What is Traditional Publishing?
At Imagnary House, we began solely as a traditional publisher of children's books and YA literature, but we've since broadened our services into self-publishing options for indie authors.
The integral difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing is that with traditional, we put up the capital to print, market and distribute the book, where as in self-publishing, that cost is carried by the author.
How Traditional Publishing Works
Sifting through submissions
We only open our unsolicited submissions once per year (2020 was an exception), and generally take up to 2-4 months to reply. We always try to reply to all of our submissions and very rarely do any slip through the cracks.
When we begin reviewing manuscripts, we mainly look at characters first, and then at the story. You can generally make a good story out of great characters, but we're yet to find someone able to do the same in reverse. If the characters are strong and well thought-out, then we dive into the story and often from the first pages, we can tell whether or not this fits our publication list... that is when our short list is created.
However, once we think something does fit into our publication list, then we read the full first three chapters or the entire manuscript (if it's a picture book). Here is where we look for things like reader intrigue, sales forecasts, market approachability, and universality. Often, we'll even take it out of office to read to our children or friends' children (always in complete privacy of the author). If the book meets up to most of our guidelines and excites our team, we flag it and send the author a happy email.