Dear Reader, our heroine is perpetually amazed at the single-mindedness of the unpublished novelist, herself included. It brings on head shaking and wry laughter. Having not yet papered my office walls with rejection notices, I do not laugh bitterly. I do, however, take a look at articles with advice regarding how to get my novels read.
We’ll take on the dreaded queries and the loathsome synopses in the future, I assure you. Those are *major* hurdles to get the novel read. I’m not ignoring them. Each deserves a special article or three. In the meantime, I found other information I felt was useful.
Literary agent Rachelle Gardner‘s article Writing the BREAK-IN Novel is the kind of talking-to each and every novelist needs to hear, in my opinion. She puts it all into perspective. As a novelist, I tend to get wrapped up in each of my projects. I have favorites. Sometimes that’s based on whichever one I worked on most recently. Sometimes it’s due to it just plain being better than the others. I’m fickle that way. This article taught me to get past that and think like a publisher. Perhaps this is the first step between being solely a writer and diving into the great world of publishing?
FifthEstate‘s Daniel Clay posted an article titled A Winning Strategy for Escaping the Slush Pile. As you can imagine, I snapped that bookmark up in a hurry. It is exactly as advertised. That is to say, it is a strategy for that very goal and has been successful. YMMV. At the very least, there’s a good deal of good sense in the post. I hope you don’t miss out on it.
Surviving the Odds as a Debut Novelist on the Three Guys One Book blog is a good look at That Which Cannot Be Avoided: Social Media. Among other things, they discuss the importance of having a readership already in place. I’d never heard of several of the links and techniques they discuss, so I took notes.
Back to basics: Louise Wise posted an article simply titled Manuscript Layout. You may have written The Greatest Novel of This Century. If you’ve messed up the layout, it’s not likely to be read. In fact, you can just about count on it being skipped.
What to do if you’ve done everything correctly and it’s still not selling? Write Another Book, says Rachelle Gardner. She’s written a sensible, encouraging article on the matter. Don’t skip over this one. There’s a lot of good advice in this piece.
In fact, literary agent Janet Reid echoes some of the thoughts in her article How Soon Is Too Soon. This is the article that nudged me off the fence and got me busy writing the second book of my series. I’ve learned so much doing so that I see the first book can be edited into a better story. I was getting ready to query on the first book when I discovered this article. She saved me a lot of pain from rejection letters. More importantly, the decision led to the realization that I could write better novels.
Doing what needs done to get read does not mean forcing your story into some cookie cutter image that doesn’t suit you or the novel. No matter how important the other elements are (query, synopsis, web presence), it comes down to whether you’ve written a good novel. Write with abandon, edit well and take some of the good advice offered in these articles.