In the beginning of this new journey it was almost laughable how clueless I was about the publishing process. I soon found that writing an entire novel was the easy part and a whole new world opened full of terms like query letters, synopsis, partials, fulls, literary agents….>head is spinning< , needless to say, a whole lot of research! I stumbled across quite a few of helpful blogs that eased my panic attacks, so I thought I would pass on the knowledge. So in a few simple (if there was a sarcastic button, I would push it…several times, right here!) here’s the process of getting published:
A thought pops in your head that makes you stop and think, “what if that could happened and this person was there…and they said such’n such to this other person…and then so’n so happens…and then they say such’n such…and then they live happily ever after.
Write that elaborate thought down and edit it… a lot.
Think about what makes your idea unique and would make a random person want to read it, in no more than two or three paragraphs. Write it down in letter form , including the fabulous title you picked out and how many words you thought up to make this masterpiece. Sign it – Sincerely.
Now you have to figure out who to address it to, or in other words, who would be so interested in it that they would want to represent it for you (Because, believe me, you aren’t gonna want to fight the publishing houses to accept your unsolicited manuscript). So the research begins. I like these websites: agentquery.com, publishersmarketplace.com, writersdigest.com to name a few. Find an agent within a literary agency that likes the kind of stuff in your manuscript.
Send your well polished query letter to them (no attachments) and wait…
Wait…(you may notice by now that you are becoming more and more of an obsessive e-mail checker. It’s okay, it happens to the best of us!)
You sign in to your hotmail/yahoo/whatever account and there is an unopened e-mail from a literary agency (Now I’m not going to lie, your heartbeat will start to feel a little erratic). Your shaky hand clicks and you find out they are interested in seeing more (hence a partial request). Send the requested material and repeat steps Six-Eight. Now they interested in more (hence a full request). Send that. Repeat step Six-Eight once more. Very exciting, they are so interested in your work they want to represent you!
Begin the process of working with your agent to get your manuscript marketable.
Sit back and let your agent basically repeat steps Four-Eight to find your manuscript a publisher to put your words into book form. All the while, telling yourself to relax and let your agent do their job but in reality jumping up and screaming, scaring whoever may be in the same room, every time the phone rings.
Now add a few rejections, a few shed tears, a few waves of panicked, sense of failures and you have the entire process of getting published in Ten simple steps!