How do I get my book published?

Recently a friend of mine wrote to tell me she wrote a book. I love to hear that. So exciting!

My friend wanted to know how get the book published. Here’s my answer to her. Hopefully it’ll help you, too1

Congratulations on the book!

The first thing you need to know is that the majority of publishers don’t look at material unless it is presented to them through an agent. There might be some publishing houses that take unagented manuscripts, but I don’t know of any personally. You can find out about all the book publishers through this book, The Christian Writer’s Market.

The book will tell you if they accept manuscripts from unagented writers. (It also lists agents if you’re interested in one.)

For agents, they are looking for people who wish to be career writers, and not just publish one book. So that is something to consider, too.

Here are some agent’s blogs worth reading:
http://www.booksandsuch.biz/blog/
http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/
http://www.stevelaube.com/blog/

Here is an article on choosing an agent:
http://www.booksandsuch.biz/choosing-an-agent/

The article talks about choosing an agent, but the truth is they play a big part in the choosing too. My agent is Janet Grant with Books and Such. I know their agency gets 100s of requests every week for representation. Your idea needs to catch their eye. They are always looking for stellar writing and a book that meets a reader’s needs and delivers a compelling message in a fresh, new way.

Instead of sending your whole manuscript to an agent (or publisher) they first ask for a query letter. If they like your letter then they will ask for a full book proposal. If they like your book proposal they will ask for the full manuscript.

More links:

How to Write a Query Letter
http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2007/12/how-to-write-query-letter.html

How to Write a Book Proposal
http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2007/12/how-do-you-write-book-proposal.html

Additional links and information is here:
http://www.stevelaube.com/resources/selling-what-you-write/

Finally, the best way to connect with writers, editors and agents is at a writers conference. Her is a link with conference information:
http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2007/12/writers-conferences.html

My personal favorite is the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference.

It may sound like a LONG process, but like any new career it’ll take time to get to know the business. Follow other authors and editors on Facebook or Twitter. Read books on writing. Every little step takes you one step closer!



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Comments

  1. Thank you! You’re right, following authors and editors on Facebook etc has been immensely helpful. There is a lot to learn and it feels overwhelming at times. One question, I have heard from many friends that some agents can take up to a year to respond. That seems crazy to me. How long do you think someone should wait to hear back from an agent?

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

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