How Do I Get Published?
By Paula Guran
Many people write to us for advice on getting published. It is a
complicated subject and the answers will be different for everyone. We
recommend learning the basics about publishing and adapting advice to
your situation. We offer specific classes
the subject and many
of our classes
address "getting published" as
part of the course.
We've listed some advice below that you can find online,
read and compare for yourself. Becoming familiar with Publishers Weekly
the magazine for the publishing industry, is also a good idea. PW
you can also find copies in most libraries.
Libraries are, of course, a great starting place to learn more about how
to get published and librarian are always happy to help.
(The latest edition of The Literary Market Place
, a large
that lists publishers and agents, is one book that you'll want to
at the library rather than purchase as it costs around $300!)
We also recommend the following books (listed alphabetically by author).
The linked title will connect you with Amazon.com where you can read
more about the book and purchase it if you wish.
- How to Get Happily Published (Fifth Edition)
By Judith Appelbaum
This book first came out over two decades ago and is still a standard.
The fifth edition was published in 1998 and the once-valuable resource
list is quite dated now. The author may be a bit over-enthusiastic about
otherwise offers a great deal of sound information.
2005 Novel & Short
Story Writer's Market
By Ann Bowling, Michael Schmeer
2005 Guide to Literary Agents
By Kathryn S. Brogan
2005 Writers Market
By Kathryn S. Brogan, Robert Lee Brewer
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published
By Sheree Bykofsky & Jennifer Basye Sander
We aren't too fond of this title, but the book itself is worth reading.
It offers may important lessons,
the most important of which is probably: "Publishing is a business. Be
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles
By Sheree Bykofsky, Jennifer Bayse Sander & Lynne Rominger
Unlike most guides to freelance writing, this one doesn't encourage you to think that making $100,000 a year
is typical or that there are arcane secrets involved. They say, "Freelance writing is not easy, but
it is doable," and give you both a feel for the business and some sound advice.
The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers
By Betsy Lerner
This one is not a "how to" guide by
any means and it's definitely written from
an individual viewpoint, but it is enlightening. As Bookpage put
"Lerner is good because she can see what the writer sees, and moves from
there to what the author needs to see. She understands delusion. Her
book encourages clear-sightedness when writers deal with publishers."
The Insider's Guide to Getting an Agent
By Lori Perkins
As the author says: "This is a guerilla guide to getting published, a sort of no
holds-barred look at the inner workings of the publishing industry, a
naked literary lunch. Once you've read this book, and taken its advice
to heart, you should be well on your way to getting an agent who get you
published. This book will show you beyond a reasonable doubt that
without a literary agent, you will not be published well. And, without
the right literary agent, you will not continue to be well-published."
- Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction--and
Get It Published
by Susan Rabiner & Alfred Fortunato
Rabiner & Fortunato write specifically for the nonfiction writer, but
the adjective "serious" is somewhat misleading. The book really deals with "trade" or "popular" nonfiction. They address
the realities of writing and publishing such a book and present important questions the
potential writer needs to ask himself.
- The Movie Business Book, Third Edition
By Jason E. Squire, et al
Obviously this one is only for those interested in screen writing! Although not particularly for writers, this
recently (2004) updated book gives a beginner a look at the surreal world of the movie business. In the Hollywood hierarchy
writers are not exactly near the top of the heap. Getting an idea of the turf is a good beginning.
Advice from a Variety of Sources
Australian publishers are naive, kindly souls who haven't
yet been able to steel their hearts against the bleatings of
authors. This is inevitably going to change, if only because offices
manuscripts are a real fire hazard, but for now you can take advantage."
(An Australian perspective)
Bloomsbury Magazine: Bloomsbury Guide for Writers
"Everything writers need to get published: how to prepare and submit
typescripts, advice from the industry, a full list of literary
agents..." (Oriented toward UK, but useful to others.)
"Becoming a published writer can appear to be a rather daunting task for
the novice author. However, by following a few simple guidelines, one
can increase the likelihood of seeing one's work in print." (Oriented
toward UK, but useful to others.)
Brown, Paul B. (Inc.com):
Re: How to get your book published
"The email excerpted below was not written for publication... It was
Paul B. Brown, a professional coauthor and ghostwriter, as a standard
the numerous CEOs who ask him, 'How do I turn my ideas
(my management wisdom or my company-building story or my insights about
the future) into a book?'
