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6 Reasons We Might Reject Your Manuscript

I said it, the 'R' word. Rejection. It happens a lot in the publishing world and no one likes to be rejected in any scenario.


Here are some of the reasons, as a publisher, we reject a manuscript - hopefully this will help you to avoid future rejections and understand the reasons behind manuscript rejection.


frustrated man being rejected
Manuscript rejection is common in the publishing world

Reasons we might reject your manuscript:


1) Your manuscript doesn't align with our company values and message

Whilst it might be tempting to take on as many manuscripts as we possibly can, not only does this undermine our brand and what our message stands for, but it also opens us up to being labelled as a vanity press (who literally publish anything that comes their way in order to make as much money as possible - read this post to find out how to avoid Vanity Press like the plague!). Therefore, we are very picky about who we publish to ensure that the manuscripts we DO choose are ones that really align with our company values.


2) Your manuscript doesn't fall within the genre we publish

We publish Health & Wellness books, predominantly memoirs and self-help guides. We love the fact that we have a specific genre of book that we publish; we chose that niche because we are passionate about it. And we want to inject passion into the books that we publish.


From a contacts and PR perspective it also makes a lot of sense to publish within a very niche genre. It means the contacts and connections we make, whether it be with freelancers, magazine editors, media channels, influencers, will be relevant for all of our chosen manuscripts. Rather than having to find new contacts and freelancers each time we publish a different genre. It also means that we are the one-stop-shop for everything health & wellness related!


3) We are a small company

We work with highly professional freelancers throughout our publishing process, but the organisation of each project comes down to owners, Omar and I. We are only two people so ensuring we only work with the right people is really important to us so we can give those people the time they deserve.


4) We only produce high quality books

That means no corner cutting, attention to detail and doing everything by the book. And this means that there is a large time commitment from us to each client we take on. So when we do accept a manuscript, you can be assured that you and your book are special to us and will get our FULL attention!


5) We don't like what you wrote

It can be as simple as that! It's nothing personal.* But we always endeavor to say more than just "not for us, sorry". Wherever we can, we will provide constructive feedback for why your manuscript hasn't worked for us this time around, how you could potentially improve it and what your next steps might look like.


*Actually, sometimes it is personal - we work very closely with our authors and if we don't get a great first impression from you or think you aren't as dedicated to your book as we will be, this might be another reason we say "no".


6) It's not a completed manuscript

We will often have discussions with writers about their books along their writing journey, and if we're helping a writer to write a book from scratch then that's a different service altogether (you can check our Idea to Author package here).


But we won't accept a manuscript to publish unless its complete. And by complete, I don't just mean you've reached your wordcount goal and given yourself a pat on the back. I mean that you've finished your manuscript, re-read it and probably given it a bit of a tidy up and an edit yourself before handing it in.


Making sure that your manuscript is in the best possible shape before you submit it is really key to not getting rejected by publishers. There's passing over a good manuscript that's ready to be professionally edited and perfected... and then there's asking us to polish a turd. Which we don't partake in.


If we haven't scared you off and you'd still like to submit your manuscript to us, we're really nice people I promise! You can book a free discovery call with us here, or send your manuscript straight to info@ravencrestbooks.com. You can also view our submission guidelines here.


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