Whether you’ve been slowly crafting a killer manuscript for years, or lightning struck and you suddenly find yourself with a novella on your hands, you know that you want to get published. You can’t wait to share the masterpiece you’ve created with the rest of the world. That’s great news! Unfortunately, many people all over the world are thinking the exact same thing.
Read on for some tips that will help you stand out in the crowd and get your manuscript to the right people!
1. Do Your Research
If you’ve considered publishing your work, you’ve probably heard of the dreaded query letter. This is the first step to securing an agent who will start shopping your book to publishers. Writing a query letter may sound intimidating, but it’s easy if you understand your genre. Compare your manuscript to similar books in the same genre. How well do they sell? How are they taking advantage of current trends in the market? Make sure to research the agent’s specialties as well. Sending a query letter for a young adult romance to someone who specializes in literary memoirs will probably be a waste of time. Pick someone who is as passionate about your genre as you are, and dazzle the agent with your inside knowledge of buying trends and specialized demographics.
2. Be Bold and Memorable
Agents can tell when they’ve been given a boilerplate query letter with only the basic details changed. Your query letter should convey your passion and be aimed directly at a specific agent. In addition to writing for a particular person, think about your own qualifications. Why are you the perfect person to write this book? Why should people read something from your unique perspective? The query letter (and correspondence with an agent or a publisher) isn’t just about selling your book. It’s about branding: selling an image of yourself as a professional author. Work on creating and promoting your specific persona.
3. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
You may have the perfect idea for the next great American novel, but it means nothing if you can’t get industry professionals to take you seriously. Show your level of professionalism and expertise through mistake-free letters and e-mails. By showing agents and publishers that you pay attention to the little details, you’re giving them a preview of what it would be like to work with you as an author. Be polite, humble, and professional when speaking with anyone in the industry.
4. Keep Writing
While knowing your genre, being bold, and acting professional can help open doors in the publishing industry, never forget what got you there in the first place—your idea. You have a unique point of view and a distinct voice. Never be afraid to show them off. Start writing blog posts, social media posts, and anything that lets your voice be heard by a larger audience. Agents and publishers are looking for someone who is fully engaged in the process. By demonstrating your willingness to communicate with others and your distinct viewpoint outside of your manuscript, you show them how enthusiastic you are about writing and connecting with your audience!