How to Get Published

How to get publishedI get emails every day asking for advice on getting published or getting an agent. This is the post for people needing an entry-level introduction to publishing.
 
Dear Writer,
 
Congratulations on your decision to pursue publication. Before approaching literary agents, you’ll need to create the appropriate materials:
 
→ If you’re a non-fiction writer, you’ll need a full professional book proposal, with three sample chapters (this must include the FIRST chapter). (See How To Write a Book Proposal)
 
→ If you’re writing fiction, your manuscript must be complete, edited and polished; you also need a one-sentence hook and a one-paragraph pitch.
 
→ Do you need to know How to Find a Literary Agent?
 
→ A great title is an important aspect of attracting an agent’s or editor’s attention. Here’s how to create a perfect title for your book.
 
Once you have your manuscript and/or proposal ready, you need to prepare a query letter. You then begin sending your query to agents. (See How to Write a Query Letter. You may also want to Google it – there are hundreds of posts online about query letters.) Don’t attach your manuscript or proposal to the query; you’ll send that only if requested.
 
Please don’t contact literary agents with random questions, requests for advice, or asking for an education on how to get published. Approach literary agents with a query letter once you have a properly prepared manuscript and/or proposal. Don’t phone agents, or write them asking for a phone call.

 

*Resources To Help You*
 
An indispensable guide to publishing: Writer’s Market.
 
Magazines: I suggest subscribing to Writers Digest or The Writer.

 

Agent Directories:
 
Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
 
Jeff Herman’s Guide To Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents by Jeff Herman

 

Websites:
 
These help you find the right agent and even keep track of your queries: Agent Query and Query Tracker.
 
These help you make sure you’re dealing with reputable people: Writer Beware and Preditors & Editors.

 

Consider attending a writers’ conference (or two):
 
This is one of the best ways to get a crash course in writing, publishing, and book marketing. Check out the Shaw Guide to Writers Conferences.

 

Resources for CHILDREN’S and ILLUSTRATED books:
 
Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing
 
Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators
 
Resources for Children’s Writers
 
Children’s Book Insider
 
The Purple Crayon
 
Books about children’s publishing

 

Resources for CHRISTIAN publishing:
 
Click here for a list of Christian literary agents.
 
The most comprehensive book for Christian publishing: Christian Writers Market Guide by Jerry Jenkins.
 
For Christian writers’ conferences, READ THIS.

 

*Are You Ready to Query?*
 
Wait! Most agents have a website (and/or blog) on which they list their Submission Guidelines. As you use the resources above to identify agents who might be right for your work, it’s important to read their individual guidelines and submit accordingly.

 

*Attention Non-fiction Authors*

 
→ Be aware that author platform and credentials are of primary importance. It may take years to build the kind of platform necessary to interest an agent or publisher. Read all my posts on platform HERE.
 
→ You also MUST thoroughly examine the comparable books already available on your topic, and be ruthlessly honest with yourself. Does your book say anything that is fresh, unique, and not already well-covered in books within the last five years? If not, go back to the drawing board. Find a fresh hook or angle.
 
→ Does your topic typically require credentials or degrees to be credible? If so, do you have them? If not, ask yourself what you DO have (besides personal experience) that overcomes your lack of credentials. Are you really funny? Do you have a blog that gets 5,000 hits a day? Have you won awards or major accolades in your subject area? Make sure you have something special to recommend you to a book-buying audience. If you don’t have it, go create it, or give up the idea of traditional publication.

 

*Attention Fiction Authors*
 
→ Please do not send the first draft of the first novel you’ve ever written. It’s important to study the craft of writing fiction, as well as getting outside help in editing and polishing your work before calling it ready. You may want to join a writers group or get a critique partner.

 

*The Final Word*
 
If you truly want to publish with a traditional publisher, all the resources are available and many of them are free of charge. Good luck!
 

 

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Books & Such Literary Agency. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!

146 Comments

  1. Martin Braude on March 8, 2016 at 12:14 AM

    Thank you for the useful advice.



  2. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup on January 1, 2015 at 3:10 PM

    I am so appreciative of all of the information you are sharing, Rachelle. Thank you so much. I thought writing my book was the hard part – I now stand corrected! Now the fun begins!



