Ask a Publisher: How Does the Submissions Process Work?

One question we get a lot here at Josha is about our submissions process: specifically, what are the stages and approximate timelines for those stages? And while you can find the answers to specific questions on our FAQ page, here, we’ll cover in a bit more depth what to expect once you decide to submit a manuscript to us.

What is a Query?

A query is a formal letter, typically one page or less, written with the express intent of garnering the interest of the recipient (an agent or editor) in your manuscript. The purpose is to hook the recipient so they follow up with a request to reviewof your manuscript. As a reminder, Josha only reviews queries for completed manuscripts.

Initial Query

After reviewing the requirements for submitting a query in our Submissions Guidelines, you have prepared your query and are ready to send. Remember: we will not open unsolicited attachments, so please don’t send one. Everything we require in a query should be included in the body of the email, and everything listed in the submissions guidelines is required, unless indicated otherwise. Once you’ve confirmed all these requirements, your query is on its way to our inbox.

Our acquisitions team takes time to read, consider, and respond to every submission that follows our posted submission guidelines. Be patient—giving every submission the time and care it deserves takes time; we will get back to you within 60 days. Please don’t follow-up with us if it hasn’t been 60 days since your submission. However, if you haven’t received a response from us by day 61, feel free to reach out to us following the subject line guidance in the Post-Submission section in the Submissions Guidelines.

Partial Manuscript Requests

If, based on your query, we’ve determined you may have a manuscript that’s a good fit for Josha, we may request that you provide a detailed synopsis as well as the first 50 pages of your manuscript. Remember: there are requirements for the formatting of all attachments provided in the Formatting section in the Submissions Guidelines; be sure to follow all stated requirements prior to sending your materials.

Again, our acquisitions team will review and consider the materials you’ve submitted and will respond to you within 60 days. At this point, if we still believe your manuscript may be a good fit for Josha, we will request your full manuscript. As with queries, feel free to reach out to us if it has been more than 60 days since your submission following the subject line guidance in the Post-Submission section in the Submissions Guidelines.

Full Manuscript Requests

 As with a partial manuscript request, there are formatting requirements provided in the Formatting section in the Submissions Guidelines; make sure your manuscript follows the requirements prior to submitting. However, if you’ve received a full manuscript request, congratulations! Based on either your query or your partial manuscript submission, Josha is interested in reading your completed manuscript—that’s something to commend yourself for.

The acquisition team will review and consider your completed manuscript. We are looking at the writing itself, the message you are conveying, and evaluating for consistency with Josha’s values and mission. This is something you don’t want rushed! And while we understand how difficult it can be to wait, this step can take up to 6 months before you hear back from us. We haven’t forgotten your submission, we’re just working hard to make sure your submission, as well as every other submission, is receiving the care and consideration it deserves. Again, there are guidelines for following up with us if it has been more than 6 months since you last heard from us in the Post-Submission section in our Submissions Guidelines.

Example Timeline

This is an example timeline with estimates for each stage of the process leading up to the possibility of a contractual offer. Actual time required for each stage will vary by manuscript. Additionally, not every stage will be required for every manuscript, and at times certain stages may be completed simultaneously.

Initial Query Review1-2 months
Partial Manuscript Review1-2 months
Full Manuscript Review4-6 months
*Example timeline with estimated timeframes for each stage

Tips and Reminders

Keep these tips and reminders in mind throughout the process to position yourself in the best way possible for consideration:

  • Read ALL Submissions Guidelines prior to submitting a query. If you need clarification on a requirement and you’re unable to find the answer on the FAQ page, feel free to contact us with your question.
  • Understand what genres Josha does and does not publish before considering submission to us. While you may have a beautiful manuscript, if it’s not one of the genres we have listed in our Submissions Guidelines, we will not accept your submission.
  • Review the FAQ page before contacting us with questions—it’s likely your question has been answered there.
  • Make note of all requirements for each stage in the submission process, including formatting requirements as you prepare your submission, then double-check before you send.
  • Be familiar with the timelines for each stage in the process and don’t follow up with a request for a status update unless it’s been longer than the stated follow-up period (see the Post-Submission section in the Submissions Guidelines).

Josha Publishing, LLC is a woman-founded, woman-owned, and woman-run company that is passionate about booksstories, and the power of words to change lives. Learn more about us here and remember to sign up for our newsletter to find out about new content, new books, and submissions update.

Ask a Publisher:
How Does the Submissions Process Work?