Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tips on Getting Published, by Sylvan Dell Publishing Editor-in-Chief, Donna German

We'd like to welcome Donna German, Editor-in-Chief of Sylvan Dell Publishing ( to do a special guest blog for us and all of our readers on getting published. Please enjoy, and thank you, Mrs. German, and all the folks at Sylvan Dell, for making so many amazing books!

First, let me say that I have been on the author side of submissions, and I vividly recall the 27 rejections that I received prior to my first “yes!” I know that you have written a manuscript that is near and dear to your heart. I also know that you can “see” it in published form and that there is a frustration with the whole submission process – not only to Sylvan Dell but to other publishers as well. Hopefully this will help you to understand what editors/publishers need/look for in submissions.

Please understand that the submission process is overwhelming for editors, too. I receive more submissions in a single day (seven days a week) than we publish in a year! I can’t imagine what editors at the large publishing houses receive! Also, please understand that reading submissions and selecting the list is just one of the many jobs that an editor does.

I try to read all submissions within a few days, and I either reject or tend to hold those which have some possibilities. As the year progresses, I try to keep the number down and will periodically cull the list.

This is a very bizarre business, and if you are still waiting for your first break, I recommend that you start reading books about how to market your book. That might help you in understanding what it is that editors/publishers are looking for when they select manuscripts. Don't forget that this is a business – not just your art of writing. The authors who survive (and thrive) in this business are the ones that truly understand that and commit to doing what it takes.

ABOUT DONNA GERMAN: Like many women, Donna German wears and has worn many hats during her life: Navy wife, mother, NY Times bestselling cookbook author, children’s book author, editor and co-owner of Sylvan Dell, stock broker, and even historic Charleston carriage driver. While her husband, Lee, who is retired from the Navy, constantly complained that she didn’t need to bring the Library of Congress along with them on their boat, she often did. The boat may have sat lower in the water because of it, but everyone always had something to read! Now that Donna’s 2 daughters are grown, she shares her passion with other families through Sylvan Dell books. Visit their site:

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