When it comes to publishing, what matters most is the right fit between publisher and author. We have spent time on this page in order to provide the most helpful information we can for writers who are looking for a professional publisher--and to encourage submissions from serious writers we will be proud to publish.
Linda Leith Publishing will be glad to receive queries from Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada interested in submitting an original fiction or non-fiction manuscript for publication.
LLP books are published in print and electronic formats, and we normally buy world rights. We have a particular interest in short books and distinctive authorial voices, we're interested in knowing if there's a market for a book. While the main criterion is literary quality, we have to add that LLP is a small press publishing 10-12 titles in English a year, including work in translation. We have to be extremely selective and can publish only a small fraction even of the quality manuscripts that are submitted to us. There are, in other words, a variety of reasons why we may decline a book.
Please note that we cannot offer an opinion on what other houses might wish to publish, nor can we facilitate your submission elsewhere.
Fiction: Novels and novellas only will be considered for publication.
Non-fiction: For the LLP Singles series of short essays, manuscripts should be in the 16,000 - 25,000 word range. We also consider longer works of trade non-fiction on a variety of topics. We suggest you consult the Canada Council's definition of eligible "literary non-fiction" here.
Translations: We are currently overbooked, and no submission for translations can be considered at this time.
Books we don't publish: The books that LLP does not publish include the following: poetry, romances, historical fiction, science fiction, graphic novels, collections of essays or interviews, books for young people (including young adults), and previously published work. For reasons having to do with funding criteria, we do not publish reprints of books published by other publishers or self-published books, and we regret we cannot consider unsolicited manuscripts from cartoonists.
How to know if your book is right for LLP--and LLP is right for you: The best way to judge if your book might be appropriate for our publishing programme--and to know if LLP will be the right publisher for your work--is to peruse this website and read the books we publish.
Query when your manuscript is as good as you are able to make it. The better your submission, the better your chances of success. We will read your material only once before making a decision.
Very few authors spring out of nowhere, and it's a good idea to have published some work professionally prior to submitting a book-length ms. to LLP for publication. LLP has published work by experienced and award-winning writers, and we have also been delighted to publish the first books of many of our authors. All these writers had a track record as professional writers prior to publishing with LLP.
Fiction: Please send a fiction query when your book is in final form.
Non-fiction: In non-fiction, too, we recommend that you submit once you have finished and polished your book. You may, however, query for a non-fiction title if you choose, once you have sufficient material in finished form (please see Queries, below). We will not offer a contract for a book that has yet to be written.
Fiction: Please include the following material when you send a query:
1. A synopsis, no more than one page in length;
2. The first chapter or two of the book (10 - 20 pages) and its overall length (approximate number of words);
3. Biographical information, including details of your previous publications and confirmation of Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status; no more than one page in length.
All material should be pasted into the text of your email.
Please do not send this material as an attachment, for we don't open attachments unless we have asked for them; please do not send an entire manuscript; please do not send cover art; please do not mail your submission; and please do not ask us to consult a website to find examples of your work. We do not accept or discuss submissions on social media.
If your submission interests us, we will ask to see more, at which point you should prepare a complete, clean ms., in a neutral font, numbered consecutively throughout. We may ask for a ms. in Word or for a printed copy or both.
Non-fiction: For non-fiction submissions, you should add a detailed chapter outline. If you are querying before the book is finished, please send us the introduction and the first 2-3 chapters in finished form.
Please respect the time we spend on responding to submissions. Please send serious submissions only, one book at a time. Please do not invite us for coffee, lunch, or hockey games in order to discuss your proposal. Please do not tell us what your friends think of your work. Please do not expect us to attend readings at which you are appearing. Please do not try to reach us by telephone or pitch your book to us at a public event.
Do please send a personal cover note; we don't reply to mass emails or read mass submissions.
LLP does not consider simultaneous submissions.
Response times vary, depending on your submission and our workload. We endeavour to send a quick note to confirm receipt within a week or two, and on occasion it's even possible for us to read and respond to the material in that time.
It usually takes considerably longer. When we request readers' reports, as we often do, it can take three months or more before you will get a response to your submission. If you haven't heard back from us after three months, please email us a reminder.
We regret we are not able to provide editorial comments or enter into any discussion of the merits of your submission. The business of publishing is too demanding for us to act as advisors to writers seeking publication, and--as we hope you will appreciate--our primary commitment has to be to our published authors and their work. If you become an LLP author, you will surely expect us to pay due attention to the editing, production, marketing, sales, distribution, and promotion of your book.
Should you feel the need for feedback and support, as many writers do, we do have a few suggestions. You might enrol in a creative writing course, join (or start) a writing group, or take advantage of some of the excellent workshops, mentoring programmes, networking opportunities, and manuscript evaluation services offered or recommended by provincial writers' organizations such as Quebec Writers' Federation, Writers' Guild of Alberta, and others across the country. There is no better investment you can make in your writing career than to join one of these organizations and sign up for the programmes they offer. They are designed with you in mind.
Though the cost will be greater, you might also consider hiring a professional editor or book doctor; those same organizations may be able to put you in touch with one, and some advertise online. The QWF now offers a Hire-a-Writer program that can be of great help with writing in a variety of genres.
All this said, we do look forward to reading your work. We are now publishing 10-12 terrific books every year, and many of them arrived unexpectedly by email.
If we decide to publish your book, we'll ask you to sign a publishing agreement, which is just the first of many steps leading to publication and beyond.
In the editing process, which can take anywhere from a few months to a year or even longer, we will use--and ask you to use--the Track Changes feature in Word. We will ask you to provide any permissions required and a rights-free professional photograph for promotional purposes. We will consult you on catalogue copy, cover possibilities, blurbs, and publicity materials. We will enlist your input on marketing plans, media lists, and promotional events. We will encourage you to explore possible venues for events you might participate in close to home, across the country, and internationally, and we will support you in all such efforts.
We will encourage you to promote your own work on social media, on your own website, and in your own milieu. We will endeavour to introduce you to other LLP authors in person or at least online, and we will encourage you to promote their work--and encourage them to promote yours. We will pitch your book to print and electronic media nationally and internationally as well as advertising it selectively. We will submit your book for prizes for which it is eligible. We will work with you, every step of the way, to support you and give your book its best chance of success in a highly competitive market. And when you are successful, we will celebrate your successes with you.
We will, in short, do everything in our power to ensure that you will be happy to be published by Linda Leith Publishing.
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