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Sumitting chapters to a publisher question

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A publisher is asking for three sample chapters. Is there a standard? Must they be the first chapters, or ones in order from anywhere in the manuscript, or even non-consecutive chapters? Is there a norm?
#1 - March 28, 2021, 02:31 PM

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Generally it's a good idea to use the first three chapters. I once heard some good advice: If your first chapters aren't your strongest, then make them stronger. Otherwise, why are they there?

I've found that to be very true. So if you're hesitating to send your first three chapters, try to understand what the problem is. Do they really belong there? Could they be cut? Is your story beginning in the right place?

Those first three chapters are critical, and the first sign that that something is off is that you'd rather send others.

#2 - March 28, 2021, 03:57 PM

Holiday House 2021
Holiday House, 2015, 2016

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I agree with Mrs. Jones. First three chapters. Make them as strong as possible.
#3 - March 28, 2021, 04:46 PM

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Definitely the first chapter. But if you're particularly fond of a later chapter, I don't see a problem submitting it as part of your packet, esp. if they've not specified. This is often true with nonfiction, but with fiction, it's best to stick to the first three chapters. Good luck!
#4 - March 28, 2021, 05:45 PM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags

When I was working in-house, I definitely wanted and expected the first chapters or first x number of pages in this situation...
#5 - March 30, 2021, 04:28 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site:


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