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  13. Bonnie S on May 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Thank you so much for all your helpful advice! I’m nowhere near finished my novel yet but this has encouraged me to finish it and start doing something practical about it



  14. James K. on February 13, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Apologies to you, I failed to read your “What I’m looking for” before posting. YA and fantasy is doubly in your, “no” column. 🙂 Thank you anyway.



  15. James Kenney on February 13, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Hello!

    You are so far my favorite local agent! You sound like a suitable advisor and a dedicated fan of common sense.
    I am still polishing my YA fantasy/paranormal manuscript, and trying to get from 110k to 100k. It’s harder than I thought to meld character building scenes into the action sequences while maintaining their flavor.
    Anyhow, whether you end up as my agent or not, I’d like to thank you for all your links and posts. I will send my ms to you first, and look forward to your opinion of my story. Hopefully I can meet you in a week or two!

    Cheers!
    James K.



  16. […] Post you’ll like: How to Get Published: The Definitive Post […]



  17. Pursuing Publication | kelly sumner on December 5, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    […] → If you’re writing fiction, your manuscript must be complete, edited and polished; you also need a one-sentence hook and a one-paragraph pitch. Click here to read this informative article. […]



  18. […] steps you can take and things you can try that might get you one step closer to publication. Agent Rachelle Gardner offers some tips, but no one can make you promises. Other agents and bloggers have as well and, in […]



  19. Bruce on July 29, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Hi Rachelle,
    I love books and need to write a book.I am doing R&D now before start writing.Your posts helped me very well.
    Thanks



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  22. krystal on July 11, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    I want to write story that is true and includes abuse, welfare foster care state mental nstitutions murder violence and complete sadnesse of the life of a child who was born into an american made demagraphic. i know my story would touch hearts and open peoples minds to the realities of the world we live in. how one child can come from such chaos and one day just change for the better. with change always comes sacrifce and struggle not to mention the permnanet damage from the childhood. I just need someone who is willing to give me a chance and take a leap with me as i am living proof of a world inwhich we live in that is very much unknow to thosse around. I have medical and legal documents to prove its all real all raw. when people come together good things happen Thank you



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  24. […] functions within a single company. The publisher makes decisions about which books to invest in. The submission process publishers use to make these decisions is lengthy and involves a lot of people. It’s not based so much on finding the best-written […]



  25. Michael Carr on May 28, 2013 at 2:41 AM

    Thanks for making this and the linked information public on your blog. I’m in the process of writing my first book (non-fiction). Up to 55000 words so far and aiming for 75000 before I begin to approach publishers.
    Based on what you’ve said, I think I’ll be ready to create an appropriate proposal as well as make the (apparently possibly extensive) changes to the book once the process begins.
    I’ve begun to structure the book in a way that parts could be removed to make the book fit a shorter format; or expanded to make it fit a longer format; both without negatively affecting the content that I’ve got.
    The book itself is mostly ‘scientific’, but written for the layman in a conversational style rather than as a dry scientific paper, so I think I at least have the advantage of being able to adjust length quite easily by adding or removing specific trains of thought, case studies, and so on.



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  32. Good Things Take Time on February 11, 2013 at 8:42 PM

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  33. kassie ritman on February 7, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Rachelle,
    I see the comments get weirder as the trail goes…but, had to put up my 2 cents!
    Thanks for doing this blog. You take a rather mystifying subject and give it great clarity without going over the scholarly edge. In other words~ many creative types
    (like me) just don’t get what all the abstract titles and process names are. By offering examples (categorized) of each step (a query vs a submission) I think you help a lot of people understand all the “hoops.” And I have to say to those who are growling about the “ivory towers of publishing” and their aversion to new talent…have you smelled yourself lately? Sometimes I write some real crap, but I’m so emotionally attached to it, I really can’t see (smell) the truth.



