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March into Publication

“March into Publication” by Joan Y. Edwards

Hurray for you! You have a finished manuscript!

Now, you can get ready to submit your manuscript to a publisher or an agent. Here are seven steps I recommend you go through before you submit your manuscript.

Seven Steps Before You Submit Your Manuscript

  1. Write a pitch/logline/summary for your manuscript. 
  2. Get your manuscript critiqued by a critique partner or a critique group, chapter by chapter. If you have the funds, pay a professional editor. Ask for titles of books he has edited in your manuscript’s genre. Make sure you like what he’s done with other books in your genre. Remember that someone who does an outstanding job of editing picture books might not do as well with romance novels.
  3. When you feel that your manuscript is the best you can do at this particular time with the knowledge and skills you have, submit it to a publisher or agent who accepts unsolicited manuscripts.
  4. Find a publisher or agent who accepts unsolicited manuscripts. Read their guidelines.
  5. Write a query or cover letter. If your manuscript is non-fiction, write a proposal, too. 
  6. Follow the submission guidelines for the chosen publisher or agent.

a. Write a query letter (no manuscript included) 
b. Write a cover letter to accompany your manuscript
c. Write a proposal if it’s a nonfiction book.

     7. Submit according to the guidelines of the chosen publisher or agent

a. Snail Mail – U.S. Postal Service
b. Email
c. Submission form on website

Good luck! Please leave a comment. I love hearing from you!


Never Give Up

Thank you to everyone who has bought a copy of one of my books. I appreciate your confidence and support. May many good things happen to you because of your kindness to me. 
Flip Flap Floodle, Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide A guide to help caregivers and elders never give up

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2018 Joan Y. Edwards


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  1. Never Give Up image
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Power Pack Your Short Bio for Agent Queries

Power Pack Your Short Bio

“Power Pack Your Short Bio for Agent Queries” by Joan Y. Edwards

Sandra Warren, one of my loyal followers asked me to write a blog about what to put in the bio section of a query letter to a literary agent. It could also be used for the bio inside a cover letter to an editor. 

Heather Hummel at Huffington Post advises you to read your bio aloud after you write them. Wonderful advice.

Chuck Sambuchino says a bio is more important for a non-fiction work.

Editors and Agents want to know your personal credentials. Why are you qualified to write this book? Give facts to support the sentence: I am the best person to write this book.

Make your 3 sentence bio sound professional. Write it in the first person. Use only three or four sentences. Cover the three power areas listed below: 


1.Personal Interest and Experience

I am the best person to write this book.

Tell why you wrote this book. Tell about your personal interests and experience in this particular field related to the subject of the manuscript or article you are submitting.

Your book is about biking: Tell about your interest in biking and places you biked. Don’t tell about where you’ve traveled by boat or by airplane. It’s not related to biking.

If your book is about a certain community, tell how you know about this community. If you lived there, mention that.


I qualify to write this book because I have expert skills and knowledge in this subject that I attained through extensive research, experience, education, or occupation. 

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a particular field…to become an expert. If you study for 8 hours each day, your 10,000 hours would be up in 1,250 days or about 3.5 years. So I believe if you study a subject for 3.5 years, you probably know a great deal about it.

Explain your skills and knowledge of the subject of your  manuscript. Tell your main job, training, education, degree, published article, short story, or novel related to the subject.

If it’s about business marketing, mentioning a Master’s Degree in Business is a great idea.

If your book is about teaching and you’ve never taught or taken classes, why would people want to read what you’ve written?

3. Formal Awards and Other Achievements

 The best reason I qualify to write this book.

Showcase your formal achievements related to the subject of your manuscript. If  you have many achievements, highlight your best accomplishment.

Ginny Wiehardt gives samples from published and unpublished writers.  Nancy, a university instructor helped students improve  their 3 sentence bios in her class. I found these helpful. 

I found 18 resources to help you study the short bio to include to power pack your bio in your query to a prospective agent.

If you put the subject of your book and your draft 3 sentence bio, I’ll be glad to give you ideas to improve your bio in my reply. Other readers may give you their opinions, too, if you like.


