After writing eight books and struggling for nine years to get published, I know what it’s like to be an impoverished member of Australia’s oppressed creative underclass.
I have never met a published author who simply sent a book to a publisher and immediately got a publishing deal. I spent $6,000 and two years pushing my eighth book before I got my first publishing deal, but take heart – they’re not all this hard!
I also learnt some valuable lessons about what to do (and what not to do) in order to become a successful author.
- Do your homework – go to a bookshop and find a book with a similar tone or subject matter OR a book that simply appeals to you and ‘sits well with you’. Note the publisher and editor. (Note – these don’t have to be from your country.)
- Send a copy of your manuscript personally addressed to your chosen editor at your chosen publisher. (NEVER to the submissions department of the publisher.)
- With the manuscript, send a brief but wonderful letter personally addressed and a two page pitch document for your manuscript.
- Chase your submission up. Call every few weeks. If you get a rejection, ask for feedback. Keep going until you succeed.
- It will take time, and it will cost money.
- If you prefer, you can go through an agent, but they may be limited to the publishers they know, and they do take 10-15%. Get further advise from your local Authors’ Society or Association if you want to go down this route.
To help you, I’m going to share my hard won wisdom through two valuable documents.
The Blue Day Book Pitch Document.
The actual two page sales pitch that catapulted me from the life of a taco waiter to the toast of Mexico (and 114 other countries).