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  36. Most-Viewed Posts of 2012 | Rachelle Gardner on January 14, 2013 at 9:19 AM

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  40. Lynn on October 17, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Thank you for the resources…i have a very different story…I wrote a book non-fiction, over a 6 month period. I hired an editor to check out my grammar and show me where it went wrong, and fixed it. I researched how to write a proposal, found an acqusitions editors email and mailed the proposal. They wanted the book, gave a modest advance, and it will be out next year. now I have a fiction one i’m working on, but i don’t know where to go with it, or even how to tell what genre it is. Any advice for me? My publisher only does nonfiction…



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    Get Publisher at http://www.nextpress.in , get published under the name of traditional publisher!



  44. Glen Books on August 8, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Rachelle, I think you have touched upon the reasons why writers are moving to self-publication. Too much arbitrary, random rejection in the traditional route.

    Glen



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  47. Bree on May 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Rachelle, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, as well as writing for a long time, and I just wanted to thank you. Your posts are beautifully put together and I’ve learned so much about the process that is writing, that I would have never otherwise known. So thanks for taking the time and putting in the effort for each post, there are a lot of us who really appreciate it.



  48. Nancy Roman on May 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Is there a resource to find professional help for reading your manuscript and getting through a 2nd draft?



  49. Daniel on May 1, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    i d written my book and i want it to be publised



  50. shelby on April 18, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    So, i don’t know what to tell you. it’s hard to get published at such a young age. I don’t have much advice. Anyone else care to chip in?



  51. Kay on April 17, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    What if i’m 16 and am a good writter but i just don’t know how to get started. I’ve written 2 books and i just don’t know what to do.



  52. […] Gardner’s, The Definitive Post on how to get […]



  53. Nick Thacker on March 7, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Awesome stuff! This is the kind of content the “self-publishing” world (and the unpublished world) has been looking for. Very specific, actionable content focused on publishing.

    I’m sure you’ve mentioned it before, but I’m seeing more and more that publishing firms are looking for their authors to have built a platform online before they take them on. In that light, I think it’s very important for authors to be building and maintaining a successful blog. I wrote about that a little over here, in a post called “The Secret to Building a Blog People Love (http://www.livehacked.com/blogging-business/pillar-content-the-secret-to-building-a-blog-people-love/ ) that might help other authors as well.

    Anyway, thanks again for doing what you do!
    Nick Thacker



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  57. […] agent I mentioned in this post – said that writers should treat getting published as “(at least) a part-time job.” I agree with that completely. Take a look at these sites and keep checking back to the S.M. […]



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  62. Nuku on January 23, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Hiya. I tried sending you a message, but since it wasn’t a query, I assume it got junked as spam. If you’re still reading the comments here, do you think you could let me know if Books and Such accepts, and represents, Jewish-Christian books?
    (Saturday as Sabbath, no unclean foods, Jesus being the Son of God and not God Himself.) Blah, blah, blah.
    I’ve asked this question before, and all I want is a simple answer. Yes? No?
    I’m sorry if I’m pestering you, and thank you for your time.



    • Rachelle Gardner on January 23, 2012 at 11:59 PM

      You don’t want an agent who works primarily in CBA, because CBA publishers are unlikely to publish it. You want a mainstream agent and a mainstream publisher.



      • Nuku on January 24, 2012 at 1:18 AM

        Thank you very much Mrs. Gardner!
        I read a person’s comment on one of your posts, and they mentioned that the CBA editor took out harmless words like ‘thrust’ and ‘thigh’, so if they’re thinking goes Shakespearian, I guess my Fantasy with sword fights will be scrapped!
        Hey, can I pester you by asking if you can suggest a reliable mainstream agent who accepts fantasy? I’ve looked, but I don’t know who I can trust…
        If not, thank you for your help! (God must really be working here to make you choose to reply to my question.) And I’m truly grateful to you, Mrs. Gardner, for doing so.
        Again, thank you.



      • Kay on May 23, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        Hi rachel,
        I’m looking for an agent, any way you could help me there.



  63. Ozone on January 23, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    How do writers do it? When I leave the house in the morning I don’t come home for 11 hours. I take about an hour getting ready for work, which leaves about 4 hours to myself which, of course, includes doing house work,etc.

