Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What You Need To Get Published

This is it, the one-stop shopping place for all the insider info that will get you published! It's a simple, nine-step process that will take you a long way in the publishing world.


What You Need To Get Published:

1. Patience;
2. A Thick Skin (to deal with the multitude of rejection letters you're going to get);
3. Patience;
4. A Good Idea (a great one is better);
5. Patience;
6. Dedication (to improving your craft);
7. Patience;
8. Free Time (to pursue your new writing career);
and lastly,
9. Patience (or, as I like to think of it, Patience to the Fifth Power).

That's it. Yes, having loads of talent will help you out, but you know what? If you have a thick enough skin to not be crushed by the rejections and the dedication to you improving your craft based on feedback you get from said rejections or readers, you can become a proficient writer.

Raw talent is nice, but raw talent will only take you so far. The genius writers of this world still need to have an idea that will convince editors the project will sell. They will be rejected. They will need to revise to meet market expectations, and they will need to find the time to do all of this.

If you look at the the Pillars of the Authorial World--your Stephen Kings, your J.K. Rowlings, even your Nicolas Sparks--you'll notice a reoccurring theme. Yes, we look at them now and see 'talent,' but all you have to do is go back and read about how they got started. King is famous for the spike he impaled his rejections on. Rowling refused to give up. Criticism bounces off Sparks like a rubber ball.

The trick of this is that no matter what you've got--talent coming out the wazoo or a laser-like dedication to your goals--more than anything else, you have to be patient. Nothing in the publishing world happens quickly.

Agents can take up to a year to reply to your queries. I got a rejection 13 months after I sent off my stuff, after my agent had already signed me.

Your readers, whether they are your mother or your critique group, all have their own lives. They do not sit around the computer, waiting on pins and needles for you to email them stuff so they can read it. (No, not even your mother.)

Editors take months to get back to agents. And then, when you finally get that contract, you've got another 18 to 24 months before that book makes it to a shelf near you (less for e-publishing, but not by a whole lot).

Patience is the rose-colored glass through which a pre-published author needs to view the world. Patience is what you really, truly need to get published.

So there ya go. What You Need To Get Published, in nine, super-simple steps.

You're welcome.


lucylucia said...

Wise words. How are your tulips coming up since the last post??

Sarah M. Anderson said...

Lucy, they're just starting!

Blythe Gifford said...

You just have to write the Best Book You Can Write. Send it off. Then, write a Better One. Send that one off. Then, write a Better One than the last one. Send that on off. Rinse and repeat. See how simple? And guess what? That's the same thing you do AFTER you sell.

Sarah M. Anderson said...

Blythe, a two step process? It's just crazy enough to work!