I have just discovered a rare gem. No, it's not an African diamond the size of a rugby ball - it's the "submit a manuscript" link on the website of a major New Zealand publisher. Impressed, I have just sent them my manuscript. Fingers and toes crossed!
Why was I impressed? Take a look at how welcome they make you feel.
GUIDELINES FOR BOOK SUBMISSIONS:
We welcome submissions for book projects, novels and ideas from you, the writer. However, we have some guidelines that we would like you to read to ensure that what you send in is suitable. Otherwise you might like to try another publisher.
We welcome you to submit your manuscripts. They are sent out to a reader, and all are considered seriously. This process normally takes about one month to complete.
When submitting a manuscript for consideration you should provide a letter of introduction, a brief synopsis and your full manuscript. This should be a computer print out (preferably in double line spacing). If it is to be illustrated, please include some samples (not originals).
We do not accept unsolicited poetry, short stories or science fiction novels.
We do not accept: poetry, plays, screen plays or war diaries. Try checking in bookstores for books that are similar and send submissions to those publishers (be aware that New Zealand publishing is different from overseas. We are only interested in books with NZ content or by a New Zealand author.)
Wow! Read that again in case it didn't sink in. How many publishers invite you to send in your FULL manuscript in the first instance, and then promise that every submission is sent to a reader, and it is SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED. To boot, the process takes about ONE MONTH. It may be because New Zealand is relatively small, and they are not overloaded with hundreds of manuscripts a week. It is, however, the NZ wing of a major international publisher.
Of course, I will keep you abreast of developments. I have also submitted to an Australian publisher and one in the UK. I've decided to do multiple hits, leaving a bit of space between submissions, just in case there's a bite. I've decided to go direct to publishers who are still accessible, having become disillusioned by agents who bite and then don't swallow!