    So now in addition to the actual book I’m supposed to read a book on how to write proposals, maybe one on writing queries. If I join a group that critiques books, I’m sure they’re going to want reciprocation so I have to read, I don’t know how many books for that, plus the books that are in my genre. Aaaaaa! Then I have to actually write the query/proposal while everyone says, “You probably don’t stand a chance.”
    I wrote this sci-fi novel in 1993 because I just wanted to do it. I know I’ve read worse, but I also know I’ve read my own writing and thought, what were you thinking. So I filed it away in my computer and didn’t look at it for years. Then when I read it, it was with fresh eyes and it needed a lot of work. Now the book is 19 years old, I’ve been going over it a lot lately and it’s like software. I keep re-writing it and it’s never done. I would very much like people to read it, but at the same time, I have to eat and I just can’t take the time to learn the entire publishing industry.
    As I understand it, most published writers, don’t make much money so how do you do it?

    Maybe I should give up on the idea of making money on it and just e-publish so that maybe someone would send a little note saying, “I really liked it.”



  64. Corvick Bacon on January 20, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    I was at a complete lost, constantly wondering where do I go after my manual script was written. Thank you for pointing me in the Write direction



  65. MBA in real estate on January 20, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Well written on the concept getting published more..thanks for this..



  66. Nick on January 5, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Thanks, as an aspiring novelist at the age of 15, this really helped a lot with the entire process, which i was not familiar with at ALL, but once again, thanks! Almost to my first semi-climax, at about 30k.



  67. Cedric Sagne on January 2, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Interesting post. Being on the other side of the fence it is quite nice to get the other point of view. My company (synthcomm) publishes interactive books for the iPad . As this is also a new technology the legal and financial typical contracts tend to be flexible – but some people don’t really jump into the water that easily.



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  69. caryl on December 5, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Very helpful! But what about memoir? Do you need to have a polished manuscript ready before sending out queries?



  70. EnnisP on November 27, 2011 at 4:12 AM

    Thanks for the great post!

    In my occupation (missionary/pastor) I have done a lot of writing over the years and only recently began thinking about publishing. Which means I have no earth shattering insights to offer about publishing from experience. I’m on the bottom looking up.

    So, you can imagine how pleased I am to find such useful information.

    Thanks again!!



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  75. Alice on October 25, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    Appreciate it for all your efforts that you have put in this. Very interesting info. “Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.” by Confucius.



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  77. Nicole DeZarn on September 25, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    I would like to say a genuine thank you from a stay at home mom with a pretty good second draft. I am maybe, just maybe, starting to dream this big.



  78. Pallavi on September 25, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Hey Rachelle! It is a wonderful and an informative post. I have gone through almost every post of yours and every time I read it, I feel inspired.

    I have a question and I would be grateful if you can answer it. Do publishing houses and agents in USA accept the work of Indian authors?



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  84. Charlotte on August 15, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Thank you so much! This post answered a lot of my questions. I’m only just starting a book, but I wanted information on how I would go about publishing, should I finish it and be satisfied. I had no idea how to go about it, or what I would do, so having information makes me so much more confident that I could try!



  85. […] How to Get Published […]



  86. Jim Jones on June 29, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Interesting points, especially for a newcomer like myself. I hope that if I ever do write a book there will still be people alive who read books.



  87. Maria Papadopoulou on February 22, 2011 at 6:25 AM

    >I agree with all the above. Just wanted to add, that it would be really nice if more readers out there decided to give a chance to first time authors, instead of only looking for the big names out there. And if, after reading the preview, you find it to be interesting enough, go ahead and purchase the book. The author wants a detailed feedback on his work, and that can only happen if you have read the entire book instead of just the preview.

    I keep hearing that people are reluctant to spend money on books, due to the economic crisis. That theory does not hold any water for me. Most books are now offered at reasonable prices, and with eBooks as an option, those prices are reduced even more. When a book is practically offered at the price of Starbucks coffee, and you hang out at Starbucks all the time…it is kind of ridiculous to claim that you don't have enough money to purchase a book.

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  88. Jessica Peter on February 15, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    >Great list! I obsessively absorb publishing tidbits, but there were some new-to-me things here. Thanks for being a great resource for us aspiring authors!



