Do you actually have a clear goal? And if you do have a goal, then are you any closer to it?
Because I don’t want you to hang about too long before taking some action. You may be hanging around for years. So you need to mix the dream with some really practical steps to get your book down on paper and to start the journey to getting published.
I am going to outline the very real steps it takes to get published .... see if you are stuck at any of these places.
If you want to get published you have to have a plan, as well as the follow through.
I like to see the writing process as having a few necessary steps. Each of these take a long time. And I mean loooooong (and that often surprises writers). Most books I send out take 4 – 6 months to even get a ‘yes we will look at more’ or a 'no' REPLY. The 'no' often comes faster than the 'yes'.
No, it's not for us
No, our book list is full for next year
No, we are not going to take you up on on this. Good luck.
As an author you need to work backwards and you will see it will take you close to two years from your idea to publication. There are no real shortcuts.
But then you are in it for the long haul right? Writing a book is not a passing fancy. It is a big thing. If it’s just a whim, well then you will quit after about 20,000 words when you realise what it really takes. It takes tenacity, perseverance and staying power.
Step 1: Get clear on your genre and story
Step 2: Bash out your first draft
Step 3: Take a bit of a break
Step 4: Rewrite and edit like a boss
Step 5: Craft your book one last time.
Step 6: Prepare all those pesky documents you need to submit a book to publishers
Step 7: Send it out to at least 20 publishers. Cry a bit. Want to give up.
Step 8: Wait for up to a year, and keep sending while you wait.
Writing a book is a calling and if you hear the calling you will walk the entire path to the end. Don’t give up on any of these steps.
There are so many articles and videos on the craft of writing on this site. Feel free to browse. If you want regular updates on publishers calls for submissions and writing tips sign up to the newsletter below.
What else can you do coming up?
Get on the list for the next online Four Months to Complete your Book Mentorship. Starts 1 February. By application only. Places are limited and filling fast.
Join our 2019 Writing Retreat or Residency in Lesbos, Greece.
Walk and Write in Spain with us in green Asturias in Sept 2019
Write for Magazines and Build Your Brand, 1 December, Cape Town, South Africa
Sarah Bullen is a writing coach, agent and book editor. She is a structure fanatic and coaches writers on how to write and get published.