Friday 20 June 2008

What next?

Tell Me a Story
Hello Anthony, I have almost finished my first novel, what are the next steps I need to take to get published, become successful, and make lots of money?
Make lots of money? Wow, hang on there a moment, Joanne. Very few novelists make sufficient money to live on - most have to keep their day jobs to survive. However, you might be the exception, so take heart.
  1. The first thing is to put your book in a drawer for a month or so. At the moment it’s all too fresh in your mind. Take a breather, write something completely different and recharge your mind.
  2. Next, check it over it with a specialist eye, do your editing. Check spelling and grammar, chop, cut, and slash unwanted bits.
  3. Remember that sometimes it's what you don't say that makes a novel great and has readers turning the pages.
  4. Make sure there are no purple bits, cut out all adverbs and adjectives unless you're confident you can't do without them. Over-writing makes your work look unprofessional.
  5. After all this refinement, once your work shines, send a letter of submission to an agent. Make it short, polite and to the point. Include genre, word count and a short synopsis (look to book blurb for an example) don’t plead, don't promise, just ask respectfully and you MIGHT get a reply.

Be prepared to suffer rejections though, all authors do. As for money.... according to the grapevine, out of 150,000 books published each year, 100,000 will not sell more than 100 copies. Money? Hardly! Sorry, but the majority of novelists don't get rich.

YOU might just be the exception though. I wish you luck.

Next post on Tell Me a Story.

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