Playing the field: Is it ok to submit a single book proposal to multiple publishers?

Textbook StackBuilding a relationship with a publisher, for many authors, is a lifelong commitment, so the decision of which publisher to work with shouldn’t be taken lightly. How do you know that you’ve found “the one” for your book? We sought the opinions of seven TAA members on whether or not it’s acceptable to submit a single book proposal to several different publishers. Here are their responses and reasoning. [Read more…]

Is it acceptable to submit your proposal to multiple publishers?

Q: “I’m trying to avoid a misstep. I’ve been working on a textbook for about a year and recently severed ties with my publisher and they agreed to release my materials. My question is this: When seeking a new publisher, do I only talk to one acquisitions editor at a time (wait for them to send my materials out for review and either other a contract or not) before sending material out to any other editor, or is it acceptable to send materials out to 2 or 3 at once? My concern with the latter is that these editors put in a fair amount of time and, if they decide to send materials out for review, some money investment. Am I being unfair to them (or potentially burning bridges) by trying to deal with more than one before a contract is signed, or prudent?”

A: Richard Hull, Executive Director, TAA:

“Self interest indicates you should send the proposal out to as many publishers as you can, trying to maximize your chances of getting an acceptance. But this may lead to other moral dilemmas: what if you get an early response, accept the offer, and just as you are about to close the deal you get another, better offer? [Read more…]