Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How We Got Published

There are times when I’ve been asked how do you get into the publishing industry? How did you get published? Are you self-published? How did you get your agent? Can you tell me your secret?

Well. My first thought to that last…can you tell me your secret is: Hell. To. The. No. It isn’t because I don’t want to tell share the secret, mind you. It’s just that there is no secret. I promise you. If there was, someone would’ve sold it years ago and made a bundle from it.

So, no, I don’t have a secret. I do have a recipe, though.

1 kernel of an idea
Several months of writing
1 completed novel
A Few Weeks of Revising
1 final draft
A cup of market research
1 to-the-point Query letter
A bout of patience
An ounce of determination
A pinch of stubbornness

Start with the idea and do any necessary research. Block out writing time and get that book finished. Let your completed novel simmer for about a week, then reread and revise. Check for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and plot holes. Let simmer another week. While the revised copy is simmering, start your market research. Identify the genre of your novel, and sub-genre if any, a make a list of agents who acquire the type of work you’ve written. Do a final read-through, then write a query letter that describes the characters and the conflict, offers the number of words, any previous writing credentials and any recognition your current project might have received. Contact the agent just as their submissions guidelines state. Arm yourself with patience and start on your next book. Mix your determination with your stubbornness to honing your craft, keeping an open mind and, most importantly, refusing to give up.

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