Monday, April 4, 2011
The process of becoming published, for fiction writers...
1) Write a book. A good book. Polish it, send it out to others to review and give feedback to make it awesome. When it's DONE, really done, then move on to the next step. But make sure it's exactly how you want it to be.
2) Write a query letter. An awesome query letter. Here are some sites SFWA, HOW TO WRITE A QUERY LETTER, GTLA. There are other sites, just google "how to write a query letter". It should take several days to perfect it, but perfect it you shall.
3) Write a synopsis and 2 page outline. Some agents will want this. If you need help, google "how to write a synopsis" or "how to write an outline". There are tons of helpful hints out there.
4) Look up literary agents and/or publishers that deal with your genre/type of book. Find the newest "Guide to Literary Agents" and/or "Writer's Market". You can buy them or go to your local library with pen and a couple sheets of paper or a laptop (they are Reference Books, you can't take them home). You can also search online. This takes a long time, but know what each agent/publisher wants and give it to them, reshaping your query letter just a little bit for each agency/publisher.
5) Wait for a response, trying not to bite your fingertips off with anticipation. Send out 5-10 queries at a time. And always remain professional. I wouldn't want to buy a book from some chump.
To raise your chances significantly, use any connections you have in the publishing industry. Seriously, connections are vital. If you don't have connections, like myself, do anything you can to attend a Writer's Conference where agents that deal with your genre will be in attendance. That's as good as having a contact. Seriously, without any connection at all your chances of an agent taking your query seriously are minimal. So hit those Writer's Conferences!
In the meantime, start another book. A better one than the one you're trying to sell. ;) It's a fabulous way to pass the time, and your writing will continue to improve. Good luck!