Think of it as a kind of FAQ memo for anyone who's decided it might be
to bind his or her thoughts between two covers."
Cader Books: Book
Book package/publisher looks at the process of getting published.
Applies most particularly to nonfiction publishing.)
The Trail of Tears
"Attention all would-be writers out there. You always hear people say
that getting your first novel published is the hard part. That once you
make that initial leap, it gets easier and easier to see your work in
print. Well, I'm here to tell you, that's a load of crap..."
to Get Your First Novel Published
Advice from a children's writer who has published 106 books.
Harper, Tara K.
Answers to Aspiring Writers
An author's advice on writing, contracts, query letters, editors and
editing, agents (and why you want one), publishing, and more.
Getting Your Novel Published
"It's probably as hard to get a novel published by one of the big
companies as it is to get on the Olympic team. But don't let that stop
you trying --
someone has to do it, after all! And since the shelves of Australian
full of novels from overseas, I feel it's my patriotic duty to get
my books published and on to overseas bookshelves." (Australian author,
but oriented toward non-Australian publishers.)
Kelman, Judith: How to
Write a Publishable Novel, About
Your Book Published
"...I've gotten hundreds of calls
from people seeking advice about how to polish and market their written
I have helped many of them to make the tricky transition from idea to
manuscript to published book.
There are no right
answers or magic shortcuts."
Macleod, Mark (publisher, Hodder Headline Australia):
Getting Your Book Published
"People come up to publishers and writers at parties all the time and
say, 'I'm a writer.' And when you say, 'Oh great -- what do you write?'
often the answer is, 'Well, I'm not writing anything at the moment.' So
you have to ask yourself to what extent is that the answer of a writer?"
(Australian, but good general info.)
Long Hard Odds: A Few Hints on Getting that First Horror Novel
"...the odds were 20,000 against [my first novel being published]. Add
the fact it is first Horror novel, and that it is coming out as a
hardback from a major publisher, the odds must shoot up dramatically. I
mention this so that you have reason to read what I have to write on
this subject. I found ways to change the odds."
New Zealand Book Council:
How to Get Published
"These tips generally apply to those with a book-length manuscript....
Everyone's experiences with publishing are different. There is no magic
formula, but these basic guidelines that should help you along the way.
Organization of Book Publishers of Ontario:
How To Get
One of the most frequently asked questions we get over the telephone is:
how do I get published? And while this isn't the definitive response to
ensure your book goes to print, here are a few suggestions and starting
Phillips, Susan: Tips for Beginners
"So many readers have asked me questions about getting their own work
published that I'm offering these tips based upon my experiences and the
experiences of writers I know." (Phillips writes romance.)
Some Advice About Getting
"A lot of young writers send their stuff out before they're ready,
before the particular piece is ready. That makes for a flurry of trips
to the post office and a flurry of rejections. Instead, try working on a
particular story--your best one--until it's perfect."
Get Your First Novel Published
Advice from an independent press and writer.
Richmond Review, The:
to Get Published
"...many of the magazine's contributors and editors have worked in
London book-publishing for several years, and the following is their
best, and most blunt advice on how to go about getting your novel
published....information about the realities of book-publishing -- and
the minimum of soft-soap." (More UK advice, but still applicable to
"I am convinced that it is the enjoyment of the writing process, rather
than a desire for publication or an attempt to write what sells, that
leads in the end to the creation of a good book."
Vault (Career Change):
How to Get Your Book Published
"In your daydreams, the publishers are banging down your door
before you even get the last chapter out, but in reality,
unless you're a celebrity or descended from one, no one's
gives you two choices: find an agent or approach a publisher directly."
Wagner, Venise: How to Get Your Book Published
"With so much depressing news seeping out of the publishing world, it's
if, after writing your little heart out, sweating over imagery,
you end up staring at your manuscript, wondering if it will ever
see the light of day....But don't despair."
About How to Get Your Work Published
"Millions of people want to be writers -- though I sometimes wonder why,
as it isn't a very lucrative profession, and it's damned hard. Far too
many of these would-be writers think the way to learn the job is to ask
established writers a lot of annoying questions, in hopes we'll reveal
Getting Published in a Magazine
How to Get Your Book Published
Many articles on some of the
writers on the