Monday, July 14, 2014

5 Common Myths About Getting Published, Part Two







***This is PART TWO of a five part series to uncover some myths about becoming a published author.  Make sure to come back next week and find out more insider secrets about the writing industry!***


Last week I talked about the first myth in this series where some new writers think you need to have a college degree in children's literature or writing before you can actually call yourself a writer. If you missed last week's post you can go here to check it out.

Now I'd like to talk about the next myth some new writers think is necessary to become a published author.

MYTH #2...YOU NEED AN AGENT TO GET A FOOT IN THE DOOR

I worked hard my first year as a "professional" writer to strengthen my writing skills. I also started setting goals for my writing career and one of those goals was to land an agent. I thought the ONLY way to become an author was to find an agent willing to represent me and then THEY would magically get my stories published. 

I was wrong.

There are many larger publishing houses that won't consider an unagented submission, but there are still ways for writers today to get their work in front of a publisher. Here are some of the opportunities I have come across over the years where writers don't need an agent to get noticed by a publishing house...


1) WRITE ON CON (http://www.writeoncon.com)...a FREE, week long writers conference usually held in August and including things like critique forums, guest speakers, twitter pitches, editor chats and chances to pitch to publishing houses. 

2) PITCHMAS (http://www.pitchmas.blogspot.com)...Twitter pitch forum under #Pitchmas usually held twice a year in July and December. Agents and publishers requests manuscripts pitched during a one day pitch party and even publishing houses not normally open to unagented submissions will occasionally sign on to read the pitches.

3) PITMAD (http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitmad)...Twitter pitch party held four times a year under #Pitmad and hosted by author Brenda Drake where writers pitch their completed manuscripts to agents and editors. This is where I met my editor, Jessica Schmeidler, from Anaiah Press and where my story went from a twitter pitch to a book contract in SIX DAYS!

4) #MSWL (http://www.twitter.com)...Twitter forum where agents and publishers list their manuscript "wish lists".  Just do a search for #MSWL and the wish lists will pop up. Just make sure to research any agents or publishing houses before submitting and ALWAYS follow the publishing house's guidelines to make sure your manuscript has the best chance at being considered.


For those of you interested in pursuing agency representation, here are a couple of ways to bypass the slush pile as well as some agents looking to add to their client list...

1) JULIE HEDLUND'S 12 X 12 FORUM (http://www.juliehedlund.com)...in my humble opinion, probably one of THE best pipelines to get your work into the hands of agents. Registration is closed for this year but any writer serious about their career and interested in finding an agent should definitely check this forum out! 

2) RATE YOUR STORY (http://www.rateyourstory.blogspot.com)...not only can you receive FREE professional critique ratings on your picture book stories up to 2000 words, creator Miranda Paul also provides membership levels where writers can receive special newsletters loaded with contests and insider links to agent opportunities.

3) AGENT WHITLEY ABELL (http://www.inklingsliterary.com)...newer agent looking for Middle Grade, Young Adult and select Upmarket Women's fiction. She loves mythology, heartbreaking contemporary novels, historical suspense, and cute romantic comedies.

4) AGENT ALEXANDER SLATER (http://www.tridentmediagroup.com)...established agent looking for children's, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction. 

5) AGENT RENEE NYEN (http://www.ktliterary.com)...newer agent looking for Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. She is interested in YA historical fition, mystery, science fiction, and thrillers.

For myself, I am searching for agent to partner with because it is right decision for my future writing career. However, I encourage every writer out there looking to become published to do their due diligence and research the market. Maybe you aren't looking for agent representation. While a writer can still become a published author without one, like I did, there are still huge advantages to being represented by an agent so make the decision that is right for YOU and remember no matter what path you choose...agented or free lance...it STILL all starts with a great story!

What other opportunities, publishing houses open to unagented submissions, or agents looking for new clients have I missed? Add to my list by commenting below...



8 comments:

  1. I've participated in WriteOnCon for the last few years- it's a great program...I haven't participated in any of the Twitter pitch events yet (maybe someday, but not today!) but I do enjoy reading agents' wish lists during #MSWL.

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    1. I've participated in WriteOnCon for two years. I have gotten some requests via the twitter pitches and sometimes not. I still think it's some of the best ways to make contact with the publishing agents and editors.

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

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  2. Your Twitter Pitch Party success story is amazing! Love it!

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    1. Hi Genevieve! What's even more amazing is the fact they asked for only a ONE WORD revision through the entire manuscript! I was expecting much, much more but I'm certainly not complaining...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and coem back any time!

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  3. I'm a big fan of 12x12 and Rate Your Story. Also check out Children's Book Academy posts and consider taking one of their courses. http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/

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    1. OMG Ellen! How could have I forgotten the FABULOUS courses at the Children's Book Academy! I took their Picture Book Alchemist course and learned sooooo much! Thanks for reminding me about this great resource...

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

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  4. Thanks for these great links, Donna. Here's the link to Preditors and Editors so your readers can avoid scams and check what's being said about agents, publishers, etc. before they accept a contract: http://pred-ed.com/

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    1. Hi Heather! Thanks for the link to Preditors and Editors. I've used that link before and I agree...wonderful information to help writers out!

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

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