Kensington Publishing Is Only Major Continuing to Accept Unsolicited Manuscripts, But the Writer Must Understand Genre


The only major publisher I’m aware of that continues to consider unsolicited material for its imprints is Kensington, which is not categorized as a Big 5 publisher because it remains independent and not part of a conglomerate. Regardless, Kensington has imprints covering a dozen or more genres, and subscribers can query any of them if their material fits. But make certain it’s an “exact match,” or I can attest from personal experience that the outcome will be frustrating. I’ve written two stories for Pinnacle, the firm’s Thriller imprint, and I missed on the criteria in both cases and was never able to massage the plot elements in a way that would be acceptable.

And the editor in chief of Kensington had personally edited an early manuscript of mine, and she continues to take my phone calls on a very friendly basis, so I can’t stress enough the importance of genre specificity, as it also varies from one publishing company to another. Meaning, a Thriller perfectly matching the guidelines for one might not pass muster with another. This is the reason it’s so very important to read what a publisher is putting out there in the genre in which material is written.

I can guarantee that any writer doing this will have a much better shot than going at it based solely on his or her idea of genre. As everyone knows all too well who has tried to become published by a major royalty publisher, it’s an immensely complicated process. What I’m suggesting can smooth out the bumps somewhat, in that a writer will be presenting a book that will at least fit a respective publisher’s guidelines. Then it’s down to likes or dislikes, which it the way it should be, and not that the book didn’t replicate that imprint’s model.

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