Kirkus Editorial is proudly presented with no strings attached—authors can use our services to strengthen a manuscript before submitting it to agents and publishers, to ensure a self-published book is edited to the same standard as those produced by the major houses or to improve their craft privately. Most of our clients do, however, pursue publication after the editorial process is complete. Here are the two most common paths:
Traditional publishing Self-publishing
To pursue a traditional publisher, we recommend trying to secure agent representation as a first step. Publishers Marketplace is a great resource for finding agents who are interested in your genre. You should research each agent's individual submission guidelines, but in general, agents request a one-page query letter, a synopsis, an author bio, a few pages from the manuscript and a book proposal (if nonfiction). If the agent is interested, he or she will contact you to solicit the complete manuscript. For more information, we recommend reading Folio Literary Management's step-by-step guide to getting published.
Please note that Kirkus Editorial does not write or edit query letters or other submission material; we take great pride in focusing our expertise on the manuscript itself.
If you would prefer to self-publish your work, you may take your edited manuscript to any self-publishing company for publication. Since your manuscript will have already been edited by one of the nation's top editors, you will be able to bypass their editorial services and move straight to design, production and distribution. There are many high-quality service providers that are easy to research online by searching for "self-publishing companies."
More and more authors are jumpstarting their writing careers by self-publishing their work, and then either enjoying the bigger back-end profits or selling domestic, foreign or even film rights after establishing a successful sales record. To read real-life "How I Did It" stories from authors who found success through self-publishing, visit Kirkus' writing/publishing blog.
Once you've secured publication, we invite you to return to Kirkus to get your book reviewed. If you're self-publishing, you'll acquire the review through our Indie program (learn more). If you are published by a traditional house, the publisher will submit the book for review directly. Please note that participation in our editorial program does not guarantee a positive review from Kirkus Reviews(learn more).
Once the review is returned to you, you will be eligible to participate in our marketing programs to draw attention to the acclaim. Kirkus' marketing programs are designed to boost online book sales and get the attention of industry influencers, such as publishers, agents, foreign publishers, film executives, librarians and booksellers (learn more).