There are different types of publishers. Book and magazine publishers usually commission a copy of the literary work, while a newspaper publisher usually have their own staff to write articles and other literary pieces. Although some of these publishers may be approached directly, many of them only accept copies of literary works through agents.
When deciding to approach a publisher, make sure that the literary work you have done is right down his alley. To do this, a thorough research of the publisher and publishing house is necessary. Different publishing houses have different specialities. It is best to go to the publisher who has many years of successful experience in the genre of the book you want to publish.
After you have chose the right publisher, contact him to know which editor is best to do the editing of your work. In most cases, a professional enquiry letter is required. In this letter, you will introduce yourself, including relevant writing credentials and facts about your book. This will help to determine if the publisher would want to read your book or not. Make sure that your work is typewritten and adheres to the guidelines on layout, page numbers and margin spacing.
Publishers more often than not take a long time to decide whether to publish your literary work or not. Publishing houses have several departments to which publishers consult with. However, if a publisher hasn't given any response in two months time, you may send a follow up letter. It may be that your book requires several readings before a decision can be made.