Tag Archive: How I Got Published

How I first got published, part 1 – Introduction

The following is an encore from 2009, presented here in the hopes that the info will be helpful for aspiring authors. I’ve authored or coauthored five books since, and self-published another four, and most of this still applies. So enjoy. Hope it helps! Chances are, if you like to write you’d also like to be read. While you can throw things onto the Internet and be read instantly, it’s not quite the same thing as a publisher saying, “I like your work. I’d like to invest our time and money into it. I’d like to publish your book.” Because let’s be honest with ourselves: Blogging is nice, self-publishing is interesting, but the majority of aspiring writers know being picked up by a legitimate publisher is key to…
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Want to be published? Learn to query

Every now and then someone mistakes me for a person with a clue and asks how to approach a publisher about a book. There are no grand secrets — by now everyone knows that — just some basics on how to get started. In a series of posts last year I outlined how my first book landed on shelves, but skip all that for now, because I want to get to probably the most important part of the process aside from the writing itself: Your query letter. A query letter is simple, in theory. It’s you saying to an agent or publisher, “Hey, want to see my book?” Not so simple in practice, though. I won’t get into the details because other people have done…
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The really BORING part of having a book published

Counting down the weeks to the released of the book I co-authored with Jim McDevitt, A Year of Hitchcock, you’d think I’d be giddy with excitement. I mean, it’s just three weeks or so away, right? Any day now I might get my comp copy in the mail. How exciting! But the truth is, as I mention in How I Got Published, your obligation to your work does not end when the writing is over. When not working on other projects (such as my comic anthology), I’ve spent the better part of my personal working time the last week or so drafting and mailing letters to local libraries and book stores, calling to get the proper contact information, working on press releases, and other painfully…
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How I got published, part 6 – all that other stuff

There is a lot of stuff they don’t tell you about getting a book published. You hear about the process of writing, and crafting cover letters, and how to approach agents and publishers, and on and on and on, but what about all the stuff the happens after you secure a deal? No one tells you about that. By this point I had done a pretty good job of educating myself on The Process. Thanks to loads of reading — books, articles, and blogs — I knew what to expect at almost every step of the way. But I had no idea what would come after we had gotten a contract. Well, here’s what happens: You still have a whole helluva lot of work to…
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How I got published, part 5 – Revising and rewriting

A Year of Hitchcock

(If you’re joining me in progress, this is the 5th part in a series devoted to outlining how my co-author and I managed to get our book, A Year of Hitchcock, published.) So here’s the part where the joy of getting a contract is smothered in the giant pile of WORK no one tells you about when you first start writing. Because make no mistake, writing is not what you think it is when you daydream about a career as an author. It’s WORK. Never forget that. As noted in my last post, it took a full year from the moment we first made contact with a publisher interested in our work to actually getting a contract. And getting that contract meant agreeing to a…
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