Each year, the editors at Revise & Resub host a #10Queries event. Writers enter to win feedback on their query and first five pages.
On the day of the event, the editors post feedback on Twitter, using the hashtags #RevPit and #10Queries.
This is of course useful for the winners, but it's also beneficial for the entire writing community. Since many writers make similar mistakes when writing query letters, writers can typically find some useful feedback in the #10Queries tweets, even if their particular work was not analyzed.
In that vein, I've compiled my feedback from the 2020 event. I hope you find some words of wisdom to guide you through the query trenches.
Read Time: 10 minutes
Anyone who has been involved in publishing during the last decade is aware that self-publishing has entirely changed the landscape of the industry. But for writers who are learning how to publish a book for the first time, the self-publishing process can be more than a little overwhelming. In this guide, we're going to break down the benefits of self-publishing and the simple steps you can take to achieve your publishing goals.
Whether you've completed your first novel-length draft or your twentieth, penning those final words is a rush. You've dedicated an incredible amount of time and energy to your manuscript, and finally reaching the end of the story can be emotional and amazing. But it can leave you asking a simple question:
Let's review a few simple steps every writer should take after completing a draft.
Read Time: 7.5 minutes
Most of my editing clients aspire to publication. They often ask me about their options for publishing their work. In the modern publishing industry, authors have more choices than ever before. That can be amazing, as it allows authors to choose the option that best suits their goals for each specific project and for their career as a whole. But it can also make it difficult to determine the best route.
Let's break down how to publish a book using the major types of publication, with the pros and cons of each option.
This is that post. The how I got my agent post.
This is exciting to write, but also a little daunting—which I suppose is why I'm writing it about a year after I signed with my agent.
During the years I spent querying, these types of posts were so helpful and encouraging. She got an agent! I will too.
So here we go. I'm going to lay out the whole sordid tale, from start to finish. And it starts in a very scary place, my friends . . . high school.
Read Time: 6 minutes
Choosing an editor is a big deal. Whether you're hiring an editor for a developmental pass or simple proofreading, you need someone who is professional, qualified, and a good fit for you and your manuscript.
Finding the perfect editor can be a daunting task. With the technology available today, distance is not a concern, so the pool of prospective editors is massive. You can hire any editor in the world, and a quick search will bring up an insane number of professionals. How do you choose?
Here are a few methods you can use to narrow down your options and make sure that each editor you consider is qualified and is a good fit for your work.
Writers—especially those working on their first books—tend to obsess over word count. Maybe that's because a manuscript's word count is one of its only truly objective elements. Character, plot, style, and voice are all difficult to define, and books change with each reader's response. But a manuscript that is 82,749 words is exactly that. So it makes sense that writers want to control this aspect that we can control, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Word count is important, especially for writers planning to pursue traditional publication, and understanding word count goals can make the drafting and editing processes more efficient. But sometimes focusing on word count can be a detriment. Let's discuss why word count is important, how to use your current and projected word count to your advantage, and when word count should be the last thing on your mind.
I'm looking for traditionally published authors to contribute to an advice page.
Published authors have a lot to offer writers still chugging along, hoping to make it to that stage: encouragement, experience, and advice.
I previously published a post compiling advice from published authors, and the response was great. Readers wrote to tell me how helpful the advice was and that it had come at the perfect time in their writing journeys.
The new post will be similar, with one catch: All contributing authors will be traditionally published. This is not because I believe traditional publishing is inherently better than self-publishing, but because traditional publishing presents a specific set of challenges that writers must overcome to become authors.
The same applies to self-publishing, and I would love to do a similar post with self-published authors in the future. Keep an eye out for that call, and drop me a comment if that sounds like something you'd like to see!
If you're a traditionally published author who has something to share about the process—be it your personal experience, advice you wish you had known earlier, or encouragement for those still in the trenches—contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or using the form below. I will contact you by email regarding next steps. Let's make this happen!
The post will include author images, bios, and links to social media, websites, and books.
Writers have to be extremely persistent, ridiculously stubborn, and just a little bit stupid. Writers experience more rejection than most people do—or could handle. Writers either develop thick skin, stop submitting, or take up drinking.
I believe that the toughness it takes to keep putting yourself out there, and being rejected, over and over is a learned skill. We're not born with emotional armor, but we develop it because the writing is more important. We make a conscious decision to prioritize our aspirations above our emotional comfort.