Why am I clarifying this?
Something people assume writers do, is that we finish our manuscripts and send them off in the mail to some big New York publisher, hoping to hear good news. That's far from accurate for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that most of that is now done electronically. Nowadays, a lot of publishers--especially the Big Six and other NY-based publishing houses--won't accept something they haven't requested to see themselves, or something someone other than an industry professional, i.e. an agent or perhaps one of their editors, hasn't pitched to them.
|"And let me mail this off to someone who won't even read it!"|
However, there are many publishers who do take unsolicited manuscripts! This means that the writer can submit their work to the publisher directly. Sure, they can have an agent, in which case the agent would take care of that for them, but it wouldn't be necessary.
Overall, the take-home message is to check first with the publisher to find out their submission guidelines. Do they accept unsolicited manuscripts or not? Most of their websites are very clear about their guidelines, so writers should consider themselves informed if they've done any research on it at all.
How about you? Have you submitted an unsolicited manuscript anywhere before? What happened?