For the writer who strives to publish, this means to start thinking like a writer. Don’t write like its only a hobby; write like its your job. Set aside blocks of time to pour yourself into your manuscript, even if this means you need to budget the time for it. Make writing a priority.
No matter where you are in the book writing process, set and change goals that work best for you. If this means writing at night- write at night. If writing in 10-30 minute blocks of time, do what it takes. If you have to wear a favorite shirt or hat, do that too. Set goals and do them.
Finish the manuscript. If you’re starting out on the road to publishing a book, you should have a finished manuscript to submit. Once published, often times an author can submit a first chapter or a story synopsis before finishing any more work. Until then, finish the book first to get published.
Edit and edit again until its ready to publish. Editing is the painful part of writing; to decide what stays, what changes, and what needs to go.
Write your synopsis. cover letter, and query letter. A synopsis is a one to five page summary of your manuscript. A cover letter includes a brief, concise summary of your book to an agent or publishing company. The query letter entices and markets the book’s concept to the agent or publishing company. The query letter resembles the same Voice and style of the book, leaving the agent wanting more.
Find an agent. You can submit your work to a publishing company directly, but an agent helps you get read. Here is a good article on the subject of agents at the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) says on the matter of agents.
Get published. Once accepted, you will need to understand your copyrights,
Write your next book. Just because you publish your work doesn’t mean you sit back and enjoy the money rolling in. Writers write, often and frequently, producing book after book (or articles, short stories, etc).