Christopher of the Story Reading Ape has passed along a nice post by Vian De Bod about traditional publishing.
De Bod doesn’t mention a couple very important points with traditional publishing. You still need to work with an editor before you try and sell you manuscript (ms) to an agent or publishing house. As you probably know, there is A LOT of competition out there, so your ms has to be the best it can be before you even think about selling it. That mean hiring an editor (after you’ve had your beta readers have a crack at it, of course.)
And De Bod suggests you need an agent. I agree. It’s really the only way to get your book noticed. But how to find an agent?
That’s not an easy thing. You can get the “Writer’s Marketplace” out of the library and find agents that way (always going to their website to get the latest information on submission requirements). But I have an even better way!
I would suggest finding writer’s conferences in your area that have agents that are taking pitches. Getting to talk to a real agent is the best way to get in the door. Then practice, practice, practice your pitch. I’m sure if you googled “pitching to a book agent” you’ll get lots of advice. And sometimes those writer’s conferences will give you workshops on just that topic. I know my local conference will.
I am speaking at such a confernece – The Wisconsin Writers’ Institute – in April 12-15, Madison, WI.
I’m speaking on two self-publishing panels dealing with self-publishing with three other wonderful self-published authors (Valerie Biel, Kimberli Bindschatel, Ann Voss Peterson). There will be agents at this conference and lots of information about “the Pathway to Publication,” including traditional publishing.
Conferences are also a great way to connect with other authors, maybe even some that already have agents. Ask around. Maybe their agent would be willing to take a look at your ms.