When Are You Ready to Submit?


After you’ve decided to write a book and you know what your message is, you might find yourself wondering How will I know I’m ready to submit?

At Greenleaf, we receive manuscripts in varying stages of completion. Sometimes, authors have a manuscript that just needs a little polishing before publication. Some authors have a strong outline and know who their audience is. Others come to us with merely an idea. No matter where your project is in its development, the editorial team at Greenleaf can help you ready your ideas for publication.

Although there are many different kinds of submission, let’s focus on these three:

  1. You have a completed manuscript
  2. You have an outline.
  3. You have an idea.

So you have a completed manuscript?

You may be completely comfortable with the writing process and able to relate your message to your audience in a way that is clear and focused, without much help. If so, great! That’ll mean you’re close to publication, but it’s always a good idea to have another pair of eyes, not only to catch typos and grammatical mistakes but to ensure that your book is useful and clear for your intended audience.

Part of an editor’s duty is to review the logic, coherence, and flow of your book and to act as an advocate for the reader. Is the advice you offer easy to follow, argued well, and clearly useful? You may know that your method for start-up success or approach to corporate culture is a foolproof map for success, but will your writing effectively convince the reader?

As the author, you are extremely close to the content, and it can be hard to take a step back and look at it with a critical eye. As editors, we will look at your manuscript objectively and help you fine-tune it for publication. 

What if you have only an outline?

If you know what your message is and have an outline, an editor can help you develop your concepts and bring your book to life. Working closely with an editor at this early stage of your project’s development will ensure that your content and themes are focused and that your voice is clear.

An editor can coach you through the writing process and help you complete a first draft. Based on your outline and what works best for you, the editor will help you set writing goals, keep on message, and brainstorm paths forward if you get stuck.

Once you’ve written the content, your editor will review it and make sure it clearly communicates your message, fits the overall concept of your manuscript, and is appropriate for your intended audience.

What if you have just an idea?

If you have an idea for a book but aren’t sure who your audience is or quite how to say it, let’s talk about it! Rather than submitting a full manuscript or outline, you would simply submit a book proposal.

We can help you determine what your message is, who your audience is, and how your book will stand out in its genre. Once these elements are determined, an editor can help you draft an outline, flesh out what you want to say, and start getting your ideas on paper.

Even if you aren’t comfortable with the writing process, you can still be a published author. By working closely with a ghostwriter, through interviews and extensive dialogue, your ideas can blossom, becoming a well-crafted manuscript. You may think this makes the book less your own, but ghostwriting is intended to relieve you of writing when you either don’t feel comfortable with it or don’t have the time for it. The ideas and voice must still be your own.

When you decide to submit your book for publication depends highly on what you feel comfortable tackling yourself, whether you’re an experienced writer looking for some editorial polishing or you want to be as hands-off as possible by working with a ghostwriter. Either way, your manuscript doesn’t have to be perfect. If the content is the right fit, we will determine what kind of editorial work would strengthen your message and enhance the reader’s experience. 


Do you think you might be ready to submit? Visit our submissions page

Do you have any questions for Greenleaf Editorial about your project? Tweet us @GreenleafBookGr #AmWriting #AmEditing #WritersLife