Since joining the staff at Anaiah Press, I’ve read a lot of manuscripts. A bazillion, actually. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but seriously, all of our editors have been reading until we’re cross-eyed. We’ve been open for submissions for a little over 4 months now and we’ve received a total of 188 submissions across all of our imprints.
Allow me to share some specific numbers with you. Please bear in mind that these figures are just for my imprints – Surge and Romance.
Anaiah officially opened and accepted our first submission on December 3, 2013. It was for our Surge Imprint.
In 2013, our Romance Imprint received 4 submissions. Two of those four resulted in an offer of publication.
In 2013, our Surge Imprint received 28 submissions, which resulted in 1 offer of publication.
To date in 2014, our Romance Imprint has received 18 submissions, resulting in 3 offers of publication.*
To date in 2014, our Surge Imprint has received 44 submissions, resulting in 2 offers of publication.*
I currently have 15 unread submissions in my inbox.
*The number of offers reported is mildly skewed due to the fact that not all submissions received have been read and/or assessed yet.
Having already read so many manuscripts, and with an inbox full of more, it’s no surprise that plots and characters get jumbled in my brain. It’s inevitable. But I’ve been blessed by the fact that every manuscript to cross my desk has been good. Whether it be the author’s voice, the overall premise of the book, the grammatically clean writing, or loveable characters, I can find something I like – which can sometimes make it hard to decide which ones to accept and which ones to reject.
Why do I reject?
The number one reason is because a book doesn’t meet the guidelines set forth by Anaiah Press. There have been a handful of times that I fell in love with a book but knew I couldn’t take it because it doesn’t fit with what we publish. When I encounter this type of situation, I evaluate the manuscript to see if an R&R (revise and resubmit) would be beneficial. I have sent a few of those, but if I feel that asking for an R&R will change the story too much, change the author’s vision of the book, or in any way do an injustice to the story and the author, I will just reject. But I will always let the author know how much I enjoyed their story and give an explanation as to why I’m rejecting.
The second most common reason I reject is because the story just doesn’t resonate with me. As an author, I used to hate “those” types of rejection letters where the editor would say, “You have an interesting premise and a strong voice, but this project isn’t quite right for me.” Then I’d get a line about how subjective this business is and just because it’s not a fit for them doesn’t mean someone else won’t love it.
Yeah. I’m guilty of sending a few of those, and I hate doing it. There are plenty of times when a story is very well written, but for some reason the story didn’t draw me in or I didn’t connect with the characters. It doesn’t mean the book is bad. It just means I didn’t love it as much as I should.
Because I LOVE your book!
There really is no other reason. I won’t accept a manuscript simply because we don’t have one like it in our line-up or because the market is trending toward a particular sub-genre. As an editor, I have to ask myself: Can I stand to read this manuscript a dozen different times? I have to be able to answer that question with a resounding “Yes!” Because if I accept, I will literally have to read your book over and over and over…I read it to determine if I want to contract it. I read it to assess it for developmental edits. I read it two or three times for content edits. I read it for line edits. Then I read it again for galley proofs.
I think it’s extremely important for authors to remember that they should want an editor who is as passionate about their book as they are. No author should settle for an editor who has a “Meh” attitude. And you can rest assured that if you get an acceptance email from me, I’m already your biggest fan. In fact, chances are good that I probably reached for my cell phone to call Executive Editor, Eden Plantz, before I even read “The End.” Yes, that’s happened more times than I care to confess. What can I say? I’m easily excitable.
What am I currently looking for?
For our Surge Imprint I’m on the hunt for some really good dystopias and romances. I’m a sucker for stories that are set in common settings that most people overlook. Throw me in the middle of one of those boring family camping trips and take me on an adventure. Take me to summer camp and get me into trouble. Invite me to tag along on that month long visit to that relative everyone in the family loves to hate. Stuck in summer school? That’s okay, too! Oh, and I adore series.
For our Romance Imprint I’m looking for stories that are unique, that make me feel like I’m falling in love again for the very first time, that take me through a range of emotions. I want to laugh, shout, cry, and swoon. I have a weakness for contemporaries, small towns, and cowboys.
Got something you think I’d like? Feel free to query me directly at: karaleigh.miller (at) Anaiahpress (dot) com. Please be sure to follow our submission guidelines, which can be found here: http://www.anaiahpress.com/submissions.html