Want to know how to get published?
Now that my first published novel is out and about (the most terrifying and awesome feeling ever), folks are getting curious.
How long did it take you to write it? (1 year to write, 1 year to edit)
Where did you find the time? (Time isn’t change on the ground that you find, you make time)
Does it come in large print? (Not yet, Grandmother)
But the main question people want to know, and one that I wanted to know before I had this opportunity, is how in the world does a person go about getting a book published.
2006: I wrote a book. It was terrible. I queried it and got rejected.
2008: I wrote a book. It was slightly less terrible. I queried it and got rejected.
2010: I wrote a book. It was bearable. I queried it, got a little interest, but no representation.
2011: I wrote TEMPUS. I queried it, got a little interest, but no representation. Something in me KNEW this book was worth fighting for. So in …
2012: I spent a year re-dreaming TEMPUS. I sent out manuscripts to people I trusted for feedback. I got a critique partner. I edited, cut down, edited, cut down. I hired someone to edit it.
2013: I queried TEMPUS again. This time, Kitty Bullard reached out to me and asked if I’d like her wonderful publishing house, GMTA, to publish TEMPUS. I was in bed. I burst into tears.
2014: TEMPUS was released .
-Tailor your queries so you’re sending agents/publishers ONLY what they ask for. Do you fit in with their niche? Do they already represent someone like you? Do your research, and mention these things specifically in your query. I probably queried 25 agents/publishers with TEMPUS, but I knew each of them were looking for something like TEMPUS, and believed I added to their current list needs.
-Join a good database like Writer’s Market to keep yourself up-to-date on trends and current marketplace needs. This is also where you can get connected with agents, publishers, and other writers.
-Read good books to sharpen your usage and mind. I learned a lot from reading books like WARM BODIES (Isaac Marion), The DIVERGENT series (Veronica Roth), and THE MORTAL INSTRUMENT SERIES (Cassandra Clare). These people have already “made it” so to speak, so watching what they do teaches you what publishers want.
-And, most of all, keep writing, keep writing, keep writing. If I had given up after book one, that would have been it. Rejection is hard. But I made myself a promise: I would not stop writing until someone published my book. I was just crazy enough to believe that I could do it. And, if you’re a writer, my guess is that you’re a little crazy, too. 🙂
If you’ve been published before, I’d love to hear about your journey.
Holly Lauren is the author of TEMPUS, a Young Adult Science-Fiction Romance out now at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.