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SEARCHing on the BIG 5

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Odd John:
The Fat PENGUIN and the other 4 of the BIG 5 publishing houses own numerous Imprints/Divisions, many of which were/are themselves very large publishing houses in their own right. If you SEARCH on those, they may list as taking queries, but of course the RANDOM PENGUIN and others are listed as NOT taking. This may seem obvious, but the PENGUIN Publishing Group (A Division of Penguin Random House), has 18 Imprints alone. So it may be fairly easy to think, "Oh, DAW was eaten up by the PENGUIN, so I won't bother querying them." Step back a step! DAW is in fact one of the most inviting for debut writers.

Yes, I did this dumb little dance. So I thought I'd add a heads-up as the final dance move...

Here's a pretty good link scoping out some of the BIG 5 publishing relationships:

Johnny 5:
Ah Odd John, you do spoil us with positive insight :)

Thank you, John. As always, I appreciate your helpfulness and resourcefulness.

Did you mention you can see which imprints can take direct unagented queries from authors? I was under the impression that all Big 5 imprints essentially required agent submissions.

Thank you in advance for sharing your wisdom on this topic.


Odd John:
Richard - The short answer is "yes", but reality makes us go the long way around. Under the Publishers tab, if you click on "Search" you get a full 192 List, where one of the columns marks Pubs not accepting queries at this time with a red circle/slash badge. Of course you knew this but I'm being a bit O/C...

Now the "long way" part. Whichever Imprint you're interested in, you just have to enter it into the SEARCH box. But your little gray cells have to know the Big 5/Imprint relationships. Easy for me: Penguin/DAW, Macmillan/TOR, Penguin/The Dial Press. Not so easy: Penguin/St. Martin's/Minotaur. If for some reason you want to know the results for Pubs subtending the Big 5. As mentioned in an earlier post e.g., the fat Penguin takes NO queries, yet its Imprint DAW is very receptive.

Rarely, you'll enter an Imprint that you know is owned by one of the Big 5, yet doesn't show up in the database at all. That is the time to tap our great and powerful Wizard, Patrick, on the shoulder, and say the word "runcible" five times fast. This will fix the omission so long as your suggestion is both accurate and apt. I have submitted three (3!) updates as of yesterday.

I'll be sending more on a drib-drab, catch-as-catch-can basis. Please do not swamp the Wizard if you choose to do the same!

Once again, here is that graphic cheat chart in link. Fail not to scroll down!

Sorry my Master John. I am on spring break in Guangzhou with one wife, a mother-in-law, and three zany kids, so did not notice any tabs or have a chance to look closely. Allow me to do so later this week when I return to a more sane situation back at home lest I pose further questions that expose my ignorance.

Meanwhile, thank you again and have a splendid week!


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