they accept unsolicited manuscripts. 

Read industry resources. Children’s Bookshelf is free. Some editors and agents participate in MSWL (Manuscript Wish List) at

Attend conferences and writing workshops to learn about publishers, editors, and agents. Conferences are helpful in networking with other writers and finding qualified critique partners, who are knowledgeable about writing for children.

In my next blog, I’ll continue with more tips on marketing a manuscript.

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:

DIG (Into History) is where world history and archaeology meet for kids ages 9 to 14, though adults have been known to find it an interesting read, as well! Each issue of DIG focuses on providing comprehensive coverage of a single theme, allowing children to get in-depth information on historical topics and archaeological discoveries from writers who are experts in the field. With nearly 60 ad-free pages in each issue, DIG provides an adventurous trek through the past that will entertain and educate any young history buff or budding Indiana Jones.
Submission guidelines at

Nancy Kelly Allen has written 50+ children’s books and a cookbook, SPIRIT OF KENTUCKY: BOURBON COOKBOOK. Check out her blog at