Yep – I get that a lot.
So many people have a story to tell. Whether it’s their own, or one they made up in their head. And of course, the smart thing to do is get some advice from someone who has walked that path before.
So here is an excerpt from a letter I sent to someone – maybe like you – who asked the question – “How do I get started?”
Dear Friend –
You may know some of this stuff already, but in case you don’t, this is where I would tell any friend to get started.
First – here is my agent’s blog http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com
Rachelle represents about 1/2 Christian market and 1/2 ABA (American bookseller asst.). She has GREAT info on her site for anyone in publishing. I always say, don’t tell her I referred you without reading EVERYTHING on her site about her process of submitting your manuscript. (And even then, let me know you’re dropping my name!)
Also here is another agent’s site for an agent who represents only ABA books:
I love his posts. I would recommend that you look thought their old posting and look at Rachelle’s most asked questions. That would be a great place to get started.
Also, I would take a look at books that are similar to yours in genre. If you were writing a book about your cross-country trip with your cat you would need to decide is it more “Honeymoon with my Brother” but with a cat, or “Dewey- The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World”, but on the road. (I know each book is unique, but it helps to know where it fits to be able to describe it.) You need a concise way to describe it to editors and agents. (And don’t say, “There has never been a book like it in the history of publishing. You’re wrong. You just haven’t looked hard enough…)
Finally, the best way to get picked up by an agent/editor is to attend a conference. Start googling writer’s conferences and looking at what might work for you.
A writer’s conference is a crash course in getting published. Classeminars.org has a great conference each year, as well as the Writer’s conference at Mt. Hermon CA. but I’m sure there are some that are much closer to you if you’re on the east coast.
For non-fiction, you will only need an outline and usually the first two or three chapters. (Fiction you need the whole book to be finished. Those pesky editors want to make sure you have a good finish to the book!)
Those are just some things to get you started.
Q4U – If this is something you are interested in doing – writing – what are your questions? I will answer them in the coming days.