  1. Ann R. Allen. “How to Write and Author Bio When You Don’t Feel Like an Author Yet:” http://annerallen.com/2012/09/how-to-write-author-bio-when-you-don/
  2. Ben Carter. “Can 10,000 Hours of Practice Make You an Expert?” http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26384712
  3. Ben Sobieck.  “What Should a Short Bio Contain?” http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/questions-and-quandaries/dealing-with-editors/what-should-a-short-bio-include
  4. Chuck Sambuchino. Writers Digest. “What Should You Write in the Bio Paragraph in a Query Letter?” http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/what-should-you-write-in-the-bio-paragraph-of-a-query-letter
  5. Chuck Sambuchino. “What to Write in the “Bio” Section Of Your Query Letter”
  6. Fiction Desk. “Ten Tips for Writing an Author Bio:” http://www.thefictiondesk.com/blog/tips-for-writing-an-author-bio/
  7. Ginny Wiehardt. “Samples of Short Bios for a Cover Letter (Literary Journal) – The Balance:” https://www.thebalance.com/sample-short-bios-for-literary-journals-1277413 
  8. Heather Hummel. “10 Tips on How to Write a Bio:” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-hummel/10-tips-on-how-to-write-a-bio_b_4908716.html
  9. Joan Y. Edwards.”Components of a Good Query Letter:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/components-of-a-good-query-letter/
  10. Joan Y. Edwards. “Why Not? Write a Query Letter or Cover Letter. Go Ahead.” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/why-not-day-9-write-a-query-letter-or-cover-letter-go-ahead/
  11. Joan Y. Edwards. “Will Your Query Letter Sell Your Manuscript?” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/will-your-query-letter-sell-your-manuscript/
  12. Loolwa Khazzoom. “4 Steps to Writing a Professional Bio That Gets You Noticed:” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/loolwa-khazzoom/4-steps-to-writing-a-professional-bio_b_4131309.html
  13. Peter Economy. “3 Simple Steps to Becoming an Expert in Anything:” https://www.inc.com/peter-economy/3-simple-steps-to-becoming-an-expert-in-anything.html
  14. “Post Your 3 Sentence Bio Here:” https://itp.nyu.edu/classes/pw-sp2015/post-your-3-sentence-bio-here/
  15. QQAdmin1. Writers Digest. “What Should You Include in Your Bio for Agents?” http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/questions-and-quandaries/dealing-with-editors/what-should-you-include-in-your-bio-for-agents 
  16. Scott Berkum. “How to Write a Good Bio:” http://scottberkun.com/2013/how-to-write-a-good-bio/
  17. Writers Relief Staff. “The Dos And Don’ts of Writing Your Author Bio: Query Letter And Cover Letter Tips:” http://writersrelief.com/blog/2010/07/your-professional-bio-query-letter-and-cover-letter-tips-for-writers/
  18. Writers Relief Staff. “5 Tips on Writing an Amazing Author Bio If You’re Not Well-Published:” http://writersrelief.com/blog/2016/09/5-tips-writing-amazing-author-bio/


Never Give Up

Please check out Joan’s books:
Flip Flap Floodle, Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide A guide to help caregivers and elders never give up

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2018 Joan Y. Edwards


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Please subscribe now to join over 442 Valued Subscribers and receive entertaining, encouraging posts from Joan PLUS 3 free gifts:

  1. Never Give Up image
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WordPress or Blogger Tips – Week 2 as Guest on Carol Baldwin’s Blog Week 2 by Joan Y. Edwards

Joan Y. Edwards AE9Z7443

WordPress or Blogger Tips – Week 2 as Guest on Carol Baldwin’s Blog


Congratulations to Judy Penz Sheluk! She won a free critique of a manuscript, query, and pitch or a blog critique.

Thank you, Carol Baldwin, for having me as a guest on your blog two weeks in a row.

