I wrote my first novel in eight weeks. I was like a golfer focused on my first swing, mastering the use of my drivers. The problem with focusing on your driver is that you eventually need to pull out your irons and putter, maybe even a pitching wedge and sand wedge. I had finished my manuscript, but didn’t know what to do next.
Getting a novel published doesn’t happen on the tee-box. That’s just the first swing. After that, you have to keep working. You need a strategy.
S is for Strategy
Writing a novel is fun, but if you want to be a novelist, you need a strategy. Here are some things to consider.
Deadline: Even if you aren’t under contract, give yourself a deadline. Otherwise you may find yourself on the same manuscript for ten years, writing, editing, re-writing. It won’t get published if you don’t finish it submit it. Decide when you’re going to do that and do it.
Critiques: If you’re serious about getting a novel published, get some critiques from fellow writers. Family and friends aren’t enough. (And put on your big girl pants, because some of the comments won’t be easy to accept).
Query: It’s never too late to start thinking about where you’re going to pitch your novel – agents or publishers? Once you know that, you need a query letter. Find some samples and practice (maybe even send it to your critique partners!).
Move on: Once the manuscript if finished, critiqued, edited, and queried, move on. Start the next novel. Don’t sit back and wait for a contract – keep writing. It may be the fifth or sixth book that really grabs an agent’s eye.
This is a basic list of things to consider. You can also attend conferences and join writer’s groups. Buy some books. They thing is you need an action plan. Form a strategy and get writing!
QUESTION: What’s your strategy for getting published?