|It's all a matter of who's going to reject you.|
For a few weeks I agonized over who I should submit to. Do I submit to a publisher or do I submit to an agent that can get me to a publisher? I can submit to whoever in many cases but it all gets thrown in a slush pile for someone to judge.
I finally based my decision on the market. My book is not a national book. It is a niche book in the Mormon niche market. The "Big Three" as I have heard them called (Deseret Book, Covenant Communications, and Cedar Fort) all accept direct submissions at any time.
One published author that gave me some advice said, "A pro to using an agent is it's a protection and you might get a better contract. A con is you might not get a better contract, and then you split the royalty pie with someone else."
So based on that, I chose to submit directly to Deseret and Covenant. I'll submit to Cedar Fort soon (more on that later). Hopefully it means something in the future.
However I knew that if I wrote something more for a general market I'd HAVE to have an agent. HarperCollins, Penguin, and Simon&Schuster are not even going to consider someone without an agent. I've looked it up myself and they all say the same thing. I know it's a little extreme to look at the top publishers in the business but it helps give the idea.
With the exception of our Avon Impulse and HarperLegend imprints, HarperCollins does not accept unsolicited submissions. Any unsolicited manuscripts, proposals or query letters that we receive will not be returned, and HarperCollins is not responsible for any materials submitted. We recommend that you consult your local bookstore or library for sources that can direct you in locating an appropriate agent and/or publisher.
Penguin Random House:
If you would like to have your work or manuscript considered for publication by a major book publisher, we recommend that you work with an established literary agent.
Simon & Schuster:
As a general policy, Simon & Schuster does not review or return unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. We suggest that prospective authors and illustrators submit their materials through a professional literary agent.