Celebrate you!
Never Give Up

Take These Steps Before You Sign with an Agent

Before You Sign with an Agent Copyright © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards

Before You Sign with an Agent Copyright © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards

“Take These Steps Before You Sign with an Agent” by Joan Y. Edwards

Linda Andersen, a member of my PubSubbers Yahoo Group,  asked me to write a blog about the steps to get an agent. She asked, “Why should a writer get an agent?” When a writer has a good, respected, dependable agent, it opens up more opportunities for the writer’s work to get published. Many publishers do not accept work from writers they do not know or were not recommended to them. However, these same publishers will accept work from agented writers.

A query is not the same as a letter that accompanies a manuscript submission. A query is only a letter giving the pitch and asking for permission to submit a manuscript to see if an agent would be interested in representing the author with publishers.

Before you query an agent, do the following:

  1. Make sure you have a completed quality manuscript that has been critiqued and proofed. Follow the PubSubbers plan to help you in detail. Pub Subbers, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4.
  2. Hollywood Script Express suggests that you give your screenplay to a friend or relative and ask them to read it in one sitting. If they can’t finish your screenplay in less than 2 hours, you probably need to trim some fat.
  3. Do Your Homework. Research to find out information to prove the agent/manager is the right one for you. Find three agents who meet your needs and they represent writers/illustrators in the areas where your manuscript fits. says it’s a good idea to make a list and rank them according to which ones meet your criteria best. Here are places I recommend that you look:
  4. Check the Agent’s website and current submission guidelines. Chuck Sambuchino also says, “Research the agent’s website to confirm that he is indeed still seeking “electronic queries for romance novels,” etc. Also, remember the frustratingly sad reality that the publishing industry is constantly in flux. Agents quit; they switch agencies; they suddenly stop representing fiction and move completely to nonfiction.
  5. Before you query the prospective agents on your preferred list, find out which authors/illustrators he represents and how many books he’s sold in the last three years and the last six months. If this information isn’t on the Agency website, ask for it.
  6. Follow the Guidelines. Follow the Guidelines. Follow the Guidelines.
  7. Write a great simple query letter. Chuck Sambuchino says that if you don’t have a good opening for your query, give the facts: “I am seeking literary representation for my 75,000-word completed thriller, titled Dead Cat Bounce.” Sambuchino says to follow opener with the pitch and a little biographical information.

Before You Sign on the Line, Ask Questions. Get answers.

  1. Take 3 days to consider the agent’s offer. Sarah Ockler suggests that you take a few days to think things over and prepare your questions before accepting representation from an agent. I know you’ll be so excited to get the offer. BE SMART. BE WISE. Get all the facts before you sign. Research and ask questions. Then honor your gut feeling
  2. What are the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of three of their signed authors/illustrators? You’ll want to ask them a few questions. As Michael Hyatt like President Reagan says to “Trust, but Verify.” He says, “If possible, talk with the agents clients on the phone. People will tell you things on a phone call that they will not put in writing.”
  3. What are your fees? How often will I receive my earnings? Before you sign, find out what fees they charge and how and how often you’ll receive your earnings. Sarah Ockler says that most agents take the standard 15% fee from the monies earned from your books. Publishers send your advance and royalty money to the agency; the agency sends you a check less their 15%. Are there hidden fees? If there are charges for mailing? Printing letters? Then these are probably not sure-fire agents. They might be a service similar to Writer’s Relief, a fee-based author’s submission service – not a literary agency.
  4. Do you have time for me? Felice Prager says to ask, “How many other clients do you represent? Do you plan on expanding or will this number stay about the same? Will you or another member of your staff be handling my work?” You want an agent that doesn’t have such a large number of clients that he doesn’t have time for you.
  5. What makes you the right agent for me? How do you see my career? Wendy Lawton says to ask, “What will you offer that other agencies don’t?”
  6. How can I tell you’ve submitted my manuscript to a publisher?  Will I receive copies of the submissions? Will you let me know each time you’ve talked with a publisher? Wendy Lawton says to ask: How often will we be in contact?
  7. What is your preferred form of communication? Wendy Lawton says to ask:  “How do you like to communicate? Email? Phone? If you like to talk on the phone and an agent prefers emails, then you might have a problem.” Remember to organize your questions so that your agent doesn’t receive 3 or 4 emails from you in one day. When a person gets overwhelmed with too many emails or too many phone calls, it hurts the communication lines.

