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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Getting Published

I feel your pain. My goal is to have one manuscript through the mill and ready to query by the end of the summer. Sometimes it's the only thing that makes me get to the computer in the morning.

Here's the how-to I've gleaned from a long list of websites, books, and hints from published friends.

Rules for Getting Your Book Published:
1- Write it all. Sit down and write it or you'll never get anywhere.

2- Edit. Edit. Edit. Bribe people to read for you, and then find a critique group and have them slash it to pieces.

3- Rewrite. Reedit. Rewrite some more. <-- this is where I am

4- Write a query letter. Check every source and reference on the subject.

5- Rewrite the query letter.

6- Make a list of agents who are accepting new clients in your books genre. Know what each agent requires (this isn't a streamlined process)

7- Send out all e-queries

8- Send out snail-mail queries. Don't forget a SASE and anything else they require.

9- Wait patiently. Standard wait is between a few days (for some very on the ball agents) and a month (for everyone who already has clients)

10- Sort the responses.

11- If anyone offers to publish you if you pay first check them on Preditors and Editors. Report them if they look like a scam. Then burn the letter while cackling like an evil villian.

12- Send partials and fulls to everyone who has asked. There may be requests for exclusivity. Offer your manuscript on an exculusive basis but only with a time limit. Agree on a time and if they don't get back to you by the end of the specified time (two weeks to several months depending) move on. (Sending a polite note is always good)

13- If no one asked for partials or a full look at your query, look at the comments, and see what's wrong. Fix it!

14- Keep sending queries. I only sent applications to three colleges, and then only to see what scholarships they'd offer. But queries aren't college. College is easy, agents aren't. Don't stop at 10 queries, stop only when every agent alive and looking for manuscripts has seen your work.

15- Keep writing. So Book 1 wasn't a hit. It's ahead of it's time. Shove to the bottom of the bedroom closet and start your next book. Start over at step 1 and work your way through. Good luck!

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