|Posted by Diana Mylek on January 31, 2011 at 9:54 PM|
In order to be published you must be published. Yep. What you have to do is get your name out there, get publishing credits behind your name. Do this by submitting to magazines, trade publications, your local newspaper, anything! Every time your name is in print or on the web its’ a publishing credit. Agents and publishers are looking for proven sales and this helps to make you look like you know the business. *Self published books are not considered a real book credit. Yep, stinks, I know. If you sell a lot of self-published books it will look much better for you, because it’s all about money and sales. So go ahead, write about anything and everything and get your name out there. Then you will be more likely to be picked up by a publisher or agent.
Two words that strike the fear in the heart of every author but are also your best friends:
Query and Synopsis
Query. This is a short, one page or less pitch for your book. Study these online, look at others’ examples and especially pay attention to the publisher’s web site instructions as to HOW to write these. Many—MOST publishers will only allow you to send them a query. This is your first impression and your big chance to catch the publisher’s eye about your book. I have a sample for you to see and general instructions about how to write these, see attachment.
Synopsis. This is the reader’s digest version of your book. It should be the story from beginning to end, no cliff hangers! But not more than two or three pages—again check with the individual publishers’ web site to see HOW they want it printed and sent. BE professional and act as if you have done this a million times even though you never have! They don’t know! NEVER EVER SAY OR WRITE ANYTHING CUTSEY ON YOUR QUERY OR SYNOPSIS. THIS IS ONLY A PROFESSIONAL DOCUMENT. DON’T USE CUTE FONTS OR SAY THINGS LIKE I REALLY WANT TO BE PUBLISHED TO SHOW MY FAMILY THAT I CAN DO IT, ETC. Both the synopsis and the query are a showcase for your writing and should reflect the tone of your novel or manuscript. Again, see attached samples.
Manuscripts. Never, ever send a complete manuscript unless the publisher or agent specifically requests it. It makes you look like an amateur and gets tossed in the garbage. So you’ve spent all that money for nothing. I learned this the hard way. Save all your receipts though—any money spent trying to get published is tax-deductible. If you are fortunate enough to have your manuscript requested, be sure to write boldly on the envelope, “REQUESTED MATERIAL”. They will be looking for it. Again, make sure your material is professional looking according to that publisher’s standards. Research this on the website. Most of them want your manuscript double spaced, Times-Roman 12 pt font.
You can get published. There are so many ways. This is just a quick summary. Be vigilant, research, and most of all, keep writing.