While you are pondering all of these questions, you will probably think of others. Victoria Strauss gives many great links to posts with more questions about agents at “Questions to Ask Your Prospective Literary Agent:


  1. Chuck Sambuchino. “10 Submission Tips for Querying an Agenthttp://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/get-published-sell-my-work/10-submission-tips-for-querying-an-agent
  2. Felice Prager. “Ten Questions to Ask an Agent before You Sign:” http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/10-questions-to-ask-an-agent-before-you-sign
  3. “What Every Fiction Writer Should Do Before Submitting A Book to an Agent:” http://www.writersdigest.com/tip-of-the-day/what-every-fiction-writer-should-do-before-submitting-a-book-to-an-agent
  4. Hollywood Script Express. “How to Get a Screenplay Agent:” http://www.hollywoodscriptexpress.com/how_to_get_screenplay_agent.html
  5. Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents. (E-book is less expensive than the paperback. You can copy and paste links and click on them.)
  6. Joan Y. Edwards. “22 Literary Agents Who Are Looking for You:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/22-literary-agents-who-are-looking-for-you/
  7. Joan Y. Edwards. “Questions to Ask Before You Sign a Contract with a Publisher:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2016/09/02/questions-to-ask-before-you-sign-a-contract-with-a-publisher/
  8. Michael Hyatt. “Before You Hire a Literary Agent:”
  9. Preditors and Editors – Agents and Lawyers
  10. Pub Subbers, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4.
  11. Query Tracker.com has information about agents.
  12. Sarah Ockler. “Literary Agent Offers: Don’t Settle:” http://sarahockler.com/2008/07/05/literary-agent-offers-dont-settle/
  13. Scripts and Scribes. Listing of Agents and Managers for Books and Screenplays. http://www.scriptsandscribes.com/agentsmanagers/.
  14. Victoria Strauss. “Questions to Ask Your Prospective Literary Agent:” http://www.victoriastrauss.com/2014/02/26/questions-to-ask-your-prospective-literary-agent/  (This has many great links to posts that will help you find more questions to ask an agent.)
  15. Wendy Lawton. “25 Questions to Ask Your Potential Agent:”

The winners of a giveaway with this blog post are in the comment area.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards


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Five-Star Agent Blogs

“Five-Star Agent Blogs and Ten Other Valuable Agent/Query/Writing Resources” by Joan Y. Edwards

Here are resources that might have the vital information to help you find the right agent and ways to improve your manuscript and your query and send it on a successful journey to publication.

1. These two big guides have inspiring and information you need to know about agents and how to contact them.

  1. Query Tracker is a free service that will keep track of your query letters to agents and publishers using a highly advanced tracking system. It will help you find agents and publishers using its wide database. It also has a premium membership. I suggest to use what’s free first. They also have a blog.

Joan’s Top Five-Star ***** – Top Notch Agent Blogs

  1. Scott Eagen, agent, Romance genre. Greyhaus Literary Agency: http://scotteagan.blogspot.com/
  2. Kristin Nelson, Agent. Adult and Children. Nelson Literary Agency. Great query/pitch blog posts. http://pubrants.blogspot.com/
  3. Michael Larsen, Agent with Larson Pomada Literary Agency: http://sfwriters.org/blog/
  4. Rachelle Gardner, agent, http://www.rachellegardner.com/
  5. Query Shark. Blogspot. Query Writing. http://queryshark.blogspot.com/

Ten Other Extremely Valuable Resources: Blogs by Authors, Agents, Editors, Reviewers

