Some of my favorite Pinterest how-tos for writers include How To Land a Literary Agent and Get Your Book Published, How To Snag a Publisher First Time With Your Synopsis, 8 Tips From Literary Agents About How to Get Published, and What Stops You From Self Publishing a Book on Amazon. Backing up, there are pins about how to write that book in the first place, but let’s say your book is ready to go. Now you look for an agent or editor who can accept unagented work.
There is no reason to expect a Golden Ticket. Almost never does an agent or editor accept your manuscript as is, love it as is, take your cover design as is, and promote your book, forsaking all others. Writing is hard work. Getting published, even self published, is likewise hard work.
Possibly the first hurdle will be the length of your book. I am too thrifty with my words, so I hit short of the mark for novels. My 40,000 words will equal 80 pages. I need to bump it up to 60,000 at least. Many other writers go over the mark, and are told to cut 2000 words. You would need to harden your heart against that desire to keep all the good stuff in. Cut what needs to be cut. Not sure I could ever do that on a large scale.
On a small scale, your critique group or partner will best advise you on what works and what doesn’t work. That will require your first round of revisions. Then you send it out to beta readers, people who promise not to nitpick on spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. They read for the feel of the story. Is anything confusing? Does the plot make sense? Do the emotions feel real? Does the ending suck?
This is where the two paths diverge between traditional and self published. But they shouldn’t. In traditional publishing, you query and send out the manuscript by email. In self publishing, you send the manuscript off to an editor. You certainly get what you pay for from an editor. I have heard from several traditionally published authors that one should not rely on the publisher to provide the best editing. If you can afford it, send it to an editor before you query agents or publishers. This will help you sell the book, too, as the fewer errors the person needs to read through, the less likely they will be pulled out of your story.
We have reached a half-way point, and I am going to continue this on Sunday when I return. Thanks for reading!