Where do I start?
Start by reading some of our books to get a sense of our taste and a flavour of what we might be interested in and what we are likely to publish.
Send us a 500-word summary of the book that will entice your reader along with the first three chapters of your manuscript. Your MS should be in the best shape that it can possibly be. Please do not send a hard copy submission; it’s a waste of money and trees.
Send your sample chapters as a word attachment saved in the following way: date of submission (dd.mm.yy).firstname. surname.book title
- Example: 02.09.09.Yinka.Allen.ToPlayWithFire.doc
The subject of the email should be: Cassava Submission: [Author’s name], [book title]
- Example: Cassava Submission: Yinka
Allen, To Play With Fire.
We follow this procedure because submissions are logged and read chronologically. Make sure that your name appears only on the title page, and nowhere else in the manuscript.
We read all the submissions that come in and it will take us approximately three months to assess your manuscript. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to provide individual editorial feedback or field phone calls or respond to social media enquiries about the status of your submission. You will however receive an automated acknowledgement of your manuscript.
When we start reading a manuscript, these are some of the questions that will be ticking through our minds:
- Do we think that the story is saying something new about the human experience or breaking with tradition (both content-wise and stylistically) in some innovative way?
- Are we passionate enough about the story to invest our own money and devote almost a year of our working lives to the manuscript?
- Can we convince retailers and readers in and outside of Africa that the book should be read?
If we are not interested in your manuscript, you will receive a stock rejection letter from us. If it excites us, we’ll contact you to discuss how we can work together. As we are potentially making a substantial financial and professional commitment, we like to have a discussion with our future authors to see if they’re the kind of people we could work with. It is also an opportunity for the author to find out if we are the right company for them.
Part of what we’ll be looking for includes:
- Whether we can work with you
- Whether you share our core values
We are retail focused and that means that we want to sell volumes of books and we want to work with authors for whom publishing is not a vanity project, but about seeing thousands if not millions reading their book.
We want to work with authors who will see us as partners and are in in it for the long haul. We want to work with authors who are prepared to put in the work it requires to bring their book into the world – this involves editorial and marketing time. We want proactive, innovative partners in this regard.
Once we feel we can work together, we will send you an author pack (this provides you with more information about our publishing process and how we work) and a draft contract for you to assess. If you have any questions, then feel free to ask us. For us, it is important that our author is happy with their contract and our process and sees the relationship as one of mutual benefit.
Once the contract has been signed, you will be assigned an editor and the real work begins. We want to have as much fun as possible creating the book. We enjoy the craft that goes into editing, book cover design, typesetting and marketing and selling, and we’d want you to enjoy it for what it is – a time-honoured craft.
If after having read this, you think we may be interested in your work, please send it to us!
When we receive your manuscript, we’ll automatically add you to our newsletter subscriber list. If you don’t want to be on our mailing list, please state this clearly on your submission.