Unsolicited manuscripts refer to those submitted without being asked or requested from publishers, in contrast with solicited manuscripts submitted after being invited explicitly by one.
There can be various reasons for an author submitting an unsolicited manuscript: having an incredible book idea but no knowledge of how to publish it can prompt unsolicited submission; another possibility could be having difficulty finding an ideal publisher – unsolicited submission is therefore seen as one way of getting their work seen by publishers; finally, if an author cannot find an ideal home for their manuscript, they may submit multiple submissions hoping that at least one publisher might show interest.
There are various ways that writers can submit unsolicited manuscripts to publishers. One option is sending it directly, while others could submit it to literary agents who can then attempt to sell it directly to the author.
Unsolicited manuscripts play a pivotal role in the book industry because they allow new or unknown authors to get their work out there and published. Most often, an author will submit their manuscript for consideration by either a publishing house or agent, and if their manuscript meets certain standards, either will agree to represent and help publish their book.
Unsolicited manuscripts play an invaluable role in publishing. First, they allow new authors to break into the industry; second, they supply publishers and agents with material for consideration for publication; finally, they keep book publishing fresh by providing readers with fresh voices and perspectives.