The one thing we all dream of: seeing our book published.
But only when you try to publish your book, do you realize that writing it, was the easy part. In this first post of publishing 101 I’ll only scratch the surface of rules about publishing. Check the blog from time to time for more about publishing!
Tip 1: Send in your manuscript when it’s ready
This sounds logical, but a lot of Wribie’s make this mistake. I made it myself. After finishing my second book, I decided to try and get the first one published. Boy was I in for a surprise. I had no clue about the world of publishing and I still haven’t figured it out completely.
One thing I learned though is to only send your manuscript to an agent or publisher when you’re sure that it’s perfect. That’s it’s the best you could do. That there is no point in editing it further. I hadn’t done that. I had edited it only once. When I look back on what I sent to the agents, I’m surprised that one agent found it remotely interesting. Needles to say I re-wrote it. But keep in mind that you should only edit it so many times! Don’t start over-editing. You have to say “OK. Stop. Move on and go to another story” after the 10th rewrite or so. Otherwise you’ll never quit working on that story. Because let’s face it, we never find our stories 100% perfect.
Tip 2: Learn from rejection
Every writer must dread rejection. It feels terrible to have someone reject the work where you put your heart, soul and precious time in. But it’s not the end of the world. Personally I didn’t like the rejections of course, but I didn’t mind them much. I just kept thinking “your loss”. The point is, don’t give up! Most rejections are because they only have a limited amount of manuscripts they can accept. Or because it doesn’t suit their personal taste.
But let’s get to the learning. Most rejections will be a standard form. You should put these away in a nice box and forget about them. But a lot of rejections will have small comments or perhaps even a whole list of things that the editor or agent didn’t like about your story. Read them carefully, listen to their advice, and edit your story the way you see fit. It’s still your story though! Only edit it if you agree!
The publishing world uses a lot of terms that you may be unfamiliar with. This time I’ll explain the term unsolicited manuscript.
And unsolicited manuscript is a manuscript that the editor of a publisher didn’t ask for. Therefore if you see “no unsolicited manuscripts” on the site of a publisher, it means that you can’t just send your manuscript there. You first need a request to send it. You can get a request by sending a Query letter first. If they like it, they’ll request your manuscript.