  89. K on February 13, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    >Such a great read for resources – especially since I am just returning to the world of writing. I love it still – as I always have. Thank you for the assistance and advice.
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    K



  90. Kathryn Magendie on February 11, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    >I can use this to direct writers to when they ask me how to be published -thank you!



  91. Miss Cole on February 11, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    >Thank you for this. I'm going to keep it bookmarked. My blog is called "Miss Cole Seeks Publisher" after all!



  92. David A. Todd on February 10, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    >As good a summary I've seen of the topic, as as concise yet broad list of resources, since I began chasing publication eight years ago. Thank you.



  93. john on February 10, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    >thank you Christine.



  94. Stanice Anderson on February 10, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    >In 2000, an agent read some of my lifestories in my weekly newsletter and contacted me. Interested in turning them into a book, she needed me to write a book proposal. She suggested that I get a copy of Michael Larsen's book, How To Write A Book Proposal, and "follow it to a tee." I did. Submitted. A few days later, the agent called and left a voicemail. Applauded my book proposal saying, "Not only did you také my advice, but you poured your heart and soul into this proposal. It's one of the best I've seen." Within days, I signed an agreement making her my first agent! About a month later, she landed me a book deal with Warner Books for my memoir, I SAY A PRAYER FOR ME: One Woman's Life of Faith and Triumph.



    • kassie ritman on February 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      very cool ~ congrats!



  95. Tina Hoggatt on February 10, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    >Rachelle – this is such a great compendium of advice and linkage. Thanks you!



  96. Rachelle on February 9, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    >Flower Patch: Read my post called "A Million Screaming Fans" from January 26. If you're writing fiction and you already have a platform, it can only help you.



  97. Flower Patch Farmgirl on February 9, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    >Bookmarking this one!

    And I may be flaunting my ignorance here, but why is a platform only necessary in non-fiction? I am in the odd position of having a respectable platform, but I'm writing fiction! Would it be better for me to focus on non-fiction first (since I have a platform), then come back to fiction?



  98. CCMacKenzie on February 9, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    >Rachelle,

    Great post. I would also add – Do your homework of the genre you want to write for. Join the forums and read the publisher you want to target up-to-date guidelines because they change all the time.

    Persevere in improving your craft – if you continually receive 'R' forms it is for a reason.

    Find a genuine critique group who will tell you the truth. This takes time, but they are out there.

    John in the U.K – check out Nicola Morgan's blog – http://helpineedapublisher.blogspot.com/ She calls herself the 'Crabbit Old Bat' because she tells it like it is, a bit like Rachelle, although I would never, ever call you such a thing Rachelle.

    Phew, nothing like digging a great big hole and jumping in, is there?

    Did I say this is a great post btw?

    Christine



  99. Kristin on February 9, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    >Oh, that dreaded "platform!" Learning how to build a "following" has become my new part time job. It's happening…very, very, very, very slowly. =0) Thanks for the info!



  100. Julie on February 9, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    >This is one of the most helpful posts I've ever read, thank you so much for the wonderful advice!



  101. wonderer on February 9, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    >Mary Vensel White –

    I realize this is a very small sample size, but of the two writers I know personally who are agented, both got their agents without a connection. It can and does happen.

    You're absolutely right about critique groups, though.



  102. the1940mysterywriter on February 9, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    >Good basic info. Thanks for posting.



  103. Michelle DeRusha@Graceful on February 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    >I made just about every mistake possible: my ms was too long; I didn't polish it or edit it well enough; I didn't fork over the money (at first) for a professional editor; I didn't have ANY platform; and most of all, I tried to short-cut the process. Maybe that's why it took me two years? 😉

    Excellent post, Rachelle — and really convenient to have all the information and resources in one convenient place.



  104. Sarah Thomas on February 9, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    >Over on the Books & Such blog Janet Kobobel Grant did a great "Before the Publisher" series that ran last week. She suggested that even before writing the query, you should go ahead and write the proposal. Which I think is awesome advice.

