On sending originals

Since we started publishing books twenty-one years ago, illustrators and writers have written to us asking about sending originals. Do we accept originals for evaluation? Where should we send them? What is the most appropriate way to do it? Translators, proofreaders, and designers also write to us offering their services, as well as students interested in interning with us. We have published several articles to respond to those who request information about these topics (here, and also here); however, since it has been quite some time since the last one, it is time for an update.

On this occasion we will only refer to the sending of originals. However, we will first say a few words about the publisher, so it may serve as a guide to less informed interlocutors.

The publishing house Media Vaca is made up of only two people: Begoña Lobo and Vicente Ferrer. There is no team behind it. Apart from the responsibilities we each carry out, we receive a certain volume of messages on a daily basis that we need to take care of. We cannot always answer with the diligence and care we would like, but, even if delayed, we do prefer to reply to them personally.

Do we accept originals?

Of course, but our communicators should bear in mind that we only publish three books a year, and that these books are mostly our own projects; in other words, they are based on an idea, or a text, that we then propose to illustrators. This does not mean there have not been books originated by proposals sent by new or veteran authors, or even through purchasing the rights of a book published in another country. Examining these proposals is part of our job, just as it should be the authors’ task to locate the right places to showcase their creations. I would like to add that, despite the passage of time, we are still moved by curiosity, and we would still like to see everything that new —and not so new— authors want to show us.

During these two decades we have published a variety of illustrated books aimed at readers of all ages: songs to lull children and animals to sleep (and also to wake them up), poems turned into comics, popular stories from a hundred years ago that speak of the world of today, books without words, books for children about politics, books against war, testimonies of working children, books about cities (that are not aimed at tourists), books of furtive drawings and drawings made on paper napkins, an illustrated dictionary of favourite words, a trip to Mars starring children as astronauts, etc. These are generally voluminous books with a varied range of contents, which combine what is usually labelled as fiction and non-fiction. However, most of the projects sent to us fall under the category of traditional, age-classified children's stories, which, although being the most abundant type of book in the children’s book sector, we do not publish. Nor do we publish, with few exceptions, illustrated albums (short texts with a greater emphasis on the image).

For this reason, we are very grateful to those who take time to look carefully through the catalogue and write to us with proposals that are reasonably related to our content. We are convinced it is useful to get to know the catalogue of the publishers we are writing to because there are substantial differences between them. It is also essential to establish direct contact with the books, which we can locate and consult in bookshops and libraries, rather than settling for the information that a cover or a few miniature reproductions seen on the Internet can provide.

Where should we send the originals and what is the appropriate way to do this.

The publisher's postal and e-mail addresses are shared in different locations on this page. When we talk about originals we are talking about contents that could be published. Obviously, you should not send originals, or anything that could be lost in transit and is irreplaceable. We expect to receive samples, rather than complete books. A few brief lines explaining the intention and content of the project may be sufficient and, if necessary, a few pages of text or a more detailed description. In regards to images, it is not advisable to send overly large files (over 1MB), since it could be a problem; a link to a personal page, a virtual gallery or an Instagram account, for example, will suffice. If in doubt, it is preferable to make an enquiry about what is best to do via e-mail or a phone call.

Thank you very much!

Vicente Ferrer


Image: anonymous drawing made during the exhibition 'Media Vaca: The Secret Life of Books', which took place at the Rector Peset Hall of Residence in Valencia, 2003.