I am not a traditionally published author. I have never sought out to be a traditionally published author. It has honestly not been something I’ve taken into serious consideration, but if you plan to publish at all its good to take stock of all the options in order to make the best decision for you. This article
Just a few guidelines to get you in the right head space for the Traditional Publishing Journey.
#1 Be Prepared to Wait
Very rarely will your first attempt at being picked up by a publisher will be sucessful. There are many steps and many gatekeepers that make the process long and tedious.
#2 Don’t Get Discouraged
Rejection comes in many forms and will most likely come often as you submit your work. Try not to take it to heart. Even JK Rowling was rejected at the beginning of her career.
#3 Be open to criticism and change
If you are lucky enough to receive feedback from your submissions, take the criticisms and work them to your advantage. There is something to be said for creative integrity and freedoms, but if you need to change your manuscript or a minor character to get in the door, it may be in your best interest not to fight it.
With that out of the way, let’s talk process!
1.) Have a completed manuscript– I know some people will try and start the publishing process before their manuscript is complete, but how are you going to sell something that doesn’t exist. We all know that writing doesn’t always go as planned. If you are serious about getting picked up by a publisher, you need to put your best foot forward. In this
2.) Build your readership– Having an already established readership will go a long way in enticing Agents and Editors to give your work a shot. So get on social media and make some reader friends. Entice them to join your email list and share a few shorts or excerpts for your work to have them clamoring for your full length projects.
3.) Find an Agent – this step is not always necessary but comes recommended by the few of my traditionally published friends. They key is to find someone who understands your work and will passionately promote you and your best interest. Remember an Agent works for you so if you aren’t jiving with their strategy don’t feel obligated to stick around.
4.) Submit where you fit!– Do your research to mitigate rejections. Make sure wherever and to whoever you submit your work, that they specialize or are at least open to your genre and style of writing.
5.) Submit a Query– This is a widely covered topic that I have no experience with, but I found this awesome blog by Jane Friedman that covers all the important stuff.
6.) Wait and Resubmit– Most companies have a long waiting process when it comes to submissions. You will be lucky if you even get an acknowledgment of your submission in some cases. Don’t stress yourself out if you never hear back. If you do choose to resubmit after waiting an appropriate amount of time be sure to be professional about it. No one likes a snarky writer in real life.
That covers what I know about Traditional Publishing. If you are a published Author or just more knowledgeable about the process feel free to comment any additional tips!