    Of course, when I decided I was ready to think about querying, I wrote the letter first. I mean, who wouldn't rather write a one-page letter than a multi-page document that includes a synopsis? But having now written the proposal I know my book SO much better. Not only can I write a better query, it also helped me iron out some kinks in the story. I highly recommend writing your proposal as soon as you think your book is done. You'll likely realize it isn't!



  105. Jill on February 9, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    >Oh, but tomorrow you'll post the "shortcuts to success article", right? I'm tired of taking the long route. I want a shortcut!! Example: a friend (in another state where these things happen, apparently) just happened to be walking down the street and literally ran into one of the big-time agents. He got into a conversation with the agent, who requested his ms. Now he is represented by the same. All right, that wasn't really a shortcut, so much as a lightning bolt from heaven, but still, as long as I don't fried, I'll take it!



  106. Mary Vensel White on February 9, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    >I would add to that list…join a ruthless critique group so that you can improve your manuscript. Also…make writer friends who are published, so they will refer you to their agent. Your chances of getting an agent's attention without a connection are slim to none.



  107. Maria I. Morgan on February 9, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    >Super informative post, Rachelle! Appreciate all the links to previous posts and wonderful resources. Couldn't have been more timely. Exactly what I needed to read today. Thanks!



  108. LINDA FAULKNER on February 9, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    >Rachelle,

    I remember being a "newbie" in this business and not knowing where to go for advice and information.

    You, and your blog post, are an excellent example of the wonderful people and available info in the publishing world. SO many agents, editors, and published writers are willing to share information and resources.

    Joining a writer's group (or befriending an agent or an editor) is one of the best ways to get your hands on info and "how-tos." The next best thing is to haunt the places referenced here.



  109. dwkazzie on February 9, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    >This is a brilliant post, which I have now shared. But it got me wondering about something, which I'm now willing to wager on….

    I'm laying down the following bet — Rachelle gets MORE e-mails about how to get published in light of this post than she did before….

    I sincerely hope not, but it just seems that's the way of the world these days.



  110. S.M. Carrière on February 9, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    >Like Anonymous, I also made the mistake of sending out my M.S. before it was polished.

    I'm still kicking myself for it (kicking oneself isn't easy. Have you ever tried it?)!

    Great advice here. Thanks ever so much!



  111. Casey on February 9, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    >I have heard all of those things before, it is invaluable to have them in one document. I am continually encouraged and educated through your blog. Thank you!



  112. Beth K. Vogt on February 9, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    >Agreeing with everyone else that you've provided excellent advice!
    One practical way to avoid sending a manuscript that is not ready is to get involved with a critique group where you receive valuable, honest feedback, rather than just pat each other on the back.
    Attending conferences, as you said, is important. The friends you make along the way can be invaluable. The publishing industry is one that involves networking (which is not the same thing as taking advantage of other people. But that's another topic altogether.)When you're at a conference, don't just think about who can help you, look for who you can encourage.



  113. Judy Cox on February 9, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    >Thanks for posting this useful information. As a published author, and a writing teacher, I agree with everything you've said–especially in regards to not sending manuscripts until they are ready! Too many people (including myself, once upon a time) are in a great hurry to be published, rather than to learn their craft.



  114. Ericka Clay on February 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    >This will certainly be bookmarked. Thank you!



  115. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman on February 9, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    >Amazing. I'll be sending you virtual lemon drop martinis for this one. Thanks, Rachelle!



  116. Jaime on February 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    >Ditto what Wendy said 🙂



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  117. Wendy Paine Miller on February 9, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    >Doesn't get more clear than this.

    What a resource!

    ~ Wendy



  118. idelette on February 9, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    >Thank you so much for creating this. If it were a book, it would get yellow with use over on my end.



  119. kathy taylor on February 9, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    >Thanks, Rachelle, for an elucidating entry.



  120. Christine Danek on February 9, 2011 at 8:24 AM

    >Great advice. Thank you so much. I will check out the links.



  121. Sharon A. Lavy on February 9, 2011 at 8:06 AM

    >Wonderful post. As membership officer of ACFW I just got a request from a person who did not have the means to pay for this infromation. I was glad to point her to this blog.



