What Does Books Closed Mean

What Does “Books Closed” Mean?

When it comes to the publishing industry, you may have come across the phrase “books closed” at some point. But what does it actually mean? In this article, we will explore the meaning of “books closed” in the publishing world and answer some frequently asked questions related to this term.

The term “books closed” refers to a period during which a publishing house or literary agency is not accepting submissions from new authors. This can occur for various reasons, such as an overwhelming number of submissions or a specific time frame set by the organization. During this period, any manuscripts or book proposals received will not be considered for publication.

Publishing houses and literary agencies often have limited resources and staff, making it difficult to review an unlimited number of submissions. Therefore, they periodically close submissions to focus on the manuscripts they have already received. This allows them to provide adequate attention and feedback to each author, ensuring a fair and thorough evaluation process.


Q: Why do publishing houses and literary agencies close their books?
A: Closing the books allows publishers and agencies to manage their workload effectively. It ensures that they can provide quality attention to the submissions they have already received, without being overwhelmed by new manuscripts.

Q: How long do books usually remain closed?
A: The duration for which books remain closed varies from publisher to publisher or agency to agency. It can range from a few weeks to several months. Some organizations may even have specific submission windows, where they only accept submissions during certain times of the year.

Q: Can I still submit my manuscript during the books closed period?
A: No, it is generally not advisable to submit your manuscript during the books closed period. Most publishing houses and literary agencies explicitly state that they will not consider any submissions received during this time. It is best to wait until they announce that submissions are open again.

Q: How can I find out if a publisher or agency is currently closed for submissions?
A: The best way to find out if a publisher or agency is closed for submissions is to visit their official website or check their submission guidelines. Many organizations update their websites regularly and provide information about the status of their submissions.

Q: What should I do if I missed the submission window?
A: If you missed the submission window, you can wait until the next designated period when the books are open, or you can explore other publishing avenues. There are several publishing options available, such as self-publishing, small independent publishers, or digital platforms.

Q: Is closing the books a common practice in the publishing industry?
A: Yes, closing the books is a common practice in the publishing industry. It helps publishers and agencies manage their workload efficiently and dedicate enough time to evaluate the submissions they already have. It is a way to ensure that each author receives fair consideration.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the books closed policy?
A: While publishers and agencies generally adhere to their submission guidelines, there may be exceptions in certain cases. For example, if an author has an established relationship with an agent or editor, they may be allowed to submit their work, even during the books closed period. However, such exceptions are rare and often depend on individual circumstances.

In conclusion, “books closed” refers to a period when publishing houses or literary agencies do not accept submissions. This practice allows them to manage their workload effectively and provide adequate attention to the manuscripts they have already received. Understanding this term and respecting the submission guidelines set by publishers and agencies are crucial steps for aspiring authors in their journey towards publication.

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