So you had this crazy idea to write your own book. You’ve poured your heart and soul into it, spending the better part of a year (or longer) making it sound just like you want it to. Now that it’s done, what do you do with it? If you are thinking that the hard part is over, you’re wrong. Your next step in your arduous journey is figure out how you want to publish it. There are several options to chose from but let’s assume your first choice is to go with a traditional publisher. Most publishers don’t like or want to be solicited from an unknown, inexperienced writer. Let’s face it, not all of us are gifted in this area or even have a tight grasp of the English language. Many publishing houses will throw unopened manuscripts away simply because they didn’t ask for them. Once in a while you may hear of a publisher who “wants your manuscript” or they’ll say “we love unpublished authors”. BEWARE of these companies. I’m not saying they’re all bad or scams but do your research! If you type the name of a publishing house into Google and come up with ANY red flags, run far and run fast! Most companies are legitimate, some are not and you need to stay away from the ones that are out to scam you. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. We would all like to think that our book will be the next big thing and agents and publishers alike will fighting over who gets to print it. However, reality is cruel and the vast majority of us will struggle to convince just one agent/publisher to give it a second thought. So then what do I do? I’m glad you asked! You need to get a literary agent. An agent will act as your cheerleader, if you will. They have contacts in the world of publishing and will attempt to sell your manuscript to whomever they think will like it. Sounds easy, right? Nothing about this whole process is easy. First you have to convince an agent that your book is awesome and that is nothing short of a miracle in most cases. To get an agent to read your work, you must query them first. This is a letter that has important information in it that gives the agent an idea of what to expect from your manuscript. It also informs them of your credentials, if you have any, and gives them your contact information. My biggest dilemma was where to find the agents that accept the genre I write in (Romance). That is where your new bet friend comes in. It’s a book called The Writers Market. This book tells you everything you need to know and also gives you some names of agents and their contact information. It’s an annually published book that usually comes out around June. I highly recommend getting it. Along with it, you may decide to purchase it’s companion. It’s called The Guide to Literary Agents. I loved this one because it had so many more agents listed and I found it to be more along the lines of what I needed at the time. Get one or both but it’s not nicknamed “The Writers Bible” for nothing! In my next blog, I’ll be going over your next step which is how to query an agent.
<a href=”http://www.amazon.com/2014-Writers-Market-Robert-Brewer/dp/1599637324” title=”The Writers Market”>The Writer’s Market</a>.