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Whether you want to get an agent for your book, a publishing contract for your collection of poems, or some great publishing credits in literary journals, there’s really just ONE path to make your dreams come true. But don’t worry—we’ve got the map and are ready to point you in the right direction!
How To Make Your Publishing Dreams Come True In 16 Deceptively Simple Steps
1. Commit. You’ve got a long road ahead of you. Sometimes the only thing that will keep you going is your steadfast dedication.
2. Read. Don’t read like someone who just happens to enjoy reading. Read like a writer: with scrutiny, professional dedication, and seriousness.
3. Learn to write. Learn everything. Learn to create. Learn to delete what you’ve created. Learn to rewrite it again. Learn about yourself. Take classes, go to conferences, join writing groups, and talk to other writers.
4. Set clear goals. What exactly do you want? To be published in literary magazines? To get an agent for your book?
5. Organize. Map out a plan for reaching your goals.
a) Do you want a traditional book deal? Make a plan for getting a literary agent.
b) Do you want to build your reputation as a writer? Make a plan for publishing poems, stories, and personal essays in magazines.
6. Prepare. Now’s the time for research. And we mean LOTS of research—hours and hours. If you’re like many authors, you may consider this the hardest part of being a writer. You wish you could spend less time researching agents and editors, and more time actually writing.
Guess what? Writer’s Relief can do your research for you. We track THOUSANDS of literary agents, publishers, and literary magazines—and our expert submission strategists can determine which are right for you. We can compose your query and cover letters, proofread and format your work, track your responses, and advise you when you have questions. No submission spam, ever. Our 20+ years of successful submissions and happy clients are the result of ethical, personalized attention. Ask around. Read our testimonials.
7. Submit your work. Begin the long, tedious process of making the submissions you just prepared.
Again, we can help. Let US take on this burdensome task for you. You just write. Submission Guidelines.
Want to apply to Writer’s Relief to see if you’re a good fit for our client list?
We are currently accepting creative writing submissions of books (novels, memoirs, etc.), short stories, poetry, and creative nonfiction (personal essays). Submitting your work to our Review Board is easy, free, confidential, and incurs no obligations.
8. Wait for responses. Being a writer takes a lot of patience.
9. Get rejected. If you’re just starting out, expect rejections. Because guess what—even good writing sometimes gets rejected. Many literary journals and agents reject work simply because it doesn’t suit their current needs.
Here at Writer’s Relief, we must turn down about 80% of applicants to our Review Board. Our client list is deliberately small, so improve your odds of acceptance by sending only your best work! We don’t expect to take on new clients again for another few months.
10. Learn. A rejection is NOT a failure. If you’re NOT getting rejection letters, that’s a sign you’re not moving forward. You might want to think about revising or workshopping your manuscript, and then…
11. Submit work again. We’ve seen a client’s hundredth submission get an acceptance more times than we can count! Successful submissions are a numbers game—one that will ultimately lead you to your publishing goals.
12. Get rejected again. Stay strong. Keep going. And of course…
13. Learn more. You’re getting better. And closer to your dreams.
14. Submit more. Yep, more submissions.
15. Get rejected. Yep, more rejections. Are you sensing a pattern? Welcome to the writing life! Try and try again. Don’t give up hope. Don’t stop learning.
And if what you’re doing to get published just isn’t working, you can always…
16. Try something different.
a) If your current submission strategy seems scattered and ineffective…
b) If you barely have time to make the MANY submissions necessary for success…