Updated: Feb 19, 2019
There's a business to writing that many authors either ignore or refuse to get into. Some are oblivious to what happens or is expected of them after they've written their manuscript. Things have changed from how writers worked ten or so years ago. Not only are you expected to have writing skills, you must also be good at editing, selling, contracts and negotiating, editing, editing some more, computer use, marketing and promoting, speaking and using the internet. At one time, authors wrote and did gigs to sign books, interviews and that was about it. Now, even though you are expected to pay an Agent 15%, a Publisher 15%, buy swag to promote your book(s), pay for your travel to interviews and signings, you are also expected to blog, promote, market, and market and market your own book. You MUST have an author platform, be familiar with Book Blog Tours, forming a Street Team, be savvy with running giveaways online, use social media and YouTube especially, have and keep up a website (pay for it), pay for all copies of your book that you sell yourself up front, and on and on... And that's via traditionally being published. Don't get me started on what you have to do if you go the self-publishing route. Whew! When do authors actually get to be authors? What do you mean you can't plug off two books a year??? Lol!
I guess if we think about all this, no wonder many give up. It's sad actually. Sometimes I wonder if the only thing that keeps traditional publishers ahead of the game is their contact list that they keep close and don't share. You know the ones I mean, the best printing companies, the best movie agents, the best television producers, the best marketing people, the best contacts for worldwide book distributers, bookstores, and promoters. I think with the latest increase in self-published books, authors are needing even more help just to keep their heads above water and their hearts in the writing game.
Watch This Video!
My Input To Help:
Five Important Steps To Speed Up Your Work In Print:
Most professional writers are continuously writing new work for publication. Before writing for publication, there are five important steps you should take to speed up your work in print:
1. Identify your ideas and subjects of interest.
2. Target your markets and select publishers in these areas.
3. Prepare your submission materials.
4. Contact publishers in your markets and make follow-up contacts.
5. Keep a careful record of your correspondence, submissions, and telephone conversations.
Let's Break it Down:
A) Identify your ideas and subjects of interest.
List the subjects that interest you. Once this is done, you will easily target the various markets that will support your work.
Make a list of the subjects (non fiction and fiction) you’ve written about or would like to write about in the future.
As you create your own list of subjects, feel free to add as many entries as you wish. Keep this list handy so that you can continue to add to it. You will find the ones most dear to you will inspire your best writing. Readers are drawn to the author’s enthusiasm about a subject they love. Never be afraid to branch out in areas where you’re not an expert. Do your research!
B) Target Your Markets and Select Publishers In These Areas.
Some writers will finish their manuscript before they begin to look for a publisher.
This is the typical approach when the manuscript is a work of fiction, such as a novel or short story.
Non Fiction writers often target the idea they want to write about to reach a certain audience and marketplace for their writing.
They use resources like the Writer’s Market, that helps them to develop ideas for manuscripts.
C) Prepare Your Submission.
Your product’s preparation for the marketplace must be done properly in order to be successful.
In the Writer’s Market, there are basic instructions on how to do this.
The attachments you send with your manuscript or query will vary greatly depending on the type of project you want published.
What About Non Fiction Writing?
Non Fiction work usually is comprised of a one-page query letter to interest a magazine editor.
For a book idea, a cover letter, overview and outline with the author’s information sheet, how you plan to market your book and a list of competing titles is required along with sample chapters.
How many depends on the publisher’s submission requirements.
Always check their website for changes in people contacts, address changes and submission requirements.
I purchase a new Writer's Market every year, keeping the old one for two. Why?
Often, companies close, are bought out, become imprints of other larger publishing houses.
People contacts change often.
No Matter how great the book is, I always double check the website for changes to information.
The book does provide great website information and even contact information.
The book is best for seeing what they are looking for at the time of publication, what they require and helpful hints for submissions.
What Type of Submissions Are Required For Different Types of Writing?
For Fiction: usually requires a cover letter, short synopsis and a few chapters.
For a Magazine Article: a query letter and full article.
For Non Fiction: a proposal, proposed marketing plan, and full manuscript
The publisher may request further information from you.
D) Literary Agents.
Some writers use literary agents to represent their work to publishers.
Agents negotiate contracts on authors' behalf.
An experienced and well-connected agent can be a great asset when it comes to getting published by a large publishing house or prestigious magazine.
Most agents, however, won’t consider negotiating contracts for articles and short stories since it’s not worth their time for the small commission.
Check "The Writers' Market," or, websites for solicited or unsolicited acceptance of manuscripts.
Getting an agent is the more common practice to help with contract negotiations, but it’s not unheard of for a writer to skip this process if they are comfortable negotiating for themselves.
E) Manuscript Preparation and Mailing.
Your manuscript should be clean and error free!
Ensure it’s been edited to the best of your ability.
Use a professional editor if you feel it’s needed.
Remember: First impressions are important! You want yours to be one of professionalism and ability.
There is a section in "The Writers' Market" that helps with formatting your manuscript.
Remember to double space your work for easy reading.
Always keep a copy of it.
Do not staple your pages together.
Always provide copies of illustrations, not the originals.
Do you want your work back? Make certain you have the correct and sufficient postage amount on your return envelop.
Check web sites and the Writer’s Market website for up-to-date information and how to prepare your information.
I always get a current copy of the Writer’s Market to help me with submissions. It’s an invaluable resource that every writer should have.