- By Winston Kuwada
- Published 03/6/2012
If you are writing an novel, then give yourself a pat on the back. Many people would love to do what you are doing, but don’t have the motivation or energy to get started. Lots of people feel they have what it takes to come up with an interesting story, but very few people sit down to make it happen. One of the reasons is basic human nature. Many people want to achieve something, but don’t really understand what goes into being able to achieve it. Then when they get started, and realize how long and difficult it’s going to be, they decide it’s really not worth the effort after all. This is part of the human condition. The fact that you yourself are writing a novel is a testament to the likelihood that you will be successful. One of the biggest disappointments for most people who have finished their first novel is that they still have a long road ahead of them. Often times, getting a deal with a publisher can take longer than it took to write the novel itself. Many people have the idea that it’s relatively easy to find an agent and a publisher, but this isn’t the case. If you’ve just finished writing your novel, then you are just getting started.
The first thing you’ll need to do is find an agent to represent you. Most publishers these days won’t even talk to
you unless you’ve got an agent. And not just any agent, but an agent who has represented some profitable authors in the past. With the current explosion of ebook publishing, the profit margins of traditional publishers are slimmer than ever. So how do you find an agent? You’re going to have to send out tons of query letters. These are letters that contain a brief synopsis of who you are, what your novel is about, and why you think it will be successful. And expect to send out a lot of letters. Depending on your story and genre, you can take up to three or four hundred letters to finally get an agent to represent you. Of course, most of this can be done by email, but it still takes plenty of time, and a lot of rejection. You definitely need to develop a thick skin. Once you find an agent, be prepared to change your novel. The agent might like it enough to start, but they may feel you need to change some things around before you have any chance of getting published. Once you’ve changed your novel around to meet the requirements of our agent, then the waiting begins. They’ve got to shop it around to various publishers. While they are doing this, then get started (if you haven’t already) on your next novel.
While it takes a lot of time, getting a publishing deal with your first novel isn’t impossible. It just takes a lot of time and patience. Keep at it, and don’t give up.