  1. Cheryl Klein, Author, Editor: her blog: Brooklyn Arden
  2. Janet Reid, Agent, Adult Crime Fiction, Fine Print Literary Management:  http://www.jetreidliterary.blogspot.com
  3. Joyce Hart, Terry Burns, Diana Flegal, Agents. Romance Genre, Hartline Literary Agency: http://hartlineliteraryagency.blogspot.com/
  4. Nathan Bransford, Author, Social Media Manager for CNET. Used to be agent. http://blog.nathanbransford.com/
  5. Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary and Media: http://newleafliterary.blogspot.com/
  6. Miss Snark, Agent. http://misssnark.blogspot.com/ She retired in 2007, but you can still read query letters and archives.
  7. Martina Boone, Marissa Graff, Lisa Gail Green, Authors. Children’s Publishing Blog. http://childrenspublishing.blogspot.com/
  8. “Story Book World,” Authors, Agents, and Editors. http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/
  9. Kelsey. Reviewer of Young Adult. “The Book Scout:” http://thebookscout.blogspot.com/
  10. “Teen Reads:” Reviews:  http://www.teenreads.com/

Thank you for reading my blog. I am very glad that you are here. Please let me know your favorite resources for agents and query savvy.

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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

List of Writing, Editing, Marketing, and Other Resources on My Blog

Dear Readers,

Here are Writing, Editing, Critiquing, Pitch, Query, Proposal, Marketing, and Other Resources in Posts on My Blog. I put them all together so that it might help you find what you’re looking for faster.  I hope you enjoy my articles.

5 Writing Course Sites and 7 Articles to Inspire Your Writing
Actions and Situations That Clash with Values Equals Conflict
Add the Power of Three to Your Writing
After the Conference – 13 Ways to Optimize Your Learning
Backstory: In Description, Dialogue, and Flashback
Book Review and Interview with Jeff Herman on January 11, 2011 with Giveaways
Can Your Draft Manuscripts Have Two Spaces after Periods?
Control A and Other Helpful Shortcut Keys
Deadline: Creativity Blocker or Enhancer?
Digital Notes – Post-It Notes and Sticky Notes
Eight Character Archetypes to Emphasize the Conflict in Your Story
Five Good Things to Do after a Writing Conference
Five Ways to Cut the Number of Words in Your Manuscript
Free – Register Now – Muse Online Writers Conference – October 3-9, 2011
Get Rid of “Foggy” Words
Get Rid of Your Writer’s Block
Great Sites to Aid in Writing
How Many Words Should Your Sentences Contain?
How to Benefit the Most from Your Critique Group
How to Deliver a Short Gutsy Pitch to Entice Editors, Agents, and Readers
How to Entice an Editor/Agent with a Pitch (Logline)
How to Get the Most from the SCBWI Carolinas Fall Conference 2011
How to Get the Most Out of Your Next Writing Conference
How to Handle Links and Periods at End of Sentences
How to Write Your Winning Book Proposal
Inner Motives Lead to Conflicts of Characters
Is the World Power Shifting to Digital Self-Publishing?
Look for Four Writing Errors When You Revise
National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee) – May 1-7
Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) – November
Props for Characters: Toys, Games, and Other Items
Pull Readers into Your Story with Emotions
Put Dilemmas in Your Stories for a Compelling Punch
Put These Four Books at the Top of Your Reading List
Put Universal Conflict, Theme, and Emotions in Your Story
Questions for a Critique
Save Your Writing
Show Believable Emotions in Your Writing
Show the Inner and Outer Conflicts of Your Characters
Spread Your Writing and Illustrating Wings (Marketing Trailers)
Story Essential: Plot
Ten Steps to Become a Better Writer
Two Books to Read and Study: Sands’ Making the Perfect Pitch and Herman’s Guide
Universal Plots and a Story that Illustrates Each
Use Plain Said; Cut the “ly” words
Vary Your sentences: Begin with a Different Part of Speech
What Are Chapter Books?
What Are Easy Readers?
What Are Middle Grade Novels?
What Are Young Adult Novels?
What Does It Mean When an Agent or Editor Says, “NO?”
What I Learned about the Adams Literary Agency
What Is Your Story’s Premise? Editors Want to Know
Your Writer’s Platform: What is it? How to Create It Using Websites and Blogs

15 Steps to Increase Your Chances at Publication (Pub Sub)

“15 Steps to Increase Your Chances at Publication (Pub Sub)” by Joan Y. Edwards

(I wrote this in June 3, 2011. It has had 382 views as of today, July 25, 2015. I hope it helps you become a published author.)

