Q & A
What’s a Query letter?
A query letter is a letter of introduction to tell us about you and your manuscript. Every publisher differs in what they’d like to see in a query. Some publishers are very strict, right down to how you’ve formatted your letter. At Pie Plate, we encourage submissions from new authors; therefore, we understand if you haven’t written the perfect query. Please see our Guidelines page for details about what we look for in a query.
Can I send my completed manuscript or sample chapters?
Please do not send a full manuscript or sample chapters unless we ask for it. We respond to all queries, and that’s time-consuming!
What is a proposal?
A proposal is like a query, but it’s for a work you intend to do, not one you’ve done. I.e., you’re pitching an idea for a book versus pitching for one you’ve already written. At this time, we are only seeking queries from authors who have completed a manuscript – so we accept queries but not proposals.
Do I need an agent?
You do not need an agent to submit to Pie Plate Publishing. However, having an agent is a great benefit to a new author. It says to us that you’re a hard worker (getting an agent isn’t easy) and that an experienced person in the business already believes in your work. That said, you will not be dismissed if you do not have an agent. The majority of submissions we receive are not represented by an agent and receive careful consideration nonetheless.
A few words of caution if you are a new author seeking an agent. Do your homework! If you do not have a word of mouth recommendation and begin on a general listing website like http://www.writersmarket.com, don’t send a query right away. Google them. Look at who they have represented. Check out http://www.absolutewrite.com for a listing of the worst agents and make sure the agent you want to pursue isn’t on it. If you get to the next step with a reputable agent, expect a contract – and never, ever pay an agent, even for what they call “expenses” for mailing manuscripts and queries. Real agents do not charge fees.
Do you work with new authors?
Absolutely. We know how tough it is to be seen by huge publishing houses. Our goal is to find undiscovered talent.
Do you only accept the work of new authors?
Pie Plate is open to the works of all authors.
Should I copyright my manuscript before I send it?
We’re often asked, “do I need to copyright my manuscript before I send it for consideration to publishers or agents?” In short, no, not to be considered for publication – but that said, we recommend it anyway. Your work is your work the minute pen hits the paper. But if you’ve protected it with a copyright (an inexpensive investment), it shows a greater dedication to your work and a paper trail if legalities become an issue later. You should also register your work with the Writer’s Guild. That is another inexpensive way to add an extra level of protection. If you want to learn more, go directly to the source: www.copyright.gov has great factual information to help you decide if you want to file a copyright.
Will I get a response to my query?
Not only will we respond to all queries, we will not send you a form letter if you’ve made the effort to include everything we ask for in a query (see Guidelines for details on what we ask for). We care about helping aspiring authors. An “it’s not right for us at this time” form letter doesn’t tell you much, and it doesn’t set you up for success going forward. We are committed to generous and honest feedback. If your query was difficult to read or understand, we’ll tell you. If the subject matter doesn’t sound like something we could really have fun with or that sparks our curiosity, we’ll tell you. If we can’t publish your work because we’re not the right fit for your work, we’ll tell you!
Due to the overwhelming number of submissions due to this policy, we are closing submissions as of March 1, 2016. We will update this notice as soon as we’re caught up with submissions and ready to consider new works.
When will I get a response to my query?
Response time varies based on volume. You might get a reply in a day or two. It might be several weeks depending on volume. If you send a query after March 1, 2016, we cannot guarantee a response at this time as we are temporarily closing to submissions based on volume.
After I query, what’s the next step?
If you have sparked our interest with a query, we will respond with a request to read a few chapters of the work. From there, if we like the chapters, we’ll ask to read the whole thing.
If we love the work, we have to love you, too. So you’ll likely get a phone call when we’re done reading your book, and possibly a request to meet in person. We want to know more about you and if you’ll be a dedicated author and entrepreneur– someone who will contribute to the marketing efforts for your book. An author who is a social media guru or a big time blogger who wants to do signings, speaking engagements and loves interacting with readers is an author who will be an asset to the Pie Plate family. We’re not just looking for great writers; we’re looking for great partners!
Will you accept simultaneous submissions?
If you’re new to submitting manuscripts, you might not know this term. Simply put, a simultaneous submission is the submission of a query or chapters to more than one publisher at the same time. Publishers who do not accept simultaneous submissions have this policy for a good reason – they don’t want to use their valuable time to consider a work that might already be under consideration elsewhere. For example, if they like the query, they don’t want to take the time to research the viability of the topic only to find out that the writer has already heard back from another publisher and has already signed on with them.
Pie Plate views this a little differently. As a supporter of new authors, we recognize that writers can waste a lot of time waiting for a rejection from one publisher before they can submit to the next. It can be a lengthy, sometimes frustrating, and certainly time-consuming process. Writers can cover more ground when they can submit to publishers simultaneously, and we are pro-writer.
Our answer is yes, we will accept a query from you if you’ve already submitted queries for the same work to other publishers. To avoid the conflicts that can arise with a simultaneous submission, we’ll endeavor to read, consider and respond to submissions as soon as possible. The longer we take to consider a work, the more likely you will have already heard back from another publisher. We can negate the risks by our own due diligence in keeping up with our inbox – of course, this is a commitment we make based on our current volume, and our policy could change if volume increases substantially.
Are you a self-publisher or vanity publisher?
No, we do not offer self-publishing or vanity services. We are a traditional publisher and incur the full expense of the works we publish. We also do not offer writers any mentoring, editing, or referral services.
I want to submit my book for consideration. What genres are you currently accepting?
Pie Plate is typically open to all genres; however, until further notice we are currently closed to submissions of any genre (as of March 1, 2016.)
Are you a religious publisher?
We began to hear this question after we published a series of books (The Pagan Children Learning Series) that is geared toward the Pagan community, and then more recently again when we contracted another Pagan author. We are not, however, a Pagan publisher. We’re not a Christian publisher either, though we previously published a book called “Rusty the Robot’s Holiday Adventures”, which includes stories about Christmas and Easter, in addition to more secular holidays like Thanksgiving and 4th of July. Essentially, we do not ascribe ourselves to a particular faith here at Pie Plate, nor do we make publishing decisions based upon religion, race, color, age, disability, sex, gender identity, political beliefs, or sexual orientation. Our aim is to publish a diverse catalog of books for a variety of audiences. We’re open to it all – send us a query!
Do you publish authors in other countries?
At this time, Pie Plate is not publishing authors who live outside of the U.S.. Though we understand this will limit us in finding talented authors for our growing catalog, this is an unfortunate necessity for us as a young publishing house. Essentially, our attorney-written contracts are currently geared toward American authors. To publish authors in other countries, we must have new contracts researched and written. Anyone who has worked with an attorney before knows how costly this can be – and how quickly your retainer can be depleted!
As Pie Plate continues to grow, we hope we’ll be able to incur this expense soon so that we don’t miss out on all the great works out there. In the meantime, we are only accepting works of American origin written by current U.S. residents.
This is not to be confused with the distribution of our publications. Our works are currently available for purchase worldwide through online retailers and via international Espresso Print Machines.