These tips for getting published are from a panel of writers, literary agents, and editors who answered questions from a roomful of eager writers at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference (phew – how’s that for a run-on sentence!).
Before the tips, a quip:
“If the doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood,” said Isaac Asimov. “I’d type a little faster.”
Passion + Talent = Purpose.
Is getting your book published the purpose of your life? Maybe that’s too superficial a purpose, like making money. Your life purpose needs to be deep and meaningful, such as telling your story or helping others overcome obstacles and reach their goals.
If you establish your life purpose, you’re more likely to get your book published because all your energy will be focused and true.
One way to get your book published is to read as much as you can! Books like The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published: How to Write It, Sell It, and Market It . . . Successfully can change how you see the publishing world, and increase your chances of success.
How Do You Get Your Book Published?
This is a transcript from a “Question and Answer” session with writers, literary agents, and editors at the Surrey International Writers Conference. The questions are from the audience of writers; the answers are from various people on the panel.
How do writers get editorial feedback after receiving a form rejection?
You’re not likely to get specific feedback because agents and editors don’t have time. You’re more likely to get feedback at a writer’s conference, where you can talk to a real agent or editor.
Don’t let rejection get you down: it happens a lot that a manuscript simply doesn’t speak to a particular agent or editor.
How important is for writers to have blogs?
Some publishing houses encourage established writers to have blogs, but it’s less necessary as a new writer. Blogs can come in later. They’re very valuable for nonfiction authors, and increasingly valuable for Young Adult authors.
However, my experience has shown me that building a writer’s platform is crucial for getting your book published — and a blog is part of a writer’s platform.
What are the major mistakes that writers do when trying to get their book published?
Half of the submissions are submitted too soon – the writing isn’t up to par, the writer isn’t thinking professionally, the manuscript reads like a first draft, or the writer doesn’t submit manuscripts the way publishers prefer.
Don’t sent unsolicited email mass queries, because they’ll be deleted immediately. That’s not how to get your book published!
What will take writers out of the game permanently?
If you’re a writer who publicly disrespects publishing houses, agents, editors, fellow writers, or readers, then your writing career will be cut short. If you’re impossible to work with, you won’t get far in the writing and publishing business.
Do writers need to hire a professional editor to get their book published?
Eventually, you’ll have to recognize whether your book is ready on your own. You need to build skills to write your own novels and increase your confidence in your writing – and the only way to do that is to edit yourself! It’s not worth a writer’s money to hire a professional editor. If you do hire an editor, make sure they’re good.
Are query services effective for writers?
No! Never hire a service to write your queries.
Should writers compare their book to others in a query letter?
Knowing the similar books on the market gives publishing houses an idea of whether it sold in the past (this can indicate how well it’ll do in the future). Knowing what’s out there also shows what you know about the market, and how much research you’ve done.
However, the Simon & Shuster editor did say she doesn’t want to hear about similar books on the market or your marketing plans. She has a strong handle on what’s already out there.
Do writers need literary agents?
Writers don’t need agents to get published, but agents can walk writers through problems, review contracts, and ease the business end of things. Agents are a great buffer. Writers without agents do make a publisher or agent’s job harder.
If you’re not sure if you should try to find an agent, read Do Writers Need Literary Agents? Tips From a Bestselling Author.
What can published authors do to help market their books?
Marketing your book online is important, such as to social networks or bloggers. Contact other authors of successful books to write blurbs for your book. Marketing your own books is especially important for non-fiction book writers, such as through teaching community education courses, blogging, attending conferences, conducting workshops, etc.
After your book is published, it’s very important to communicate your marketing efforts to your publisher and editor so they don’t double up on the efforts. Publishers have exact schedules, and writers need to adhere to them.
Also, use your email signature line to promote your book or blog. People have to see your info seven times before they buy your book or products!
What do you think, fellow scribes? Will these tips help you get your book published?
Are you struggling with motivation to write? Read The #1 Reason You Haven’t Written Your Book.