There is one question I hear the most at signings from aspiring authors.
The question is, How do I get published?
Unfortunately, there isn't a simple answer to this, but I am able to lead people in the right direction. (We are of course, talking about traditional publishing, because if you are self-publishing, the way is a bit different.)
1. Finish a complete novel
2. Have that manuscript critiqued by at least five people chapter by chapter and make the necessary changes
3. Send the changed novel to 5-10 others who will look at the book as a whole within a two week period of time. Make the necessary changes.
4. Send the changed novel out to 5-10 others. If you aren't getting plot complaints, move onto step five. If you are still getting plot complaints, repeat step 3 until you don't.
5. Pay a plot editor go through your book. This will cost you $2-4 a page. Make changes.
6. Once those changes are made, give it to a copy editor. This will cost you $2-4 a page.
7. Set up an account with querytracker.net and scope out which agents you'd like to query.
8. Use Elana Johnson's query book to write your query.
9. Follow the directions on query tracker and submit.
10. Once an agent picks you up, they do the work of selling your book to publishers. Yay!
The biggest thing that will increase your chances of an agent picking you up?
1. Do all of the above and then go to writers' conferences. They put you in front of the agents who are actively looking for clients.
Another big factor? Luck! So, Good Luck, may the powers of the publishing world be at your fingertips.
If you want to self-publish then stop at step 6 and publish it.
Don't be tempted to cut corners. You need to do steps 1-6 for sure.
Is this list different than you'd imagined? What do you think?
In other news-- I'd love you to come check out the cover of my latest novel here. Thanks!!