Thursday, 15 November 2012

Getting published: tips from the experts

Earlier this year I posted about whether or not you need an agent. Now, following the Mumsnet Blogfest, here are some other useful things to bear in mind if you want to get published.

From the publicist

1) Really research your market. What makes you different from the competition? Know your USP.

2) Make sure you can summarise your sales pitch in a few lines.

3) Blogs (per se) don't make books - you need to have a narrative arc, a beginning, middle and end and take the reader on a journey.

4) Build up your twitter/facebook following and get as much data capture as you can via your blog with sign-ups as that will really appeal to marketing departments.

Looking slightly scary on the Getting Published panel at Blogfest.
(But at least I'd remembered to brush my hair) 
From the editor

1) Putting together a decent proposal is the key to getting interest from publishers/agents. Publishers get so many of them that yours has to be as slick as possible.

2) Make sure your proposal includes information on how your platform and profile and how you will help promote your book.

3) Make sure you can explain what singles your book out from everyone else's.

4) (as per previous post) Many of the large publishers no longer really accept unsolicited manuscripts so it's best to get an agent on board as a starting point.

5) A full chapter breakdown/synopsis are also important, as is sample writing. In fiction you need to supply more sample writing than in non-fiction.

From the author (Bestselling YA writer Keren David)

1)  Develop a very thick skin about rejection. Don't take it personally and don't be too precious.

2) If you get the chance, work with an agent and an editor to make your book the best that it can be.

3) In fiction be wary of the adage 'write what you know' - it can make it harder not easier.

Image by Anna Gordon


  1. Great tips Cari! Thanks for sharing and for summarising it so well. I was too busy admiring your tidy hair to take notes at the time ;)

    1. That definitely ranks as one of my favourite comments of all time : ) You'll be pleased to know I have reverted to the dragged-through-a hedge-backwards look

  2. Great tips, thanks for sharing xx

  3. Have a look at today's post. What do you think? Have I got what it takes??