After months, even years, your book is done. The next step is to find a publisher.
Maybe not. Sending your manuscript off as soon as you think it’s done won’t wash in today’s highly competitive market.
Before you click Send, make certain your manuscript is ready.
- Revise again
You get only one opportunity with a publisher or agent—don’t blow it. Read Revision and Self-editing by James Scott Bell and find ways to improve your draft. Work through Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. (Both are available through the Guild’s online bookstore.)
- Get critiqued
Submit your manuscript to a critique/editing service. Check the list of editorial services in The Christian Writer’s Market Guide (also in our store). Good critiques cost, but are worth every cent.
- Develop a book proposal
Most publishers want to see a proposal, then, if they’re interested, will ask to see your entire manuscript. W. Terry Whalin’s Book Proposals that Sell walks you through this vital step. If you’re a Guild member, start with this recent two-part blog on writing a proposal: Part 1and Part 2.
- Become a contestant
Enter your manuscript in a contest, such as Operation First Novel, the ACFW Genesis, or Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel. The Christian Writer’s Market Guide lists more contests.
- Confer with professionals
Attend a writer’s conference to meet agents and editors. Networking is vital.
Pursuing your dream of publication takes persistence. Send only your best.
Michele Huey takes time from working on her current manuscript, a historical fiction, to find a cozy corner and read. She also writes an award-winning column, is a Christian Writers Guild mentor, and preaches for a small congregation between pastors. Visit her website and her blog.