For the first time in over a decade, the major publishing house, Harper Voyager, and its sister company HarperCollins is accepting unsolicited manuscripts. They are calling it an international talent search, and intend to publish the accepted manuscripts as e-books.
They will be accepting submissions from Oct. 9 through Oct. 14. This is an opportunity for any aspiring writers who wish to share their work with the world but haven’t yet found an agent.
When an author finishes a manuscript, they spend months editing and polishing their first draft until they feel their work is ready to be shared with an agent.
Finding one to represent your work is not always easy, though. The New York Times bestselling author Jesse Bullington (whose work includes “The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart” and “The Enterprise of Death”) received multiple rejections before he finally found his agent.
Agents help authors sell their work to publishing companies and query different publishing houses until they find the right match for their client. It can be a long, daunting, and humiliating process.
An author may write a brilliant manuscript, but if they do not have the right agent, their book may never see the light of day. Alternatively, an author’s agent may fail to find the best deal for their client which will result in fewer sales.
Harper Voyager has decided to accept unsolicited manuscripts because they plan on being able to release an e-book by new authors each month. Though this is a great opportunity for authors, it does have some downsides. Books accepted by Harper Voyager will only be released as e-books, which may mean a lesser audience.
According to Harper Voyager if an e-book sells well enough, they will consider printing it in paper, but they did not give any figures of how well a book would have to sell to be considered for paper release.
Student Tawny Mayer who writes in her spare time said, “I think it’s great that this company is giving authors a chance to submit their work. It’s apparent that they are looking for dedicated and creative authors, each of whom I’m sure deserve the opportunity to get published by Voyager,” Mayer said.