Recently a friend of mine wrote to tell me she wrote a book. I love to hear that. So exciting!
My friend wanted to know how get the book published. Here’s my answer to her. Hopefully it’ll help you, too.
Congratulations on the book!
The first thing you need to know is that the majority of publishers don’t look at material unless it is presented to them through an agent. There might be some publishing houses that take unagented manuscripts, but I don’t know of any personally. You can find out about all the book publishers through this book, The Christian Writer’s Market.
The book will tell you if they accept manuscripts from un-agented writers. (It also lists agents if you’re interested in one.)
For agents, they are looking for people who wish to be career writers, and not just publish one book. So that is something to consider, too.
The article talks about choosing an agent, but the truth is they play a big part in the choosing too. My agent is Janet Grant with Books and Such. I know their agency gets 100s of requests every week for representation. Your idea needs to catch their eye. They are always looking for stellar writing and a book that meets a reader’s needs and delivers a compelling message in a fresh, new way.
Instead of sending your whole manuscript to an agent (or publisher) they first ask for a query letter. If they like your letter then they will ask for a full book proposal. If they like your book proposal they will ask for the full manuscript.
Finally, the best way to connect with writers, editors and agents is at a writers conference. My personal favorite is the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference.
It may sound like a LONG process, but like any new career it’ll take time to get to know the business. Follow other authors and editors on social media. Read books on writing. Every little step takes you one step closer!