Welcome to 2013 and all the publishing success that it contains. If you’re an as-yet unpublished author and want to be picked up by an agent or publisher, can I suggest that you make today – the first day of the year – the day you resolve to cut through all resistance (your own self-sabotage and whatever is external that’s stopping you achieving your writing goals) and GET PUBLISHED. Then you can have an awesome book launch with your friends!

Lou&Ali

90% of the process will be you deciding that publication really is what you want from life (as opposed to sitting around watching reruns of Friends) and then intending to achieve it.

Once you’ve decided that you WILL be published, there are simple steps you can take to get you there:

  1. Write a novel in draft and type The End.
  2. Edit the novel to the best of your ability – first structurally, then copy editing (grammar, spelling etc).
  3. Get critique from a crit-partner or writing group and edit again.
  4. Pay for a manuscript assessment and edit again.
  5. Get a crit partner or writing group to check your finished copy for typos.
  6. Submit your polished manuscript in the correct industry formatting to US writing competitions or Australian writing competitions (purchase the Australian Writers Marketplace for a list) or manuscript development programs with publishers or publishers slush piles or agents (if you want one).
  7. When/if you get rejected, submit to someone else. Have a list and work down the list. Be quietly confident about your work, but not boastful. Believe in it, and believe in yourself.
  8. Email me (as many of my clients have) when you get a writing contract so I can cyber-celebrate with you!

It might sound like a simple list – too simple – but the honest truth is that 95% of people I talk to about writing never even finish step one! Agents and editors have told me that 80% of people who pitch to them at conferences and who are then invited to submit their novel, never do! Can you imagine that? An editor of a big publishing house says “That sounds like an interesting idea. I’d like to see that manuscript,” and the writer goes home and does nothing about it. Crazy! But true. Self sabotage.

Have a writer friend keep you on track. Work through the list: write, edit, submit. If you work hard and have talent, it’s easier than you might think because so many people don’t take the necessary steps.

And if you’ve got any questions along the way, email me. I’d be happy to offer advice.

Good luck! (but remember, that luck is the meeting of preparation and opportunity – be prepared for your opportunity when it comes along. Make your own luck!