Decoding the Road to Getting Published by Engy Albasel Neville
About two years ago, I set out to accomplish a childhood dream. Publishing my first book, A Leap In Time. The task was daunting, scary and completely overwhelming. I didn’t know where to begin and without a literary agent guiding the path, the research and legwork fell squarely in my court.
I knew two things, I had to be thorough in my research to avoid wasting time and energy by soliciting publishers that weren’t interested in mainstream historical fiction and two, I needed to have a killer query letter. Just like a resume, it needed to grab the attention of the reader and very quickly.
While on the final round of edits in A Leap In Time, I simultaneously began my research for the “right” home for my book. I purchasing a book titled Writer’s Market, a directory of invaluable information about every publisher in the country, from small press to the popular well-known publishing houses. I spent hours upon hours poring over the listings and flagging potential good fits.
By the time I was done editing, I had a clear idea and a list of publishing houses I wanted to pursue. Writing a query letter and synopsis would prove to be a bigger challenge than I imagined, mainly because of the limited word count required to sum up an entire book. How was I supposed to summarize my entire book in three paragraphs, with the third being a biography?
I wrote and re-wrote, edited and wrote again, and recruited the help of a dear friend for her honest critique of the letter that would potentially change my status from unpublished to published writer.
Why didn’t I just self publish and spare myself all the anxiety and possible rejection? I wanted the validation from an expert in the publishing industry that my writing was worthy of publication.
My advice to all of you aspiring writers, if you want your writing published, do your homework and be thorough in doing it. Publishers are very articulate in what they want and what they don’t want in a manuscript. Submit your query exactly as they request, even if it means you’re re-writing it 10 times to satisfy the specific needs of the 10 publishing houses you’ve solicited.
Engy Albasel Neville is the author of A Leap In Time, published by The Wild Rose Press. She’s currently working on her second book in the Travelers series.
Her favorite hobbies include traveling, gardening, yoga, cooking and writing, with the latter more of a calling than hobby. Engy lives with her husband, two active toddlers and super hyper dog on Long Island, New York.
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