Sunday, August 14, 2011

How to Get Published

Hold on: before we get started, let me tell you two things.  1. There is no right or wrong way to get published.  2. This only applies to traditional publishing, not self-publishing.

Okay, now we're ready to go.  Most writers have at least considered getting published.  You may want to start thinking seriously about it at some point.  In that case, here is a short, simple list of the basic publishing process.  If you come across a term (agent, query letter, etc.) that you aren't familiar with, don't hesitate to visit the Glossary of Epic Awesomeness.  If the glossary is missing something, tell me!

  1. Write a book.  This is self-explanatory.  
  2. Revise until your eyes are burning.  Edit.  Revise.  Edit.  Revise.  I can't stress this part enough.  Before you even think of querying, you need to revise until you feel your novel is flawless.  Let me repeat: flawless.  If you can see a problem, then it's not time to query.  If your book sparkles like the child of Edward Cullen and Tinkerbell*, then you're ready.
  3. Write a query letter.  Send to agents.  There are many, many online resources to help you with this process.  Use them.  Since this process involves a lot of waiting, start writing your next book.
  4. Agent will request a partial if they like your query.  You send them a portion of your book.
  5. Said agent likes the partial and wants more.  You send them your entire book.
  6. Receive an offer of representation.  Accept said offer.  Again, there are websites to help you with this.  Remember: your first call from an agent will be exciting, but before you accept, do your research.  Since you and this agent will be working together for years, make sure you can get along with them.
  7. Your wonderful agent helps you revise even more.  Because...guess what!  Your book actually wasn't perfect, even if you thought it was.  Now it looks like the child of Edward and Tinkerbell, covered in glitter.
  8. Your agent tries to sell your book to publishers.  You resume writing your other novel.
  9. A publisher buys the book; you sign lots of papers.  You get an editor, and you edit more.  Because we want it to sparkle so much our eyes hurt.  Being the glitter-covered child of a little green fairy and a stalkerish vampire isn't good enough.  Now this child also exhales glitter, has a glittery aura, leaves a glitter trail when it walks.
  10. The publishing company works on covers, design, advertising, etc.  You wait.  You're still writing that other book, aren't you?
  11. Finally, your book is released.  You have a party. 
Now, after your release date, there's also stuff to do, like book signings and marketing and whatnot.  But hey, you're published, so you can deal with it happily.  This is by no means a complete list; it's just a brief overview of what to expect.  Some writers, for example, skip the agent process altogether, or self-publish.  This is just one way to do it.  It's the path I'll be taking.  Except that I'm only on step one.

Questions?  Ask away!  Comments?  Something to add?  Feel free!

*Ew.  That's repulsive, isn't it?  Sorry for the disturbing mental pictures.  I was trying to make a point.post signature

3 comments:

  1. I'm still only in the process of revising my novel, The High Prince. Since I finished the first draft, I now have to rewrite it and make it better. And after that I might start sending out query letters. But getting published is my life dream so hopefully I'll be an actual published author one day. And I'm not considering self-publishing until I'm on my death bed. Just because traditional publishing seems better.

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  2. Well, good luck with that! And I'm not considering self-publishing, either. I want to see my work in print because somebody thinks it's good, not because I paid someone to do it.

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  3. I'm on step one and a half: the second draft. :D For some reason after I read the line "You have a party." I squealed, quite high-pitched actually. XD I guess I'm excited to reach the end of the publishing process. Great post and keep writing!

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