Adivce needed on next step to take towards publishing novel - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
#1 of 5 Old 07-25-2008, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
MommyHawk's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: in my novel...
Posts: 1,862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am in the thick of writing my first novel. I don't have a finished manuscript yet, but most places I check and books I read says that you just need to send out 'quiries' first and get an agent, and whatnot, one-liners...I'm confused at to what I should do next.

Do I write up a summary of the book, one page, and send that?

Are there any good books/websites out there that help outline the way to go about getting interest in your novel?

I belong to a writer's club but we don't meet for a few weeks and I wanted to get someone else's idea of what to do next.

Also, how do you go about getting people to help you critique your work?

Ok, thanks for any advice in advance
MommyHawk is offline  
#2 of 5 Old 07-26-2008, 10:44 AM
ScootchsMom's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NEPA
Posts: 1,373
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm not experienced in this field yet, but from all the reading I have been doing, the first thing you need to do is finish the book. If you send out queries now, what happens if someone responds saying "ok, send it to me" and you're not done with it?

You can start making a list of the publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts and start with them. Some require a query letter with a brief synopsis and the first 3 chapters, as well as a character outline. If you check publishers websites they will tell you their criteria. Some require exclusive submission, others don't mind simultaneous submissions. It really is different for all the publishers. As for ones that don't accept unsolicited ms's, you would need an agent to submit them. But the process if pretty much the same, send the query to the agents that fit your genre and hope one takes it on.


Loving WAHM/Student Mommy to DD (6.5) and DS (2.5)  

ScootchsMom is offline  
#3 of 5 Old 07-26-2008, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
MommyHawk's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: in my novel...
Posts: 1,862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
that's basically what I had though initially until I started reading some 'how to books'...but it does seem odd to start sending out queries without having a MS done. Like saying you can build someone's house without ever having done one from start to finish yet.

I'm working on bettering my synopsis now. I am so excited to write, it's like if I miss a day/chance to write I get all discombobulated
MommyHawk is offline  
#4 of 5 Old 07-27-2008, 01:00 PM
aikigypsy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 804
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First, as PP said, finish the book. Then get feedback, rewrite, and clean up. Most novels need lots of editing and rewriting before they're ready for publication, it's amazing how much longer the process can be than it looks at the outset. I have completed and sent out three novels so far, and have collected quite a stack of form rejections from agents. It can be quite a long process.

Getting good feedback isn't the easiest thing in the world, either, nor is knowing what to do with that feedback. I've gotten several friends to read my work over the years, and most of them don't have anything useful to say. Think about your friends, and which of them read a lot of books in your genre. They'll be a good place to start. Personally, it takes me a long time to process feedback, and it's usually a year or so before I have enough distance from a manuscript to make truly major changes. If you're less defensive as a writer, it won't take as much time, but you'll have to be careful not to get swept off-track by suggestions that may not lead where the novel ought to go.

I've read several books about the submission process, but the ones I refer to most often are Your Novel Proposal: From Creation to Contract and Writers Market (or now, more often, The Jeff Herman guides are also popular.

I always thought that it would be different for me, that I would be able to write and revise my first novel in the space of a year, and get an agent, too, but it's been closer to eight years, now. Some people do sit down and write a publishable manuscript in the space of a month or two, but they are vanishingly rare.
aikigypsy is offline  
#5 of 5 Old 08-05-2008, 10:53 AM
Violet2's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,815
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My rule of thumb for myself is, that during the third edit of the novel, I send out my queries. Of course, I always make sure the first 3 chapters are ready to go for partial requests.

However, I write and tweak both the synopsis and query while writing the novel. They are short compared to the novel, but must be perfect.


Happy Momma to DD (almost 3) Fall Coleslaw -- Simple Italian Stuffed Peppers -- - Fall Toddler Activities.- We Made a Play Kitchen Selling gently used books on all topics here.
Violet2 is offline  

Quick Reply
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off