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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ten Steps to Getting Published

  1. Turn a collection of thoughts and ideas into 50,000 to 100,000 words that are formed into sentences, paragraphs and chapters, that are interesting, well-paced, grammatically correct, pieces of information people will find readable, enjoyable, educational, entertaining, informative, satisfying, shocking, funny affirmative and/or new and unique.
  2. Rewrite and proofread and rewrite and proofread until you can no longer find any problems with syntax, character development, tense, continuity, repetitiveness, and grammatical form.
  3. Give the manuscript, either a chapter or two at a time or as a whole, to a friend or acquaintance who is the closest thing to a professional writer that you know and ask him or her to edit and proofread all problems with syntax, character development, tense, continuity, repetitiveness, and grammatical form.
  4. Don't rely on spell-check. Get a human being, preferably one who can proudly complete the Sunday New York Times crossword without using a dictionary or thesaurus to check your manuscript. Then find another friend who says he's a better crossworder than the first and have him/her do it again.
  5. Join a writer's group and ask its members to critique your work and offer you suggestions. Have very thick skin and be ready to defend your decisions or be ready to make changes in syntax, character development, tense, continuity, repetitiveness, and grammatical form.
  6. Take your manuscript to a writers conference and bravely read part of the best chapter to a group of fellow authors and would-be authors in the presence of a professional editor from a major publishing house who will critique your work in front of God and everybody.
  7. While you are at the writer's conference, attend all of the query and pitch session workshops you can and network amongst the literary agents there.
  8. Come home from the writer's conference and rewrite and proofread and rewrite and proofread until you can no longer find any problems with syntax, character development, tense, continuity, repetitiveness, and grammatical form.
  9. Study the all the literary agents you find when you google "literary agent" and find 100 agents who say they accept manuscripts of the genre you have written in and construct individual, concise query letters to those agents.
  10. Repeat steps 5 thru 9 until you are successful and your agent manages to find an editor who is interested in your work, but wants you to make just a few changes...

These are only the minimal things you need to do to get published. You also will need a well-written synopsis of your book, a marketing plan that keys on the contributions you will make toward marketing your book. If you don't discouraged completing steps 1 - 10 over and over until you get published, you should have no problems writing a synopsis and marketing plan.

1 comment:

jamie ford said...

Looks like a solid plan, and a fascinating book. Best of luck with it.