How to Get Your Book Published

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The No. 1 question we get asked at Writer's Digest is "How do I get my book published?" As the Brazen Careerist has noted, sometimes people don't ask the best or most focused questions if they want a meaningful answer (or if they want to respect the person they're requesting information from).

In my online class this Thursday, I'll be attempting to answer this big-picture question of how one gets a book published. I hope to provide the fundamentals on what it takes, and discuss concrete steps to score a book deal. You can register here for $49.

(Special offer for readers of this blog: If you take this Thursday's class, I'll give you a coupon for $50 off any other online class in November/December, which is a 50% discount.)

One of the first steps in your journey is identifying where exactly you are on the publishing path. At the September event in New York City, I categorized writers into 3 broad areas:

  • I AM GOD. You think-know-believe you have what it takes to become the next Stephen King. This takes quite a bit of ego—enough to sustain you across years of rejection—and it also usually takes enthusiasm and energy to keep you going when all other lights have gone out. For novelists, having this goal (bestsellerdom) usually means that you're at the top of your game when it comes to storytelling or information.
  • I AM GROWING. Most writers who I meet fall into some version of this. They have manuscripts in progress, may not be sure of what they should write, and seek some kind of validation that they should continue in their efforts. Rejections can be detrimental if not categorized for what they are—part of the business of getting published.
  • I AM AN AUTHORITY. This category is especially relevant for authors in nonfiction genres who may be recognized experts in a subject matter, or have successful businesses or careers that can be successfully expressed in book form.

In my class on Thursday, I'll talk about next steps no matter what kind of writer you are, and how to get agents/editors to approach YOU, rather than you begging for their attention.

John B. Thompson | Book Wars

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