Congratulations on completing NaNoWriMo! You’ve written a book and we would love to read it. At Avon we run Open Submissions year-round and you are welcome to email us your manuscript for consideration. If you want to polish off your submission before sending, here are some handy tips to help. We can’t wait to read your work!
Before you submit
- Please don’t submit genres we don’t publish.
We get lots of submissions of fantasy, sci-fi, YA, biography, poetry, short stories and non-fiction. These books may well be brilliant, but we don’t publish these genres and will not consider your manuscript. You can find all of the Avon authors here. Generally speaking, we publish crime, thriller, romance, romantic comedy, time-slip fiction, historical fiction, saga and women’s fiction. If you see your novel as very commercial and you could find it in a supermarket, it would probably be a good fit for us.
- Read our submission guidelines and follow them closely.
I cannot stress this enough! We receive hundreds of submissions and yours will stand out if it follows the guidelines and gives us all the information we need. Not only will it make it quicker and easier for us to identify your book’s genre and topline pitch but it also demonstrates that you believe in your book and want to give it the best submission possible – that enthusiasm is infectious!
For your submission email
- Full manuscript as a Word document attachment
- Author name
- Book title
- Book genre
- Topline pitch (This should be no more than 250 words – treat this like your back cover blurb)
- Short synopsis (This is the action of the book, including the ending – we want spoilers!)
- Short author biography (100-200 words. This is your opportunity to tell us who you are, what you do, and if you’ve been published before or have any literary achievements)
- Social media links if applicable
- Think about who you’re addressing your submission to.
You can find out more about the Avon team here and see below what our editors are looking for. If you think your submission is best suited to a certain editor in particular, do address your email to them. Or if there’s an editor that you follow on Twitter or who has inspired you at an event – tell us! If you’re not sure who to direct your email to, a simple ‘Dear Avon Team’ works well. Just please avoid ‘Dear Sirs’.
- Use comparisons to other authors and books.
‘My novel will appeal to fans of Lisa Jewell and Shari Lapena’ or ‘My novel is an unusual love story like The Man Who Didn’t Call but with the humour of Lucy Vine’ are both good comparison lines. We want to know what sort of readers will love your book and what we can expect from the style of writing and the content in comparison to other books doing well in the market. This also shows that you know who your reader is, what they want and how you’re giving it to them. If you’re struggling to position your book to other authors, then read read read around your genre! To write better, read more.
- Pay attention to your presentation.
Proofread, proofread, proofread. Check your spelling and punctuation and make sure both your email and manuscript is in a legible font (Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri preferred). Please don’t email with each chapter as a separate attachment – you may think this is helpful but it is in fact the opposite. Our preferred format is to have all of your information in the email and then one attachment with the full manuscript.
Our Editors: top writing tips and what they’re looking for
Phoebe Morgan, Editorial Director
Top Tip: Don’t have too many characters! It can be tempting to add more in, but actually the strongest manuscripts usually focus on fewer main characters, as this gives ample room for them to develop nicely and stops readers from feeling confused.
What I’m looking for: I am always on the hunt for new suspense voices, books that will keep me guessing, strong female characters and clear hooks. I love an unreliable narrator, and I don’t need a happy ending!
Tilda McDonald, Senior Commissioning Editor
Top Tip: The first page of a book should tell you something exciting – not the whole story, just enough to hook your reader in.
What I’m looking for: Compelling books – thrillers and love stories in particular – with a fresh and interesting twist.
Katie Loughnane, Commissioning Editor
Top tip: Make sure you’re familiar with and have read books from bestselling authors who are also writing in your genre. Ideally, your story will include some of the key elements that have made these books successful (think about what you really enjoyed about them as a reader), but you should also ensure your novel has a unique hook, setting or twist that sets it apart from the crowd.
What I’m looking for: Gorgeous, sweeping love stories; emotional, suspenseful and page-turning family drama; domestic suspense and thrillers with a killer hook that make for a compulsive “one more chapter” reading experience.
Molly Walker-Sharp, Assistant Editor
Top Tip: Before you begin, work out your book’s hook (i.e. What you would talk about if you had just one sentence to pitch it with), and make sure that every plot point, every twist and turn, and every word you write links back to this. Whether you’re a planner or a pantser, this will ensure that the hook remains evident throughout!
What I’m looking for: I’m always hunting for page-turning reads that I can binge like a Netflix series and enjoy nothing more than accidentally falling for a complicated villain. But in general, if it can make me snort laugh, ugly cry or audibly gasp on the tube, then it’s got my name all over it.