Dear Pub Subbers,

I can’t believe it’s June already. This year is almost half-way over. Let’s think about it. How many submissions have you made this year to critique groups, a paid critique, a free critique by someone, a publisher, an agent, or for a contest? Whether your answer is 0, 1, 21, or 41, accept your answer as being good for you at this particular time in your life. However, I want to motivate you to make at least 7 more submissions this year. That’s one for each month.

If you submit one manuscript a year, and you agreed to submit one each month, you have been 1/12  or 8% successful in carrying out your goal. Here’s a chart with all 12 months listed with the appropriate percentage beside it.

1/12 = 8%
2/12 = 16%
3/12 = 25%
4/12 = 33%
5/12 = 41%
6/12 = 50%
7/12 = 58%
8/12 = 66%
9/12 = 75%
10/12 = 83%
11/12 = 91%
12/12 = 100%

You can also look at how submitting more often increases the chances of getting published. If you send out one manuscript to one publisher, how much better your odds will be if you send out one manuscript to three well-matched publishers. You increase your chances 17%. It would take you from an 8% chance to a 25% chance of getting published. If you send out three different manuscripts to three different publishers, you have increased your chances to 50% chance of getting published. If you send out one manuscript to six different agents or publishers, you have increased your chances to 50% chance of getting an agent.

If you decided that these percentages don’t mean anything, you may be right. I believe the rates vary for different writers. However, I can tell you this. If you don’t submit your work at least 12 times in one year, you are not seriously convinced that your story is good or that someone will publish it. Some people have never experienced rejection for their writing. Dr. Seuss got rejected 27 times or more for his first book.  Some people say you have to be rejected 100 times. I’m not receiving that, but if that was so. here’s the percentage rate on that:
1/100 = 1% chance of being published.
2/100 = 2% chance of being published.
3/100 = 3% chance of being published.
44/100 = 44% chance of being published.
66/100 = 66% chance of being published.
99/100 = 99% chance of being published.
100/100 = 100% chance of being published.

It’s sort of like a weather prediction, even thought you have submitted 100 manuscripts, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will get published. However, if you don’t submit again, even after 1000 rejections, you will never get published. Your goal has to be that you will keep submitting and making your story better and better. Keep submitting no matter how many rejections you get. Realize that there is a publisher looking for you while you are looking for this publisher.  If your goal truly is to be published, you will not give up. You will keep submitting. You will keep the faith in yourself and your writing.

If you submit to the magazine market rather than the book market, you may have a better chance of being a paid published author. It won’t take as long to get your answer. It’s a good idea to experiment with writing for newspapers, magazines, non-fiction, fiction.  Experiment with writing for children and adults. If your goal is to be published, you are published when you write a blog. You have to specify paid published writer in your goals. Being published in other writing markets will help build a writer’s confidence in the book market. These writing credits also look good on a resume.

I can safely say that if you follow the 15 guidelines below, you will increase the possibilities of making your publication dreams come true.

Here are my 15 ways to increase your chances at publication:

  1. Set your goals.
  2. Believe in yourself and your writing. As Lisa Nichols said in the movie, “The Secret”, “have unwavering faith.” No matter what the circumstances are or how bad things look, you continue to believe in yourself and your writing.

  3. If you are not able to believe in yourself and your writing:

a. Take an online or in person workshop.

b. Ask the teacher/presenter of the workshop to critique your work (be willing to pay them $35.00 for 10 pages.)

c. Pray.

d. Say I am a paid published author ten times a day. It will make new brain cells in your mind. Your subconscious mind will steer you to publication when you act on your belief. Submitting your work is acting on the belief that you are a paid published author.

  1. Write a pitch for the story you have in mind to write.  I’ve discovered it’s a lot easier to write a winning pitch for a story before you write it than it is when it’s finished.
  2. Decide which genre, and who the audience will be.

  3. Write the story, novel, poem, or article.

a. Revise.

b. Submit manuscript for critique to

(1) a professional critiquer, someone who has gotten at least 10 published articles or books in the same genre as yours.

