Getting your work published is no easy feat. Thousands of manuscripts get sent to various publishers yearly, and only about half of them get read. The other half is discarded almost immediately they are sent in. Of the thousands read, only a few get published. You might be wondering what makes these few manuscripts stand out. It’s not luck. Neither is it magic. Nor rocket science.
To make it one of the few writers who get discovered yearly, here are, some tips we think might help:
Do Your Research
You need to carry out adequate research if you want to stand out. Lazy writers aren’t great writers. And that’s a fact. Researching to determine if a particular writing pattern or subject matter is trending isn’t easy. You might have to go from one bookshop to another to check out the books with similar content to yours. You could also carry out this research online.
You also have to research your target audience. Trends change. And people change with the trends. If you are looking to write young adult content, you have to know what is trending in that particular category. The same goes for romance and other types of fictive and non-fictive works.
Usually, a particular book in a category sets the current trend because of how good it turned out. Subsequent books would follow that pattern for some time. It changes again when a new book starts another trend. And the cycle continues. Who knows? Your book could be good enough to start another trend. However, you have to stay current.
Get an Agent
Some might say, why get an agent if you are not yet a professional writer? There is a misconception that only professional writers need agents. The fact is every aspiring writer needs an agent. Agents have multiple functions.
They go through your book with a professional edge and tell you what stays and what should be discarded. They help make your book seem as professional as possible. Publishers mostly prefer to work with old-time writers. However, if your work has a professional edge, you will impress the publishers you send your work to.
Agents also have connections in publishing houses. If your work is good enough, they can give you a way in through the back door. Or a brief meeting with the guys at the top. Either way, you are a step closer to getting discovered if you hire the services of an agent.
You have to offer submissions of your manuscript to various publishers. Most of the time, publishers put out calls for submissions. There are usually requirements you have to endeavour to follow. Failure to follow these requirements just means your work gets tossed. To give yourself an edge, try to adhere to the requirements. This is one of the ways you can help yourself stand out.
Study Your Marketplace
Publishers also want to make money. So, to ensure you stand out, write about a subject matter that is guaranteed to make your publishers some money.