Thursday, November 20, 2008

On It Goes...

Many a writing site will shout to the masses gathered, a writer continues to learn regardless of how successful they become. Even I have coined the phrase "Only dead writers are incapable of improvement" - and I'm really beginning to understand why.

Not only do we have a continual upward curve in mastering our craft, there are so many little things one has to get right to make it.

I've touted Alex's writing structure lessons enough this week so you should all be aware of that side of things.

But on the business side, it just keeps coming. Lets say you have gained a respectable mastery over the craft, and your time management skills, to be able to produce a marketable manuscript.
How do you go about getting it published?

Step 1: Research agents and publishers who may be a good fit to sell your masterpiece to. This is a long and in depth process requiring you to learn all about the the market out there.

Step 2: Write the query letter. I've got links on my sidebar about how to do this. It seems most writers are now recognising this important step. So much so it has prompted this article from Stephen Barbara. Send out the query and wait for requests for partials or fulls (or the query occasionally goes out with a package as in step 4)

Step 3: Write a synopsis - again there are links in the sidebar and all over the Internet. This sometimes goes out with step 2, sometimes with step 4.

Step 4: Put together a professional package containing your work shopped query, synopsis, and the first 'x' chapters of your manuscript as requested. (Step 2, 3 , 4 will be dependant on the guidelines clearly defined on each agency/publishers website)

Step 5: Wait

Step 6: Wait some more or preferably start work on the next project. Don't stop writing.

Step 7: Run around the house doing the happy dance when you gain representation.

Step 8: Begin rewrites (Now there is a huge amount of steps which take place between 8 and 9, many of which I'm not fully aware of at this point in my career)

Step 9: Work closely with your representation on getting your book to the publication date.

Step 10: Do everything you can, above and beyond whatever your agent/publisher ask, to self market your new book.

Step 11: Do happy dance as your baby is released to the public.

As far as I knew, this was the (very) basic process. Now I have a new step to add thanks to this post by Lauren Lise Baratz-Logsted at the Red Room. This would happen during step 9, but before the covers are finalised.

See what I mean, always something new to learn. I'm guessing when I finally get to go through the publishing process, it'll be completely different and I'll be resetting my expectations and assumptions all over again, once more renewing the learning cycle.

Ah, the love of learning...

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