First of all, warning! I am not a publishing expert. But I have spent a while going round the houses and finding out quite a bit of useful information on my travels. So here’s a few tips I wanted to share with you...
Firstly, the most important thing is to write your book and do it to the absolute best of your ability. This is obvious, right? Right...
o Do: finish it in full
o Do: get beta readers to read it and give you feedback
o Do: use an editor – they are worth every penny
o Don’t: submit a manuscript you haven’t fully finished or that isn’t as perfect as
you can get it
Write a professional synopsis. They are hard, don’t be put off by that, but they are important to give a flavour of your book...
o Do: keep it to one page
o Do: give away all plot points – no holding back – this isn’t a blurb
o Do: get a proofreader
o Don’t: do a sloppy job, this is about selling your story and it needs to be top
Research or get help to write a really good covering letter
o Do: keep it short and summarise the plot of your story – if you can't explain your
story in a few short sentences, chances are your manuscript still needs work (an
awful fact to realise but better to realise that early than after you’ve submitted
and the rejections start coming in)
o Do: use the information on the agent or publisher website to help you
o Don’t: include unnecessary information or ramble
Research to find the right agent or publisher for you – you'll know when you find one that feels right!
o Do: find publishers who work in your genre
o Do: approach large (if they take direct submissions, some will only accept
agents) and small publishing houses
o Do: sign up for agent interviews and events to get as much advice and help as
you can and to help build relationships
o Don’t: approach an agent or publisher before you are ready – I learnt the hard
way that you look like an ass if you go too early – they know you’re not ready
because you sound unprofessional and amateurish
If you are unsure, hire the services of a good editor or professional proofreader, but always remember, that the hard work is always going to be yours.
o Do: be persistent
o Don’t: give up – there are lots of publishers out there and chances are you can
find the right one for you and your book