  122. Heather Webb on February 9, 2011 at 7:30 AM

    >Great advice. Writers should spend plenty of time reading agent and writer blogs to learn tips about the craft itself, as well as tricks of the trade. I've gleaned a wealth of information from them; from how to avoid cliche openings to query blunders.

    Thank you for the links. I'll make good use of them. 🙂



  123. Erin MacPherson on February 9, 2011 at 7:28 AM

    >Oh, how I wish I had read this post 3 years ago… it would've saved me a lot of time, stress and mistakes. That said, I forwarded this on to everyone I know who is interested in publishing… so many great ideas!

    My only other idea for brand-new non-fiction writers is to actually READ the competitors. You touched on researching a comp list, but I think it's important to literally go to the library and check out every book that even remotely relates to your idea. Read them and see what you can offer that different or better. Just looking the book up on Amazon isn't sufficient.



    • buy car dvd player on June 7, 2012 at 11:02 PM

      Rachelle, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, as well as writing for a long time, and I just wanted to thank you. Your posts are beautifully put together and I’ve learned so much about the process that is writing, that I would have never otherwise known. So thanks for taking the time and putting in the effort for each post, there are a lot of us who really appreciate it.



  124. Katy on February 9, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    >Some great advice for the working writer! Thanks Rachelle!



  125. Brian Miller on February 9, 2011 at 6:58 AM

    >woot this is excellent…thank you…



  126. Ellen Schuknecht on February 9, 2011 at 6:40 AM

    >As an aspiring Christian author working on a book proposal, I find your blog not only helpful but inspirational. Thanks for the list of Christian agents. While you encourage your readers "to get to work", you certainly help pave the way.



  127. Heidiopia on February 9, 2011 at 6:36 AM

    >I think this is the best "in a nutshell" advice on the process I've seen. Concise with all the resources we need to educate ourselves further. Thanks, Rachelle!



  128. john on February 9, 2011 at 6:11 AM

    >Where do you ever find the time for us? Haven't you got work of your own to do?

    The message is the same over here, but the Amarican market is less conservative than the UK market. At least that is what I was led to believe on my MA, and of course it is also much bigger.
    I am very grateful for the ability to explore all your useful links. Nobody in England is as helpfull as you are, at least nobody I've found yet.
    Ta.



  129. Rosemary Gemmell on February 9, 2011 at 4:30 AM

    >Excellent, comprehensive advice as always. I would add that authors should be working on the next book while waiting on a decision for the first. And a healthy dose of optimism helps!



  130. Tamika: on February 9, 2011 at 3:18 AM

    >Bottom line- there are no short cuts! I tell myself this everyday. I must be willing to commit to the process, trust God's time, and work to strengthen my skills.

    I don't love the timeline, but I respect it:)



  131. Robyn Bavati on February 9, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    >Great advice, especially the part about not sending out the first draft and making sure you have a really polished manuscript before you do. The publishing industry has very high standards. It took me 25 years to learn this, and it was only when I did that I managed to publish my first novel.



  132. Anonymous on February 9, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    >I made the rookie mistake of sending out my novel before it was ready. My query was fine cuz I got plenty of request. It wasn't until all the rejections came in that I realized it wasn't ready. Now figuring out how to revise and re-submit a new & improved ms. is the hard part.



  133. Jennifer Larson on February 9, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    >Agree with 99% and makes some great points abd reference suggestions to new writers.



  134. Arlee Bird on February 9, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    >This is a wealth of useful information. Thanks.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011



  135. Phil on February 9, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    >So simple but so true. I wish I'd read this when I was in my teens.

    My advice for aspiring writers such as myself: try to write because you love writing, and not because you want to be published. If you love and enjoy writing, odds are that you'll eventually get published. If you are instead simply hunting your first book deal, odds are you'll end up bitter and burned out and quit.



    • Brigid on May 18, 2012 at 7:01 PM

      I’m in my teens now and want to be a writer… this is extremely helpful in helping me see where i want to go…



  136. Sarah Allen on February 9, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    >Brilliant advice and resources 🙂 Invaluable to us aspiring writers. Thank you!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)



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