Friday, September 10, 2010

How to Publish Your First Novel

Please give a warm welcome to Bethany Ramos. She's guest blogging for me today.

The Big Leap: How to Publish Your First Novel
If your dream is to write a book, or even if you already have a novel, written by your hand, simmering on your computer for several months or years, it may be time to make the leap and consider publishing. These days, getting your first novel published is more difficult than ever before, meaning that you need to have business savvy and patience in the hopes of your success.

Understanding the Process

To begin with, an agent will work on your behalf to get your manuscript read and approved by a publishing house. Most publishing houses will only consider a piece that has been recommended by an agent to determine whether or not it is a promising project. The first step to even getting an agent to look your way is to send in a query letter, which will summarize who you are, your idea, and why you are qualified to write a novel.

Research Your Options

From there, you will need to research and create a list of agents that you want to contact. This is the time to write an attention getting query letter that will entice an agent to want to find out more about you. This letter will include a teaser first paragraph, information about your novel idea, information about you, and a closing paragraph offering to show the agent your proposal.

Create Your Proposal ~ if you're a nonfiction writer

To get one step further to publishing your novel, you must create a proposal that outlines your book idea. If an agent wants to follow up with you after your query letter, they will need a written proposal. (Fiction writers are usually asked to submit a sample of their work: a synopsis and a few chapters.) It can include a general summary of the book, a marketing description of who your book will target, an overview of the competition, information about yourself as the author, a summary of the chapters, and a conclusion of how long you estimate the book will be and how long it will take to write it.

If you are lucky, you will find an agent interested in your proposal that you can sign a contract with. This will solidify you with the deal that you have been hoping for and offer the help you need to publish your first novel: congratulations!

For a great selection of coffee makers Bunn, check out Bethany Ramos' website, The Coffee Bump.
Hurry to ENTER to win a copy of LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT by Susan Kaye Quinn! Winner announce on Monday.

Shannon Whitney Messenger over on Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe has a SIGNED copy of Paranormalcy to give away!

Check out Iggi & Gabi and the online workshop there for the month of September.

Won't you join my Blogfest on Sept. 15th to share some <3 and promote a fellow blogger/writer?

AND don't forget to return on Monday. I'll be posting that article I promised about my Bonjovi Weekend! Come read as the truth is revealed.


  1. Oooh! Looking forward to Bon Jovi gossip :o)

  2. Great post! There's SO much to consider. Just thinking about it makes my head spin :) Happy Friday!

    Marissa :)

  3. Great post! Thanks, Bethany! I write non-fiction. The thought of the next step makes my head spin, too! Happy Friday! (I've noted your blog fest, but please remind us!)

  4. Great post! Thanks for the advice!
    Have a great weekend!

  5. Great post! Can't wait to read Monday's post!

  6. Always something new to learning in the world of writing.

    Have a great weekend!


  7. awesome post! some really good information to have!

  8. Great post. I think understanding the process is a must.

  9. Fatastic post. And ready for BonJovi news.

  10. Bon Jovi weekend?! WooHoo! (see why it's SO hard to be unplugged???) (you're killing me. KILLING. ME.) *sigh*

    Have a wonderful weekend,

  11. Thanks for the info. I'm still in the writing phase of my YA paranormal novel, and have been nervous about what happens next.


  12. Oooo, so much good stuff here today! Thanks for all the great links and the how-to info. :-)

  13. hi miss sheri and thanks to miss bethany! this was easy to read and it made it like steps that mostly anyone could follow. i like stuff like that. if i ever think on publishing a book im gonna come back and read this again.
    ...smiles from lenny


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