Ways With Words
Complex Topics in Simple Language!

Use both barrels!

Writers trying to get their first book published almost invariably find themselves in a Catch-22 situation.

You send off your sample chapters to a publisher and — if they bother to reply at all — they tell you to find an agent before they (the publisher) will take you on.

So you contact a handful of agents, and they all tell you the same thing: they only take on new authors who already have a publisher lined up.

Suddenly, you're the ball in a game of ping-pong!

This was the situation 25 years ago, and the only thing that has changed is that there are now millions more writers in search of publication. Yes, millions!

Twenty-five years ago, book publishers were swamped by unsolicited manuscripts. Now they're drowning in them.

So what's a writer to do?

The first thing to realise is that you have to launch a two-pronged attack: keep pestering literary agents and pub­lish­ers.

Why? The arrival of the eBook has been marked by a revers­al in the trend that saw fewer people reading books. Now reader numbers on the rise again. And they're seeking new literary experiences, with a strong drift into fantasy novels and the young adult genre.

For this reason, while publishers have more work than they can handle, they are still on the lookout for the next Harry Potter or a budding E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey).

At the same time, agents remain hungry for manuscripts they can sell to pub­lish­ers because that’s how they make a living. In addition, an agent who 'discovers' a new best-selling author earns huge kudos . . . and the power to demand a higher commission.

But before you rush back to your computer or typewriter, be sure to read our chapters on Choosing a Publisher and Targeting Publishers.

For more about getting published, click a relevant link below.

Agent or Publisher?
♦  Making a Submission
♦  Choosing a Publisher
♦  Content Guidance
♦  Editing
♦  eBook Conversion
♦  Format Conversion
♦  Rewriting
♦  Plot Evaluation
♦  Proof-reading
♦  Self-publishing
♦  Translation
♦  Typescript Layout
♦  Your Unpublished Book Reviewed

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