BEACON FLASH # 25 - January 2008
Here's a question that more than one Beacon subscriber posed after BLS called for ideas last October for the monthly Flashes and e-newsletter.
G.L. asked how to find a commercial publisher for his first novel. He also wondered if he "absolutely needs an agent."
Snagging a likely publisher can be a frustrating task for unpublished authors. It takes time, even with much dedicated effort; and, yes, it's the author's investment. I liken it to serving an apprenticeship. So don't give up, G.L., here are some tips to start navigating the shoals on your voyage to publication:
- Take some courses/workshops on how to get published, either from creative writing programs near you or at a writers' conference
- Join a writers' group, either live or virtual, whose members will be a huge well of info and support
- Determine which category and sub-category your novel falls into (email BLS for more help with this)
- Find books that are similar to yours by searching www.amazon.com using keywords, and read the books you find. Decide which ones you like and why. Look at the publication page that follows the title page to determine the books' publishers. Make two lists: "Most likely" and "Possibles."
- Research the publishers on these two lists, focussing first on those that are in your country, by poring over their websites, especially looking at their "Submission Guidelines".