How to take the Publishing Plunge


This is quite fun really.

Pretend you don’t want it. Pretend it’s not your life’s ambition and that your existence will not come crashing down around your skinny ankles if you fail.

Stop rereading your first three chapters. They’re not getting any better. You can’t actually see the words that are on the page anymore. So just stop. They’re fine. Will you be rejected because of a typo? Maybe. Would you want an agent who rejected you because of one anyway? Don’t say yes. The answer is no. Because, let’s face it, spell-check and eagle-eyes be damned, your manuscript is riddled with them.

Pick people who don’t want you. Get a taste for the ole form rejection. Build up a resistance. Send it to agents who specifically say they don’t want what you’re writing. If they have a dragon with a line through it, they are perfect. Send it to publishers who take commercial women’s fiction. If they publish books with watercolour covers and shiny titles that look like enlarged versions of pretty handwriting, they are beyond perfect.

Write your synopsis. You’ve already researched. You’ve even written a few. Practice is good. Now stop looking for the key to your perfect summary. No one offering advice has or will read your book. They can’t tell you how to condense it. Just do it. Cut out all but the most important stuff and get it done. Ruin the story. Give away the ending. Man up. If you think they expect you to pull them through all the twists and turns and ups and downs of your story in one page…well maybe they do, but I can’t. So there.

Write the shortest cover letter ever. And state the obvious as little as possible. You’ve written a book you say? No shit. You’ve included the first three chapters? Go figure. You’d be happy to send them the whole whopping thing? Get out! Seriously, nothing in my life is relevant. So I shan’t waste their time.

Remember, they don’t want your book anyway. It’s not THAT pivotal.

You won’t send a less-than-ready submission. It’s not in you to send out something that’s shoddy and is all but tea-stained and curling up at the corners. It will be polite, grammatically sound, and to the point. It will be the first step.

And it’s happening TOMORROW. Eek!

Tomorrow is good. I like Tuesdays.


In case anyone is wondering, and I know they’re not, the daily blog commitment was suspended for the holidays. Don’t fret; writing and editing continued, naturally. But I didn’t want to rise out of my little fairy-light-filled bubble and speak to the world.