Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Few Thoughts on Getting Published

THE STAR THIEF will be out in paperback in just a few weeks now! 
As my debut year comes to a close, and we reach the birthday, or perhaps bookiversary of Honorine and her constellations launching into the world, I have some thoughts about how I got here, that I thought I should share. 

At one point during this past year, I found myself at a book event, discussing the long, grueling publishing process with a fellow writer. They knew I was traditionally published, and asked how I had found my agent. It was pretty simple, actually. Querying. 

My fellow writer was surprised. 

They told me they had never heard of any writer actually finding representation that way. To them, it sounded impossible. 

But reader, it is not. It is difficult. It can be slow. But it is definitely possible. In fact, I would have to say most of the published writers I've met found their agents with cold queries and patience. 

My query process started years ago. At the time, just learning how to write a query letter, and that I even needed to look for an agent seemed overwhelming. 

I did what I was comfortable with and able to do. I queried, and worked on my writing while I waited for replies. That and time was really all it took. I would have loved to spend time getting my MFA, attending conferences, going to the big book conventions, but I had neither the time nor the funds as a baby writer. I spent my time on craft.

This is all to say that I see writers worry that they need to do things beyond writing to eventually reach publication. While these things might be fun, and might help you improve your craft, they aren't requirements.

If you can't get to conferences, you can still get published.
If you can't spend time in an MFA program, you can still get published.
If you didn't study creative writing in college, you can still get published.
If you don't attend conventions, you can still get published.
If you don't have any idea how online pitch contests work, you can still get published.

What you must do to get your book published is finish it. What you must do to get your book finished is write it. What you must do to improve your writing is read widely and write consistently, however that works for you. There are no other requirements. Read, write, submit. It is possible. 

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