Category Archives: How to Get Published

Romance Fiction Articles @ Suite 101

I started a few weeks ago writing articles on romance fiction; writing it, publishers, websites, etc.

Have a look around… I’m up to ten articles so far, covering romancenoveltv.com, Circle of Seven book videos, and lots about romance fiction.

Check it out!

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Does a Writer Need an Agent?

Does a writer need an agent?

Absolutely yes.

Or maybe.

Or, quite possibly, no.

There seems to be no real consensus out there about whether a writer needs an agent to break in as a first-time novelist or not. In my opinion that’s because it really depends upon who is asking the question.

So, who does not need an agent? You don’t need an agent if you write poetry. Or at least I don’t think you do. I’m not equipped to talk about that. You don’t need an agent if you intend to go to an e-book or POD (print-on-demand) publisher, but you MUST be aware of contract details, do research on the e-book or POD publisher you’re thinking of signing with, and even contact other authors. Be aware of your rights and be sure of what you’re signing. There are lots of horror stories out there about writers who ended up scr*wed by unscrupulous publishing companies, or those that went under.

You probably don’t need an agent to submit to the larger publishing houses if you’re approaching the imprints that say they take unagented manuscripts, and there are still some of those left. Often when a publisher introduces a new line they open up submissions to unagented writers because they’re looking for something fresh, vibrant new voices. That’s your best bet as an unpublished writer.

Now… who definitely DOES need an agent? Continue reading

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How To Get Published – Part 2

Originally posted: Tuesday, 8 May 2007

 

So You want to become a published author. First things first: what kind of publication are we talking about?

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How To Get Published – Part 1

Originally posted: Friday, 27 April 2007


     For a writer, having your work published seems the only legitimate end to creating a book (or article, or poem) that you’re proud of.  Lawrence Block, in his fabulous writing guide Writing the Novel; From Plot to Print says: “I suppose the whole idea of communication is so intrinsic a part of what we do that a piece of writing which goes unread by others is like Bishop Berkeley’s tree falling where no ear can hear it.  If nobody reads it, it’s as if we hadn’t even written it.” 

     He prefaces that section by saying that other artistic endeavors – painting, playing music, etcetera – don’t have the same urgency to see the finished product in front of the public, and that artists and musicians expect a long process of learning and honing their skills before any success is sought, but that writers expect to see themselves in print with their very first undertaking. 

     I think he’s right about that.  A writer longs to hear those magical words, “We’d like to offer you a publishing contract!”  That said, I wrote several novels and great portions of others before seeing one published.  Those novels languish in yellowing envelopes, and I suppose some day I’ll throw them away.  But not yet.  Even after all these years, I still have an emotional attachment to those unwanted ‘children’. 

     Unless you’re the ‘next big thing’ you are not going to be seized with glad cries of “We’ve been waiting for someone just like you!”  It’s hard work to find a publisher, in most cases (mine, for instance) and you have to prepare for it like you did for exams or your first job.  You have to understand the process and do your homework.  So what I’m saying is, know that you’re ready before you try to get published, be prepared for rejection, and then go forth and submit! And submit, and submit and submit again.  The best predictor of your eventual success is how persistent you are in the face of opposition.

     In the following days (and weeks… months maybe?) I’m going to give some information and tips, advice culled from not only my own experiences, but others… things you should do, things you shouldn’t, and things you should bind your hands with tape and stuff a sock in your mouth before you do!  I can’t comment on every avenue, and I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll offer whatever expertise I can. 

     However… a caveat: what follows are just my own thoughts and advice.  I am by NO MEANS an expert, and you should consult with someone who knows a lot more than I do before making any final decisions.  Also, I didn’t do everything by traditional methods, meaning, I didn’t join RWA, I didn’t go to conferences, I didn’t have an agent for my first book, or, well, I sorta did, but that’s a long story.  One of the many things I will be talking about is why no agent at all is better than a BAD agent. (But why a good agent is much MUCH better!)  And I will use myself as an example!

Articles to follow in the coming weeks:

My story, or, how did I get here and what do I do now?

What kind of publishing are we talking about?

Do you need an agent?

How to approach a publishing house. Query letters, proposals synopses, etcetera.

How to talk to an editor. And how NOT to talk to an editor.

   Feel free to drop me a line with specific questions.

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