5 Must-dos Before You Submit

After months, even years, your book is done. The next step is to find a publisher.

Isn’t it?

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.

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Thinker image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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