As an author just starting out, it’s tough to know exactly what to do. You want to make a good first impression, but don’t know how or where to start. With today’s growing eBook market, finding advice everyone agrees with can be its own challenge. Lot’s Cave would like to help authors through the process of submitting their first manuscript. Many of our authors started out submitting their very first manuscript directly on our website, why? Because Lot’s Cave provided the resources. Since our company values author experience, Lot’s Cave would like to make submitting your first manuscript as painless as possible.
Research Where to Publish
When first starting out, it’s important to have a basic knowledge of where and what to submit. Not all publishers accept the same material, especially when dealing with erotic content. Doing a little research regarding your story, and potential publishers can save lots of time in the long run. Is your story too short for one publisher but not another? Does your content require a little polishing before submission? Is there a special format required for your manuscript? These questions can be answer with minimal digging on any publishing website. If you’re hoping to publish with Lot’s Cave directly, authors can find such information here: Submission Guidelines.
Summing Up Your Manuscript
Once you have a publisher in mind, start summing up your story. Before you start going through the metadata and manuscript process, know what you have. Making a list to go back to is always helpful. As a new author, it’s easy to get lost in fancy words or difficult requirements. Summing up your story’s information, while your mind isn’t spread out will be worth the time. If you’re unsure of what kind of information to include start with the following five items:
- Story Theme: Is your story Menage? Incest? BDSM?
- Title Information: Does your story have a name yet?
- Brief Summary: What happens in your story?
- Length: Approximate word count?
- Cover Image: Do you have a cover?
Fix The Gaps
At this point, it’s easy to feel unsure or have some parts of the list missing. When starting out, it’s extremely rare to have it all figured out. Try doing a brief search for more information. How have authors handled covers in the past? What categories seem to fit your story? Does your summary seem to work for you? Many times, these gaps can be figured out doing ten minutes of digging. While you may feel more unsure, you’ll still have something you can come back to later. Don’t settle for a blank space. You can find more information provided by Lot’s Cave here: Writing Tips & Advice.
Tackling Manuscript Submission
After a basic summary of information, a completed story, and some brief research, you’re likely ready to begin the submission process. Today, many publishers have an online submission process similar to that of Lot’s Cave. During this first submission, it’s extremely easy to feel overwhelmed. Try not to feel overwhelmed by the entire form. Focus on one detail at a time, and before you know it, the form will be complete. Simply grab your story/manuscript, your summary information, and open the manuscript submission form.
Tackling Manuscript Submission: Basic Author Information
Starting out, it’s important to feel accomplished fairly early. The likelihood of an author finishing their submission form is increased if the author starts out confident. To encourage this, we recommend providing your author information first. This information often includes: name, pen name (if using one), and email. That’s it, though providing such personal information can seem a little daunting. Taking that first step though is always the hardest.
Tackling Manuscript Submission: Basic Story Information
The next step in the submission process is going to require some of that summary information. Enter your book’s title, story length, and category information. From here, you’ll also want to provide a price for your future eBook. Often, this is done by considering the length of your story. Price ranges will vary site to site, but competitive market values should always be considered. If you’re unsure, publishers will often be happy to help recommend a price. For now, enter what you feel comfortable with. Once the basic information is entered, you’ll often find most of the form has been completed.
Tackling Manuscript Submission: Submitting Metadata
Metadata is a term that describes much of the information already on your summary sheet. Remember that plot summary? Well, you’re going to need it. As an author it’s important to provide that summary, or a book description. Even better, try to take your summary and turn it into a description using your category information. A combination of the two will help promote your story. When in doubt, stick to what feels right. If you feel your story’s summary provides better information, then go with that. Descriptions take time, and they’re not easy. If you’d like more information on descriptions, check out our information here: Writing A Great Description.
Tackling Manuscript Submission: A Brief Note About Keywords
Many publishers have started asking authors to provide a set of keywords. These may feel like a daunting task on the submission form. There’s an easy way to find keywords however, think of them as search terms. If you wanted to search for your book, what words would you use? Consider your category, description, and book title, what themes stand out to you? A list of keywords is essential information to provide, as it helps readers find your story! Don’t skip this information, you might find out it’s more important than you think.
Completing the Submission Process
After providing all the above information, all that’s left is to upload your story. Today, most publishers accept Word files. There might be some additional publisher specific information you need to provide, but otherwise you’ve completed your first manuscript! Allow the publisher time to get back to you. If a publisher has any questions, they’ll contact you. While many authors wait to submit their next manuscript, it’s not necessary. Try using the wait time to write your next book, or submit a new one. In the end, you’ll find your books published in no time!