I’ve read a lot of tips on how to get published and decided to sum up some basic steps in this blog. There is a more detailed listing at http://www.rightreading.com/, wherein the blogger lists 10-Not-So-Easy-Steps To Getting Published.
I hope these steps will inspire you to keep writing and press-on in your pursuit to get your work published.
Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, read all genres to expand your vocabulary and your ideas.
- Examine Your Values
Ask yourself some tough questions: Why do I write? Why do I want to become a published author? Is it a competition? Do I want to be famous? Am I seeking attention or money? What audience do I want my work to appeal to and why? It’s crucial to be honest with yourself so that your work will be honest.
- Learn About Publishing / Market Research
Study the industry. Who are the players? What are they looking for? Does your work fit with their needs? Don’t blindly submit… do your homework. Are you submitting to an Agent or to a Publisher? Look at their client lists and the types of books they publish. Read their submission guidelines and follow them closely.
Get your story out of your head and onto paper (or in your computer). Don’t worry about the length or formatting… just write and write and write. Jot down every idea and force yourself to write something every day, even if it’s just a thought. That single thought may inspire an entire chapter down the road.
This is where you worry about format, length, grammar, sentence structure, spelling, etc. This is where you liven it up, add the extra umph and bring the characters and scenes to life.
Write a one-page query letter, but don’t rush through it. Your query is your one shot so make it good. Never ask for an advance in a query. Never tell an Agent or Publisher you are the next best thing to hit the market. Let your work speak for you, not arrogance or over-confidence. Study online how to write a query and construct yours accordingly, making sure it has all relevant contact information, genre, word count and a hook that will leave them wanting to see more.
If an Agent or Publisher likes your Query, they may ask you for a Synopsis, a Partial or the full Manuscript. Submit ONLY what they request, nothing more and nothing less. Submit it with a very brief cover letter that says, “Per your request here is (blank).” They don’t have time to waste reading a lengthy letter.
- Don’t Quit
Perseverance is half the battle. Most writers get frustrated and quit before they find a home for their manuscript. Expect rejection letters. Expect some Agents and Publishers not to respond at all. This unfortunately happens and a lot of writers grow bitter and cynical…. Don’t let this happen to you. Roll with the punches and keep pursuing. You can make it happen!