A Look at MSWL (Manuscript Wish List)
Have you ever seen the #MSWL hashtag on Twitter? It stands for Manuscript Wish List.
So, what the heck is a Manuscript Wish List?
What do publishers and agents want?
Agents and publishers have seen it all, or at least they think they have. They are on the lookout for something new but not so new, if that makes any sense.
Huh? you ask. Originality is important, yes, but the main objective for both agents and publishers is to acquire works which will sell.
Does your work have a coherent buyer persona, or ideal reader? Does it fit neatly into one or two genres? And what about works which are harder to define? What do you do?
If Manuscript Wishes were horses …
For #MSWL, at any time during the year, agents and publishers tweet about what they are looking for. Pay attention to their verbiage! Usually it’s something like Looking for cowboy version of The Hunger Games. If your manuscript fits the bill, answer them. If not, do not waste their and your time. That way lies madness, and it can actually hurt your cause.
This second MSWL site seems less ‘official’ but still has good information.
Manuscript Wish List: Takeaways
A tip: if you are answering an #MSWL, be sure to add something about your genre, e. g. #SF for science fiction, or #Romance, etc.
Above all, be sure to have fun with it. Who knows? It just might work out for you. However, there is a chance that it might not. In the meantime, you’ll keep getting better at presenting your work and, by extension, yourself.
Since so many independent writers seem to be so godawful at self-promotion, it will always pay to practice. This is a great exercise. It forces you to both be concise and to be coherent.