Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How to Navigate Today’s Publishing Industry P.3: Charting Your Course Continued

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As I mentioned earlier in this series, the quest toward becoming an author in today's industry looks quite different than it did several years ago. There's more involved than simply sitting at your computer and penning a good story.

{For the beginning of this series, view  Part 1 here  and  Part 2 here .}

Today I’m covering the final steps an aspiring author should take on their quest toward publication….

→ Step 3: Writer spends necessary time editing, revising, and rewriting. They may join a critique group during this time or send the manuscript to their critique partner.

Charting the course:

The editing stage is the most important part of the writing process. This is when the mess that the writer created during the draft stages transforms into a story. Because of that, it’s important that writers spend as much time on this stage as necessary.

For some writers, this is the dreaded stage, but it doesn’t have to be! The hard part of putting the story down is over; now it’s time to form that lump of clay into a piece of art.

Below are books I’ve read and recommend during the self-edit stages:

It’s also advised that writers get involved in a critique group, and/or find a critique partner. The most important thing is that you continue to apply what you’ve learn about the craft to unveil the best story possible. There will always be room to improve. If you want to take it a step further, consider hiring a professional editor. ( Click here to learn more about my affordable editing rates .)

→ Step 4: Writer pitches to agents and/or publishers. They may attend a writing conference during this time and meet them face-to-face.

Charting the course:

This step should only be taken when the writer feels that their manuscript is ready. This means that they’ve written the best manuscript to their ability and have taken necessary steps to edit and polish it.

Then, when it’s time, they’ll send it off to the real world.

This process, I hate to break it to you, can last for months — if not years.

There are plenty ways to find an agent: Through writing conferences, referrals, Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Market Guide, agency blogs, writing contests, etc.

As you do your research, make sure to pitch to agents who represent your genre and are currently looking to build their client list. You especially will want to adhere to their submission guidelines. How embarrassing would it be to have a rejection simply because you neglected to follow their rules!

Prepare yourself for rejection, because it’s inevitable in this industry. Use the feedback you’re given to improve as an author, then continue knocking on doors until the right one opens. (Important note: Don’t necessarily walk through the first door that opens. Research the agent and their clients. Get to know them and their work style. Settling for a bad agent is worst than having zero agent at all.)

→ Step 5: While the writer waits, he/she continues to grow their platform, hone their craft, and begins their next project.

Charting the course:

Spend your waiting time wisely! If you’re stagnant in your writing journey then you risk going in reverse. Writers should always be moving forward, and there are plenty of ways we can do so.

Here’s what you can do while you wait:

  • Begin a new project
  • Read writing craft books
  • Read writing craft blogs (Hint: Comment on agency blogs)
  • Research the trends in publishing
  • Grow your platform
  • Attend conferences and workshops
  • Build your writing resume by submitting to magazines and blogs
  • Enter contests (Hint: Many agents discover new clients through contest winners. Plus, winning a contest means you’re more likely to garner attention of an agent and it looks amazing on a proposal/query.)

Show potential agents that you’re not just seeking publication; rather, you’re seeking to build a career in writing. Agents want to sign with writers who are engaged in the writing community and actively work toward their growth as a novelist—even during the waiting seasons. (Trust me, there are plenty of them!)

Now that you know which steps to take, there’s no better time than now than to begin your journey! In next week’s post I’ll help you break down these steps even further so you’ll be prepared to set out on your own unique publishing path.

~ ~ ~

Questions for you...

Which step of this journey are you currently on? How long have you been on this step? Where do you hope to be in your writing journey this time next year?


 How can an aspiring author plan their publishing journey? Tips from @TessaEmilyHall #pubtips #writerslife 

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