How to Get Published- According to Penguin Random House

Written by Heather Verani

One aspect of this blog that I haven’t emphasized enough, but is incredibly important, is that graduate students should be furthering themselves academically outside of the classroom. There are many ways to do this, such as attending and presenting at conferences, conducting research outside of class, and to pursue the path to become published. The publishing company Penguin Random House has recently uploaded a blog post of their own detailing one possible way a person could become published. As their post states, the experience of trying to get published is different for everyone; however, take this industry advice as a guide that you could later apply to your own experience.

They detail the path to getting published in four separate steps. Step one is to “complete your manuscript or proposal.” This step highlights that proposals are more common with non-fiction publications and manuscripts are for fiction writing, showing that with this post, you could apply these steps for either type of publication. Obviously, this step mainly comes from the creativity of one’s own mind and does not feature any tips on how to write these genres of text. However, the blog post includes a link to “how to write a book proposal + book proposal template” on their website which I will feature at the end of this article. In connection to this step, they also recommend finding or joining a community of writers, as they could help provide additional resources, become beta readers, prepare you for different parts of the publishing process, or even be a place of moral and emotional support. One of the easiest ways to find these types of communities is through social media, especially through Twitter or Tik Tok. Another way the post mentions is through in-person or virtual groups, which are discoverable through Poets & Writers website, a link that will also be attached at the end of this article.

The second step is to find a literary agent. Penguin Random House acknowledges that many publishers, including themselves, have not accepted submissions without an agent. This is mainly because literary agents “play a critical role in serving your interests in the business relationship you will have with a publisher.” When researching for a literary agent, one should try to find agents that represent the type of work you want to create. One way of doing this is finding agents that authors you enjoy have also used, which can be done by looking through their book’s acknowledgement pages. Then, you could find out more about these agents through research databases to see if they are a good fit, and if not, have the ability to look for one who is. After identifying who you would like for a literary agent, the next step is to write a query letter and synopsis of the book. Make sure to follow any submission requirements when writing this letter, such as the page count. If the agent is interested, they will reach out with a request for more material. It is important to note that there are scammers out there, and that agents should only get paid after they sell your work.

The next step is to collaborate with your literary agent and start to prepare your work for submissions to editors. Your agent will suggest edits that would hopefully attract more publication offers. This process will take time, and it is important to state that there is no guarantee that your work will find an editor who wants to publish it. You may even have to rewrite the manuscript a few times before it finds the right home.

The final step as stated in the post is to (hopefully) land a book deal. If an editor shows interest in your work, they will then start their own publication process by asking colleges for second reads and opinions of your work, along with deciding whether or not to make you an offer. If they do decide to make an offer, it will be presented to your agent who will then compare that with other offers. This process varies from a few days to possible weeks. Overall, it is up to you what you decide to do wit your work, and you have final say in what happens to it.

On a much smaller scale then Penguin Random House, Millersville University also provides opportunities on how to get published. The Graduate journal MUsings is open for 2023 submissions, and is a perfect opportunity to get published and have this credential associated with your name! All links will be included below.


Penguin Random House Blog Post:

How to write a book proposal + book proposal template:

Poets & Writers Website:

MUsings submission link: