The publishing game is brutal. Even with so many alternate options it is still very hard to get someone to take on your work, especially if you’re an up and coming writer. The competition is ridiculous! With everyone and their mama putting out books one would think it would be easier to get published but that is so far from the truth.
Eons ago all an aspiring writer had to worry about is the seasoned writers. Now celebrities have been thrown into the mix. Once publishing companies sat back and let potential writers fight for them, now writers are getting fought over. At least A-list celebrities are.
Similar to the acting business there is a formula to getting in this secret society. Not to dumb down mega publishers cause if you wanna push for the traditional publishing path pleaz do you, but it really is a who you know rather than do the person have great talent in order to get in. Trust me, I know. I’ve read a gazillion books that sucked so bad that I immediately came to the conclusion that the author caught the editor at the mega publishing company on a good day.
Let me give you a brief overview of what it takes to get published. First obviously you have to be done with your manuscript. And I mean flawlessly done. How you would look sending a query out to a publisher with no work done and they end up being interested in your work? What are you going to give them? They do not have time to wait on your work. As a matter of fact they might have one of their already signed writers write the idea you came up with while you are trying to finish; so you missed out. Plan on kissing a possible deal goodbye.
If you can, get an established editor (check credentials!) I know it sounds like common sense but many people forget that step or feel it is not needed. If you are ballin’ on a budget get a teacher you know to look at it – any suggestion or critique could help. I can’t reiterate enough when I say make sure your work is on point before sending it out. And don’t forget to copyright your ish. You will be one pissed off person if you see your work, word for word with another person’s name on it.
Once your writing skills is damn near perfect then visit the publishing company’s website; make sure you have crossed your t’s and dotted your I’s. Call to make sure the editor’s name is correct (like yelling out someone else’s name while having sex it’s not cute!). Fax, email, or snail mail your ish to the publishing company or your agent (I’ll get picking agents in another post).
You think now you can sit back and wait for someone to contact you? Hell no, that was the easy part. If you are a budding writer sorry to burst your bubble but you have to market yourself and go hard with it! Actually you should have started marketing as soon as the idea to your work popped itself in your head. Why? Because ninety-five percent of publishing houses want to know that you will be able to market yourself, otherwise they will not give you that contract or the advance. Do you have a website or a blog with a substantial amount of fans? Have you did speaking engagements, book tours, etc. to promote yourself and your work? Do you have accounts with all of the major social networking sites (facebook, twitter, technorati, linkedin, etc.)? Basically have you created a brand and a detailed outline of what you plan on doing after a deal is made?
Publishing houses are going to be too busy marketing their seasoned writers to hold your hand and give you the attention you think you deserve. Sorry, truth hurts sometimes. It seems like a lot and if you are not truly passionate about it you will not succeed. It’s all up to you so be creative! With all that is out there you can get yourself noticed. Invest in yourself, believe in your skills and be patient! Don’t rest not once until you get what you want, hell you can sleep when you die anyway!