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Quotes tagged “publishing a book”
So if you want to be traditionally published, you've got to grow accustomed to having other cooks in your kitchen. That doesn't mean they're going to turn your pumpkin pie into a kale salad. That means they're going to make your stew more delicious. It's a team effort.”
There's this thing we call LIFT -- this unteachable, unforceable element of a book that makes it fill your heart with excitement. It makes a series sticky, makes a character someone you care about like they're real. It's a tough code to crack. Agents can see it. You need it.
The slush pile = your reaction to the test is part of the test. If you get 5 query rejections and want to quit, this might not be the job for you. You've got to find your reason to push through the self-doubt and fear. How much are you willing to fail?
But I can tell you with 100% accuracy when your book ISN'T ready and when you SHOULDN'T query, and that is December 1, after you've won NaNoWriMo. Do yourself a favor and edit that book properly. Do your work before attempting to query. Agents remember garbage queries.
Oh, and a tip for querying and live pitching at conferences: 95% of the time, saying, "This book is like nothing ever written before!" doesn't signal that you're the next JK Rowling. It says you haven't read widely in your genre or have disdain for it. Pick a different hook.
And when I think back to editing my first 2 books, the pre-agent books, I remember how hard I was on myself. I was learning a new skill set. I wasn't born knowing how to edit a book. It took a few messes and some guidance. No one expects you to get it right the 1st time.”
Here's some tough love: It's very rare that your 1st book is the one that will get an agent or a sale. For most pro writers I know (NOT ALL; DON'T @ ME), our 1st book is great practice that is ultimately trunked. Start writing book 2 while you query. Forward momentum!
How do you know when it's time to trunk your 1st book? * When you honestly can't think of a single way to improve it further * When you've got 60+ rejections and are out of agents to query * When you're sick of it and have a new story idea WRITE THE NEXT BOOK and query again.
The painful truth is that if your goal is to be traditionally published, you can't cling to 1 book forever. You can't write 7 books in the series and expect someone to buy them. You've got to write 1 great book, query it, repeat-- until you get an agent/sale. Period.
And as I say with every one of these writing advice threads: This is all based on my experience in the world of traditional publishing. YMMV. You may disagree. Every journey is different. There are outliers. You do you. May the odds be ever in your favor.”
1. If they take more than a week to return a simple email, more than 6 weeks w edits
2. If you've been working on a book for over a year and still haven't gone on sub.
3. That sinking feeling...”
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This page was created by our editorial team. Each page is manually curated, researched, collected, and issued by our staff writers. Quotes contained on this page have been double checked for their citations, their accuracy and the impact it will have on our readers.
Kelly Peacock is an accomplished poet and social media expert based in Brooklyn, New York. Kelly has a Bachelor's degree in creative writing from Farieligh Dickinson University and has contributed to many literary and cultural publications. Kelly assists on a wide variety of quote inputting and social media functions for Quote Catalog. Visit her personal website here.
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