By Amy Clipston
People often ask me what the secret is to getting published. I don’t believe there is a secret to getting published, but I do have a list of activities that may help writers on their journey to publication.
1. Join a Writers’ Group
I accidentally found the website for a local writers’ group while searching for a professional group to join as part of my day job as a technical writer. When I attended one of the monthly meetings, I met writers in all stages of their careers. It was then that I realized that I wanted to become a published author. Through this group, I learned how to plot and polish my novels, how to search for a literary agent, and how to write a query letter that would pique an agent’s interest. I strongly suggest finding a group near you or online in order to socialize with other writers. You’ll have fun and also learn a lot. Find the group that best fits your interests and needs and then get connected.
2. Attend a Conference
Before the pandemic, I recommended attending a conference. Times have changed, but some virtual conferences are available. If you’re able to participate in a virtual conference, you can network and attend instructional sessions that cover many aspects of writing and the publishing business. Conferences are fun and informative.
3. Find a Critique Partner
During my journey to publication, I’ve made some wonderful friends, a few of whom have become my most trusted critique partners. Don’t write in a vacuum; share your books with trusted friends. Your buddies will not only find your typos, but they may give you story ideas that you hadn’t considered and will make your plot even better.
4. Find Time to Read
I know what it means to be busy. I balance a day job, a family, and writing deadlines. I enjoy listening to audio books while I’m in my car or working around the house. While reading is fun, it’s also a way to improve your skills by seeing what techniques work (and sometimes don’t work) for other authors.
5. Keep Writing
It may sound silly, but writers need to write! Finish your novel and polish it as best you can before submitting it to an agent or editor. Your book represents your best work. Show a potential agent or editor that you’re a professional and also eager to write for them.
6. Don’t Give Up
No matter what, believe in yourself and believe in your dream of holding your book in your hands! If you’ve been rejected by an agent or editor, don’t give up. I received plenty of rejection letters and I wanted to give up many times. I’m thankful for my family and my friends who told me to stop whining and keep writing.
Use these tips to help you on your journey to publication. @AmyClipston #ACFWBlogs #writetip #critiques #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Amy Clipston is an award-winning and bestselling author and has sold more than a million books. She holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan University and works full-time for the City of Charlotte. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, mother, two sons, and five spoiled rotten cats.
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Amy Clipston’s contemporary romance novel The Heart of Splendid Lake will release September 14th.