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Oren Seidler, one of Laurel Cohn's clients

Oren Seidler
Bruce & Me
Random House

'Receiving Laurel Cohn's report on an early draft of my manuscript proved invaluable. The manuscript, 'Bruce & Me' has now been published by Random House and I am incredibly grateful for Laurel's early input. Her astute and insightful comments helped give me a clearer sense of direction and helped direct me towards the next stage of the manuscript's development. Obviously dedicated to her craft, she had read the manuscript carefully and had taken great care to address subtleties and detail. In addition to a detailed overview, her clear comments covered important areas such as structure, use of tenses and general problems. Her report ended with suggestions for the next steps which helped define the direction I would then take. All in all an incredibly helpful experience! Thanks Laurel!'



Trade Publishing


There are many writers out there in the world, and most of them want to be picked up by a publisher, despite the poor average remuneration. The competition is fierce. Publishing is an expensive business (costs include design, in-house editing, printing, warehousing, distribution, publicity). In the past publishers were swamped with unsolicited manuscripts (that is a manuscript by an unpublished author with no relationship to an agent or to the publishing house).

Increasingly publishers are only accepting manuscripts that come by recommendation – via an agent, one of their published authors, a recognised mentorship scheme, or an industry professional (such as an editor). Of those publishers who still accept unsolicited manuscripts, less than 1% ever find their way between covers. So, it is tough out there in the big wide world of publishing.

That's the reality. However, publishers are always on the look out for new work. They need writers, and you may just have what they are looking for.


Gone are the days when a publisher would see the potential of a manuscript on their desk and decide to invest time and money into nurturing the writer through to a publishable text. Cost cutting has seen publishers do away with in-house editing to a large degree and they are unlikely to take a risk on a manuscript that needs work, however good the idea and however promising the writing is. They may say they are interested, suggest that it needs work and send it back. While this can sound very encouraging, it is no guarantee of a contract.

Your work is unlikely to be accepted in the first place unless it is considered virtually ready to be published. No publisher or agent ever expects to see a manuscript that is free of all errors, but publishing is a competitive industry. If you pay attention to the details, it shows you care; it shows you are serious about the craft of writing.