Recently I’ve had a few submissions that asked, how did you get published? What were the steps you took? Where do you even begin?
Truthfully, there is no one way to get published, but there are a few things that you need to be aware of before you set out on this journey. Here are some 5 basic tips to help you get started…
1. Revisions are important
Your first draft is not perfect. That is true for EVERY writer. Most publishers and editors refer to three types of edits:
- content editing (this is where you get an edit letter that details big picture issues like character development, pacing, worldbuilding, etc)
- line editing (focusing on sentence structure and scenes)
- copy editing (details – grammar, spelling and fact checking)
2. Find yourself a critique partner (hopefully more than 1! I have four)
Find a writer that writes in the same genre as you (or as close as you can) and get their feedback on your story, you will need to provide feedback and edits to their story as well, but a good critique partner is worth its weight in gold!!
3. Learn how to pitch / query
In order to sell your book to an agent or editor, you need to have a really engaging pitch and query. Find blogs and websites that teach you how to craft them. (A pitch is typically shorter, spoken way of telling people about your book, should be succinct and exciting!) (A query is a letter that has a quick 250-word pitch of your book, it is NOT summary or synopsis, it should make the agent/editor want to know more! Think of the back of a book. Also in queries you need to state the word count, the genre/age group–like YA Fantasy, and then comparison books)
4. Do your research!
Look at agents that you want to represent you, make sure that you are following their submission guidelines and see if what they are looking for aligns with the book you’ve written. If so, let them know in the query! If you get an offer from an agent or a small pub, then be sure to research their reputation. Does that agent sell books? Does that publisher have a reputable standing?
5. Go to Writers Conferences
Remember that pitch you wrote and learned? Now is the time you put it to good use! Find local writers conferences and go and pitch your book to agents and editors. It’s a great way to skip the slush pile and get yourself in front of industry professionals.