It only recently occurred to me how rarely I write on the topic of the publishing process. If your goal is to see your manuscript in print, you should know a thing or two about how books get published and to adjust your writing accordingly.
I’m no expert, being the only publishing I’ve dealt with consists of Internet sites, but I’ve read articles and books on the subjects and felt I should share.
- With your first book, you should have the novel complete before submitting it to a publisher.
- When you submit, it generally includes the first chapter (or a few chapters), a synopsis, and a letter. You should explain, in summary, the entire plot, even the ending.
- Agents help writers by providing a better chance to getting published. You can submit to a publisher directly, but an agent has their foot in the door and can help you with the re-writing process.
- Expect to re-write your manuscript more than once. This might include editing grammar and punctuation, but also changes in plot, character names, or even a change in settings.
- Editors and agents look for stories that catch the attention right away. They do NOT want to read through tons of backstory, a prologue, the weather, or meaningless text. Words should carry the plot along.
- Start with the conflict. Throw the reader in fray and carry them along the adventure.
- Rejections are a part of the publishing process. It happens to all writers, even the famous ones. Expect many rejections, and don’t let it discourage you.
- Marketing is part of the publishing process. Should you get published, you might be expected to do book signings, lectures, shakes hands, and put yourself out there.
- Publishers want writers who have more than one story in them.
- The topic of making money as a writer offers too many variables such as payment from your manuscript being accepted, to sales, to re-prints, and other factors. A one time book author doesn’t make much money- don’t quit your day job. A write who can put themselves out there, type out the stories/books regularly, and submit and get accepted might make it.
- Don’t let the obstacles of getting published prevent you from trying. Who knows? You might have the great story that readers long for!