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7 Steps to Writing Your Book and Getting it Published

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How to Find a Literary Agent

Throughout my busy days – which usually involve a lot of editing, some reading, and unfortunately only a smudge of socializing – I receive a heap of emails asking how to find a literary agent.

Well that’s a good question to ask. And not such a good question to answer. Mainly because I find it pretty boring. But hey, I know you writers NEED this kind of wisdom, so here goes… an article which tells you exactly how to find a literary agent (in the hope that I stop receiving so many emails asking the same question)!

And as we all tend to follow instructions far better when presented with steps, that’s just what I present to you now…

Step 1.

First, make sure your manuscript is finished and polished. It’s always a good idea to have it professionally edited if you can afford it. I can’t stress this enough…NEVER send an unfinished manuscript to an agent, or you’ll be the cause of another grey hair and another rejection.

Step 2.

Now that your manuscript is shining brightly, spend some time on the internet getting to know the business. Today it’s not enough to have just written a good book. You’ll need to read blogs, talk to booksellers, attend writing conferences, speak to authors, and anything else you can possibly think of. Agents may be impressed with your knowledge and that’s always a good sign.

Step 3.

To find an agent the best way through the door is by getting a referral. An effective way of going about this is to join local writing groups so your work will be seen by other established writers. Another idea is to get your stories published in magazines, sign up to online writer’s communities, and make a ton of author virtual friends.

Step 4.

If you don’t land a referral then try to write a query letter describing your work. Change your letter according to the agent you’re submitting to in order to demonstrate your knowledge.

Step 5.

Find agents to post your letter to. A Google search is always a good idea. Try to target agents who represent your genre. Before you post anything off, find the agent’s submission guidelines and follow them with precision.

Step 6.

Wait patiently for a request to see your partial or in some cases, full manuscript.

So there you go – six easy-to-follow steps so you know exactly how to find a literary agent for your manuscript.

Good luck…sending you Light!
Your Book Angel xxx

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Self-Publishing Your Book

Authors have been self-publishing their own books successfully for over one hundred years.
Take a look at this list of a few of the well-known authors who began their amazing writing careers by self-publishing their own book.

  • Oscar Wilde
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Mark Twain
  • Beatrix Potter
  • Deepak Chopra
  • Virginia Woolf
  • John Grisham
  • Christopher Paolini (Eragon)

So if they were able to do it, all those years ago, there’s nothing to stop you from doing the same. All you need is access to a computer and an internet connection.

There has never been a better time for self-publishing your book to sell it internationally. Not only can you use modern publishing methods to keep your book ‘in print’ for as long as you want, but you can expand your writing talent and publish more and more books every year, or even every month depending on how much time you have.

But remember, when self-publishing your book you must carry out all the work that a traditional publisher would have done on your behalf. This includes printing, shipping, distribution and paperwork.

Here are some tips to help you along your self-publishing journey:
  • Make sure your book is proofread thoroughly. It will look bad on you and your book if it has typing errors and/or poor layout. It’s worth the money to hire a professional editor to read your book.
  • Add a great description to your book. That way, it’ll attract more customers.
  • Publicity is the key, so spend some time learning how to promote your book effectively and to the right target market. Note: Later lessons in this course teach you lots of ways to promote your book.
  • Research has revealed that book-buying customers look at three things: The front cover, rear cover and table of contents. Take the time to make these three places sing and spend money on them if you have to – the time and money will pay off.
  • List your books on Amazon.com. Allow plenty of time to write the ‘publisher’s comments’ and make sure the text is precise, grammatically flawless and well written. Potential book buyers will use this to make a decision about buying your book.
  • Send two copies of the book to Amazon.com (following instructions at their site) so that the book can be made available on the ‘search inside this book’ feature.
  • Write intelligent and interesting reviews of similar subject books at amazon.com, and create a signature. Send free copies to anyone who may have an interest in this topic and ask that they write a review at amazon.com. Books with no reviews at amazon.com have a very low sales rank.
  • Start a website and link it to the Amazon bookstore. Sell your books through your website.
  • Aggressively market your book through press releases, articles blogs, websites, and any other way that you can think of because marketing is the core activity that will ensure that people know and buy the book.
  • Get your book into book fairs like BookExpo America and the London Book Fair, which will give you access to the traditional publishing industry – several third parties offer this kind of book marketing for a nominal fee.
  • For best results, the subject (or shelving category) of your book should be part of the title, or at least the sub-title. This way readers will find it in catalogues and databases whether or not they know name of the author or book.

Wishing you the best of luck if you decide that self-publishing your book is for you!

Special sparkly rays of Light,
Your Book Angel xxx

PS. I offer a range of three publishing packages for authors who are looking to self-publish their book. Click here to take a look at them!

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