Jennifer Estep shares pointers on how to raise ourselves from unpublished to published with a few helpful tips:
“Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Jennifer for inviting me to the Seattle Examiner site today. Thanks so much, Jennifer!
I write the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. The first book, Spider’s Bite, came out in February, while the second book, Web of Lies, will be released on May 25. The third book in the series, Venom, will hit shelves on Sept. 28. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who runs a barbecue restaurant in her spare time.
I’m also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series. Titles in the series include Karma Girl, Hot Mama, and Jinx, and the books feature sexy superheroes, evil ubervillains, and smart, sassy gals looking for love.
Publishing is a mysterious business, and I get a lot of questions from folks about how long it took me to get published and how I did it. It seems like everyone out there has an idea for a book, but few people seem to know the steps that you need to take to get published. So today, I thought that I would share some basic tips for all you aspiring writers out there. Here goes:
Write, write, write: You can’t publish a book without, you know, actually sitting down and writing the book. A lot of folks talk about writing a book someday. If you have any hope of getting published, that day needs to be today. So get your butt in gear and start writing the story that you’ve always dreamed of.
Read, read, read: No matter what genre you like to read – romance, fantasy, mysteries, or something else – reading other people’s works will help you in your own writing. Every time you curl up with a book, pay attention to things like how the author handles descriptions or uses dialogue. If there is a specific genre that you’d like to write in, like romance or fantasy, then be sure and read widely in that genre so you can get a sense of what’s popular with agents, editors, and readers.
Do your homework: Educate yourself about all aspects of the publishing industry, everything from writing a good query letter to getting an agent to contracts. It will definitely give you a leg up on the competition. Joining a group like Romance Writers of America is a good place to start, since the group offers a wealth of information about what to do after you finish your book, including how to query agents and editors.
It’s not going to happen overnight: I wrote seven books over the course of about seven years before I sold my first novel, and my story is pretty typical of other writers out there. So don’t expect to write a book in a week and then sell it the next. It takes years for some people to sell, and their first book is usually not the one that sells.
Get used to rejection: Rejection is a part of the publishing industry. Everyone isn’t going to love every single thing that you write. You’re going to get rejected, so get used to it. I got somewhere in the neighborhood of 400-500 rejection letters from agents and editors before I sold my first book.
Don’t give up: If you’re serious about writing and getting published, if you educate yourself, and if you strive to improve with every book that you write, then it will happen for you. I’m not going to lie – it may take years. But if you keep working toward your goal, then one day, you’ll succeed. Remember, all it takes is one person to say yes.
So there you have it – some general advice for all you aspiring writers out there. Got questions? I’ll answer what I can in the comments section below.”
For more info: Visit Jennifer at her website