Since most editors rarely read unsolicited queries, proposals, or manuscripts unless they’re sent to them by an agent, you will need to sign on with an agent to sell your book to a publisher. But agents, like editors, take on only a few clients each year.
So if editors don’t take unsolicited queries or proposals, and agents sign on few authors, you might think it’s impossible to get published. Writing takes hard work, but it’s not impossible to experience success.
Now is the time to examine your priorities. Decide whether you want to be a published author, or whether you’d rather watch your favorite TV program or sports team. Writing is a craft, and you need to practice.
Do you think James Patterson or Frank Peretti or Jerry Jenkins were born with tiny fingers tapping out golden words? Of course not. They were born with the same burning desire to write that drives you. What makes them stand out are the reams of word-covered paper they tossed into the trashcan before they ever published their first books. They practiced, and they never gave up.
Before you can interest an agent or editor in you as an author, you first need to write and rewrite your manuscript. Then learn the art of pitching your story. A professional proposal with polished sample chapters will impress an agent that you have what it takes to succeed.
If you don’t know how to write a query letter or a proposal, check out Agent Rachelle Gardner’s website at www.rachellegardner.com or other agent websites to find out what they look for in a query or proposal. Before your proposal ever lands on an editor’s desk, an agent will work with you to make it the best it can be.
In the meantime, your homework is to read as many agent blogs and websites as you can. Read and analyze proposals. Your breakthrough may be just around the corner.
Please let me know how today’s blog has helped you. This becomes a two-way conversation when you post a comment. Often I jump back on the blog during the day and will answer your questions or respond to your comments. I have both published and unpublished authors who read this blog, and we’d love to hear from you so that we can learn from your experience. Let’s talk!