How to Get a Book Published: Novel Publication Tips
Be a Writer Who Gets Published!
If you want to learn how to get published, the following novel publication tips will definitely help you out.
However, remember that the publishing world is a widely varied one, with all sorts of ins and outs that no one person will ever learn. The more you find out, the more you practice, and the more you research, the more likely you are to get a novel published.
The number one best piece of advice I can offer is stay determined. The writers who get novels published are the ones who never gave up!
Step 1: Hone Your Writing Craft
Beautiful Work Helps Writers Get Published
The first and foremost task an writer who wants to get his or her novel published should undertake is to hone your writing craft by, well, writing. Write early, and write often. Write in the morning and at night. Build stories in your head as you drive to and from your day job. Tell tales to your friends and family. Journal, blog, or write technical manuals and marketing materials. The more you write, the better you will become.
It's easier to write if you have some support. Why not try a novel writing month? Writing a 50,000 word novel in a month is a great challenge, and the forums help you to keep going. There's a 'novel writing month' for every month of the year!
So you're already a writer, but you want to know if your writing is any good right? The next step is to place your writing under the scrutiny of the public eye! The easiest way to do this is to blog. Take advantage of simple blogging sites such as Blogger, Typepad, or Wordpress.
However, if you really want someone to tear your work apart, you need to find a critique group. You can form a real-life critique group with similarly-minded writing friends. Or, you can go online. Scribophile and The Write Idea Forum for Writers are both excellent sources of well-spoken, intelligent critiques.
You can also take a class or workshop. Community colleges often offer "continuing education" classes for those interested in building expertise in a particular area. Study is usually inexpensive, and teachers are well-qualified and highly knowledgeable. Find local and online workshops with a quick online search.
And finally, here are a few 'don'ts' you should keep in mind when trying to hone your writing craft:
- Don't ask well-known authors, editors, or publishers to analyze your work unless you are specifically invited to do so.
- Don't expect to receive useful information without offering something in return (for example, exchanged critiques, or at least a healthy dose of thank-yous).
- Don't give up if you receive negative feedback. People point out possible improvements to make you a better writer. And even prestigious published authors know that their writing gets better over time!
Books on Writing Skills by Famous Authors - Learn the Craft of Writing From the Experts
These books on writing skills have quite different approaches to the craft of writing - so don't worry if you don't fit into one specific stereotype!
Nanowrimo is One of THE Best Ways to Hone Your Skill!
Step 2: Submit Your Writing For Publication
Your Writing Can't Speak Unless Someone Will Listen
One of the scariest moments of my life was submitting my first piece of writing to a magazine for publication consideration. I'd written the story, edited it, had it critiqued, edited it some more, and formatted it. I'd asked people questions and looked at the submission criteria to make sure that I had everything right, but still I remained unsure. It doesn't say anything about a cover letter; should I include one? If I place my story in the body of an email, should I include a blurb to preface it? If it's an email, does it need to be in standard format?
And then came the waiting, waiting, waiting. Not only did I not know if they'd like my story; I didn't even know if I'd submitted it correctly and whether it would be considered at all!
Chances are, if you're a writer, you're going to have to take the plunge and submit your story somewhere, sometime. Independent publication using a site such as Lulu aside, if you want to be a successful published author, you need someone to publish you. But where on earth do you start?
I can't say whether it's easier to get a short story or a novel published. However, because short stories generally takes less time to produce, you have more chances at publication. Newpages.com is a great resource for finding literary magazines; Cele at Wednesday Links also provides a frequently updated list of paying and non-paying publications looking for submissions. You might ask, why should I work at getting articles and stories published if what I really want is to publish a book? Well, yhe more publications you have under your belt, the more likely a book publisher is to take your manuscript seriously.
In addition, books such as can help you find a publisher whether you are looking to submit a short story or a novel. Writer's conferences (for example, the one hosted by the Novel & Short Story Writer's MarketGreater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group in Pennsylvania) provide a great forum for meeting publishers and/or agents, if you decide to go that route. You can find more resources online, especially in any sort of writer's group or writing forum.
Finally, here are a few 'don'ts' you should keep in mind when submitting your work for publication:
- Don't ignore submission guidelines. Each publication has a specific form and format in which they want to receive submissions.
- Don't take a spammer's approach to submitting your work. Get to know the publication and editors well before you submit.
- Don't let your fear take control. The temporary defeat of receiving a rejection doesn't come close to the eternal victory of having a published piece to your name.
Step 3: Build Your Writing Brand
A Writing Brand Gets People Interested in You
Now that you've honed your craft and you're submitting your writing for publication (or looking into self publishing), it's time to build your writing brand.
It's never too early (or too late) to start building your brand. Would you rather be the published author who, on the eve of his first book release, suddenly realizes he has zero fan base and his name doesn't even show up on Google? Or would you rather be the published author comfortable in the knowledge that hundreds or thousands of people read her blog every month and they're all chomping at the bit to buy her first published work?
You do have a blog, don't you? If you haven't gotten that far, go back to Step 1. The second thing you need (and this is a little trickier) is your own, personal website, i.e. www.yournamehere.com. I used Weebly to set up my site, and I purchased my domain name through GoDaddy. Linking GoDaddy and Weebly requires some technical knowledge, but a little bit of research should see you through. Alternately, there are a million and one web designers just waiting to design your site for a nominal fee.
(A quick note on 'personal' blogs and websites. Yes, they are meant to focus attention on you, but they should also be as 'professional' as possible because you use them to further your goal of supporting yourself as a professional writer. Until you get really famous, try and keep the truly personal stuff to a minimum.)
Once you've set up your blog and website, you need to get people to visit them. Emailing everyone in your address book is a good first step, but will only get you so far. Connecting to people using networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn gives you great exposure; import your blog posts as notes and talk about your writing to let people know that you're serious. Next, search out people on the internet with similar interests, link to their blogs, join their communities, and send them comments and emails. Last, but not least, Tiffany Dow gives great advice on her blog about increasing traffic to your sites.
And of course, here are some 'don'ts' you should keep in mind when building your brand:
- Don't forget about the real world! Conferences, classes, even the supermarket are all great places to network and get your name out. Here is some info on local writers' associations to get you started.
- Don't ever leave home without business cards. You can print out simple ones at home, or get them from an online printer such as VistaPrint for a reasonable price. You should get comfortable with talking to strangers on a regular basis.
- Don't lose sight of the real reason you want to connect with people. Sure, eventually you want to make a living at this, but does Joe Someone or Other really care about that? Provide people with value instead of trying to get value from them. Believe me, they can tell the difference.
Thanks for reading! Also, see my blog for more info on this subject.
Where Are You In The Journey to Publication? - Vote Here!
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Winning at Publication
Remember, there are lots of different ways to get published!
Are You A Published Author?
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How To Get Published: Useful Novel Publication Links - Here is a list of links you might find useful!
Create your own free blog on Blogger.
Create your own free blog on Wordpress.
Online critique group and community for writers.
- The Write Idea
Online forum and community for writers.
Publish your books independently in hardcover, paperback, or ebook format.
Find information on submitting your work to literary magazines.
Easy to use website designer complete with free hosting and templates.
Inexpensive domain names for purchase. Buy www.yourname.com today!