My Manuscript Wasn’t Chosen, What Happens Now?

Dear Writers,

Now that we’ve made our big announcement, we’re sure that you all have a lot of questions, and we’d like to try to answer a few of them:

A Little Something Different wasn’t the top rated manuscript on the site. How did you choose which books to publish?

1)      We looked at the ratings, but since the vast majority of manuscripts on the site have been rated five hearts, we felt that this didn’t really give us a definitive idea of what you were truly enjoying.

2)      So, we moved on to reading your comments (which, by the way, are amazing). We made a list of manuscripts with the highest number of comments.

3)      Then, we examined the quality of the comments. Were they positive? Were people really talking about the book, or just saying “Hi, good job”?

4)      Next, we removed any books that were submitted after our December 31st deadline, or were not the first book in a series (While it’s lovely to be able to read the next book in a series, or even an entire trilogy, we have to start with the first book, and it has to be able to stand alone in the marketplace).

5)      This left us with 12 novels, which we then took to the Swoon Reads Editorial Board, headed by Jean Feiwel and Holly West. Each of these books was read by multiple members of the Board and then discussed in an editorial meeting.  There had to be a consensus for the novels to make it into the final round.

6)      That meeting narrowed the list of 12 down to 3 titles. We held a vote and the Board agreed that all three titles were Swoonworthy and ought to be published.

And, that’s how we chose our first list!

You’ve picked two manuscripts that haven’t been announced yet. Could my book be one of them?

Sorry, but the answer here is no. We’ve already notified and sent contracts to the authors, so if you haven’t heard from us, your manuscript wasn’t chosen for our first list.

My manuscript wasn’t chosen for the first list. What happens now?

Now, you have two options:

1)      Leave your manuscript up on the site as a candidate for the second list!

As a publishing imprint, Swoon Reads plans to announce three lists a year, and any manuscript uploaded to the site before midnight EST on April 30, 2014 is eligible for our second list, which will be announced mid-June.

We particularly recommend this for authors who just put their manuscripts up in November and December. Our exclusivity window hasn’t expired yet, and leaving it up gives your work three and a half more months to gather ratings and comments before the deadline closes again and we make our next decision.

2)      Take your manuscript off the site and revise it!

We have a wonderful reading community here many of whom have left some pretty great writing advice and suggestions in their comments. If after reading these comments, you have developed a plan to completely revise your manuscript and make it better, then now might be the time to run with it—especially for authors whose manuscripts have been on the site for more than six months, and whose exclusivity window has expired.

If you do choose to take your manuscript down, you will lose all your comments and ratings, so be sure and PRINT your comments out or otherwise save them, so you can refer to them later!

Finally, once you’ve substantially revised your manuscript, remember you are more than welcome to resubmit to the site for a later list – and, as always, we’d love to see any new YA romances you write!

Those were the most pressing questions that we could think of, but if we’ve missed something and you have any other burning questions related to the announcement, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.

Thank you all again, so much, for sharing your work with us and being such a valuable part of the community! This first list is only the beginning and we’re so excited to see what wonderful things you’ll bring us to read next time around!


The Swoon Reads Staff

About the author - Swoon Reads Staff

For more information, check out the "Meet the Team" section of our About page (

See More
Report comment

7 comments on "My Manuscript Wasn’t Chosen, What Happens Now?"

on Feb. 14, 2014, 9 a.m. said:

[…] contacted. If you’re a writer and wondering what that means for your manuscript, check out this blog post. We did our best to cover all the questions we thought writers would […]

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Karole Cozzo on Feb. 14, 2014, 9:55 a.m. said:

Karole Cozzo

Thank you for taking the time to share this information. I appreciate how upfront the team at SWOON is being with the remaining authors, in not leaving us hanging and advising what may be the best way to proceed. SWOON remains a very positive, supportive community, and it is encouraging to see this as the first list is published. I have gained so much in being involved with SWOON since it launched, and I will remain an active part of the community. Though we couldn’t all be “winners” in terms of being selected, I can state very confidently that many of us feel we have gained so much and have a lot to be thankful for. In particular, I have to say that I feel very lucky to have established offline relationships with multiple authors, and I have a huge amount of respect for them. While this could have felt like a “contest,” it never has between us, and I feel truly supported and encouraged by them. On Valentine’s Day, I’m definitely feeling the love. Because friendship is swoonworthy too! 😉

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

THHernandez on Feb. 14, 2014, 12:03 p.m. said:


Ditto. Because I can’t say it any better than Karole did!

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Kate Priestley on Feb. 14, 2014, 10:40 a.m. said:

Kate Priestley

I totally agree with KA. Writing can be such a lonely business, it’s great to finally have some critiquing partners and a wonderful site like this to give a focus to it all. It would be great if this model could eventaully roll out to include other genres of teen fiction too.

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Stephanie Moore on Feb. 14, 2014, 10:21 a.m. said:

Stephanie Moore

KA, you put it so perfectly! Can I just say ditto? Thanks to the Swoon Reads staff and other authors. It’s been fun Swooning together!

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Kate Priestley on June 21, 2014, 1:59 p.m. said:

Kate Priestley

Are you able to tell us which 12 titles were shortlisted? I’m only asking because being on any shortlist is great for boosting an author’s confidence and it’s also the kind of information which can be helpful for authors to put in a CV to other agents later on – especially if, like me, they don’t yet have many other achievements to list!

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Holly West on June 25, 2014, 2:26 p.m. said:

Holly West

Hi Kate,
We’re sorry, but since Swoon Reads is a publishing imprint, not an award or a contest, we’d rather not publish a list of finalists.
And anyway, any author who made it to our finalist list must have a large number of good ratings and comments, which should boost their confidence much more than just being on a list!
Swoon Reads Staff

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.