Scrabble Writing

Single best resource on how to get your book published:

Jane Friedman – Writing, reading, and publishing in the digital age

What you have to KNOW to get published:

  • What’s the hook of your story – what’s going to pull the reader in?
  • What is the action of the story? What moves the story along; what are the characters going to do that will hold the attention of the reader? What is your non-fiction book going to teach readers that they don’t already know?
  • Why is your story different? What separates it from every other book out there? Why is what YOU have to say so important? How is it unique?

What you have to DO to get published:

  • Write your book – more often than not, no agent or publisher will give you a second thought unless you already have a finished product.
  • Research agents – for the most part, publishing houses don’t look at anything not represented by an agent.
  • Write a stellar query letter. There are multitudes of online resources and books to help you craft yours!

How to survive the wait to get published; or, what I wish I had known ten years ago!

  • Give up coffee, take up yoga.
  • Remember it only takes the right pair of eyes. Make this your mantra.
  • Be willing to revise…and revise some more – the best writers are those who can hit the delete button and not mourn it (too much!)
  • Understand it takes a lot of time to make all of this happen – after writing your book, be prepared for at least a two-year journey.

RESOURCES

Typewriter - Once Upon a Time
To get those creative juices flowing:

  • Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind, by Natalie Goldberg. If you are the type of writer who enjoys structured exercises, these are definitely the books for you. Short chapters, easy to read, and thought provoking.
  • Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott. The book I return to again and again to remind myself of how this writing-life works.
  • The Artist’s Way, by Julie Cameron. Terrific program to enhance creativity, for those extra-determined types. Excellent choice to thumb through on those bad days when you can’t believe you ever thought you could be a writer.
  • Escaping into the Open, by Elizabeth Berg. Beyond inspiring. This woman is down to earth about the writing process, how to access the author within.
  • On Writing, by Stephen King. Practical, tell it like it is, sit your butt down in front of the computer and get it done. Fabulous motivation, dispels a lot of the myths around the need for inspiration to write. It’s a job – sit down and do it advice.

To approach agents/publishers once your book is complete:

  • How to get Your Book Published, by Robert Bly.
  • Write the Perfect Book Proposal: 10 That Sold and Why, by Jeff Herman.
  • Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents: Who They are, What they Want, and how to Win them over!, by Jeff Herman. (Anything by Jeff Herman is an excellent resource.)
  • How to Write Irresistible Query Letters, by Lisa Collier Cool.
  • How to Write Attention Grabbing Query and Cover Letters, by John Wood.