(the candy currently in my office which is not chocolate and which I purchased for myself, I swear)

Sometimes we get asked the question — are there little things that authors can do that will help get a publisher’s attention for their pitch — like send them some chocolate in the envelope?

Now, it’s well known that publishers enjoy chocolate — and also cats, but please avoid sending any cats in the mail to us — but here’s the long and short of how publishing works: sending us chocolate won’t induce us to publish your book if it’s not right for us.  Even if it’s a lot of chocolate.  Even if it’s really good chocolate.

So there’s that.

But!  There is a caveat here — and those of you reading carefully will notice that I didn’t quite exactly answer the question with that last response.

We do open our mail regularly — and we’re only human, so it is exciting when people send us nice things in the mail.  So while chocolate won’t sway our editorial judgment, putting something special in the envelope can sometimes motivate us to remember we have to take a look at your submission.  However, we do prefer to get our submissions digitally, so mailing us anything — even a submission with chocolate in it — is kind of a win/lose situation.

If you’re not a chocolate fan what are some other things you can do to make your submission stand out?

Send us all your mini-comics as they come out so we can see what your writing and art style look like — and how they’re (hopefully) getting better.

Draw a quick adorable sketch on the envelope!

Draw a quick adorable sketch on your cover letter!

Address the editor you want to work with directly by name in your cover letter!

Here are some things you could do to make your submission stand out that we recommend you avoid.

Please don’t send us the original art for your graphic novel as your submission.  What if it gets damaged in the mail?  And it costs a lot to send it back!

Sending us anything perishable is definitely a no — we can be out of the office at conferences for a week at a time.

Please don’t print your submission on special paper — regular printer paper is fine.  No need to go for bright pink or blue or a perfumed stationary!

Elaborate gifts are not a thing we need!  Statuary, articles of clothing, etc. — please keep those for yourself.

And finally — don’t send us a cat.  We like them a lot, but our building has an allergy policy — and also they aren’t the most mailable animal.

Please note that this post is not in any way a request for a deluge of chocolate or adorable sketches!  But doing something to make your submission stand out can sometimes pay off.