(2) a critique group – online or in person – Online can give more input; in person groups that just read it and give their opinion will give you a good overview. You can ask them to concentrate on the First Page, your query letter, your proposal, your cover letter.

c. Revise again. Never change anything you don’t agree with 100%.  When you do that, you’re making it someonelse’s story, not yours.

d. Get the story, novel, poem, or article in the “This is the best I can do at this moment in time with the knowledge and skills that I have.” Proceed to number 7.

  1. Study the market for this kind of story, novel, poem, or article.
  2. Choose three possible publishers, three agents, and three contests for this story who according to the guidelines are interested in this type of publication. If you send your query, cover letter, proposal, and/or manuscripts to  publishers, editors, agents who do not publish that kind of work, you are pushing yourself off the train tracks to success.

  3. Copy the links to their guidelines and copy their guidelines at the top of your query letter or cover letter. Copy it to the top of the proposal.

  4. Follow their guidelines. Follow their guidelines. Follow their guidelines.

  5. Check your manuscript, query letter, cover letter, and proposal for correct

a. formatting (manuscript formatting, poetry -rhyme and meter)

b. grammar and punctuation

c. following the guidelines of the publisher, literary agency, or contest where you are submitting

d. hook (pitch)

e. universal theme

f. plot –

(1) ordinary day,

(2) something bad happens,

(3) main character tries to reach goal of straightening out the situation, drops deeper in trouble.

(4) main character tries again to reach goal of straightening out the situation, and drops the deepest in the very worst that the situation could get.

(5) main character has an aha moment of how to solve the problem.

(6) main character does something to confront the villain (or villainous situation) and wins

(7) tell what happens to everyone else in the story as a result of the win.

(8) everything is back to an ordinary day, but it’s a better day than when the story’s problem showed up.

g. magnetic characters that stick to the reader’s minds because of their situations, thoughts, feelings, words, and actions.

  1. Print everything out. Read it over again. Leave it sitting in your computer or in a folder for at least 24 hours.
  2. Make necessary changes to correct errors to query letter, cover letter, proposal, or manuscript.

  3. Get it in final condition for mailing or emailing:

a. If email submission, copy and paste into the email. Check to make sure it kept the formatting of your original document. Make sure if they allow attachments and in what format they allow them.

b. If snail mail submission, address it properly, put your name and return address; enclose self-addressed stamped envelope, if the guidelines ask for one. Put correct postage on envelope.

  1. Say a prayer. Have a winning attitude. Visualize the person who receives it as smiling and really being pulled into your work and talking excitedly to everyone in their office about it.  Now push the send button on the computer, or put the envelope in the mailbox. Then visualize yourself receiving a “Yes.” Get excited. It’s really coming. In spite of all the odds against it. In spite of any doubts anyone has. You are a paid published writer.
  2. Repeat all the above steps for a different work. Repeat from Step 7 – 15 for the same work to different publishers, agents, or contests. When you submit in June, let me know in a comment to this June 2011 Pub Sub 3rd Friday blog post.

Here are six  articles I found on the internet to help further increase your chances to get published.

  1. Michelle Kerns “30 Authors Who Were Rejected Repeatedly and Sometimes Rudely by Publishers” http://www.examiner.com/book-in-national/30-famous-authors-whose-works-were-rejected-repeatedly-and-sometimes-rudely-by-publishers
  • David Miller “Four Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting Published” http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/4-ways-to-increase-your-chances-of-getting-publishing/

  • Sharon Miner “What Are the Chances at Getting Published?”  http://www.ehow.com/info_8097393_chances-getting-published.html

  • James Weseen “How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Published” http://www.writerscoop.org/How_to_Increase_your_Chances_of_Getting_Published.pdf

  • Henry at Creative Writers Desk “Increase Your Odds of Getting Published with a Killer Query Letter”  http://www.creativewritersdesk.com/queryletter.html

  • Julie H. Ferguson http://www.beaconlit.com/fiveways.pdf


    Other Information to help you submit your work and get published!

    Pub Sub

    Week One

    Week Two

    Week Three Pub Sub Friday

    Week Four

    Submit your work. You are worth it. Good luck with all your publication endeavors.

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    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards
    Copyright © 2011-2015 Joan Y. Edwards

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