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Querying Literary Agents

Querying literary agents is a time consuming and daunting chore. If you want to get your book published via the traditional route , you need to go through a literary agent as very few publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts.
    There exists such a thing as 'Manuscript Wish List' where you can view what literary agents are looking for. There is also 'query tracker' which can help you find and keep a list of the agents that you've queried. Twitter is also a good resource- use #mswl and search away- you can also add other tags like #dystopian or #YA.
    Now is the time to follow literary agents and publishers- even if you don't query them. They will often post about making pitches or share their personal experiences. This information will be helpful to you in so many ways because, as good as your novel may be, you need to make the perfect pitch to catch a literary agent's eye. Secondly, you may find new literary agents and publishing houses on twitter and …

Editing your novel

I got a B in GCSE English, but that was like 20 years ago. The English language has changed since then...okay it hasn't really, but chances are you'll need to refresh your memory on a few things.
    'What things?' I hear you cry. Well, for example; how to properly use punctuation (google em- dashes), what punctuation to avoid (semi colons, apparently), when to use a paragraph, when to indent a paragraph, sentence structuring (have you started to many sentences with an 'I'?), perspective filtering... and so on.
    So, what are your options? Well, you could buy a book on editing and do it yourself. Or you could hire a professional editor. Whilst it can be expensive, you don't necessarily have to get the entire manuscript edited. You could just have the first few chapters done and follow that example.
    Why should you pay out for an editor when a publisher will do that anyway? Well, imagine that you're a literary agent and you receive about 5000 querie…

Beta Readers...get some!

Once you've completed your manuscript, it's wise to get people to read it and give you a critique. You can pay for this service but you can also use sites like Inkitt and Wattpad. On Inkitt, for example, you can publish your novel- either the first few chapters or the entire thing- and you can remove it at any time. Inkitt also has anti-copy and paste software to protect your work, as does Wattpad. Both sites also have a 'beta readers' forum where you can ask for people to who read your genre.
    I have found Inkitt to be the most useful of the two sites.
    'Can't I just get my friends to read it?' No, you can't. Here's why... your friends and family may not be as honest with you as they should be. You need brutal honesty. You need someone to point out where you're going wrong and why. Don't be afraid of criticism, as much as it may hurt. Most problems can be fixed with partial re-writes or minor adjustments.
    Make sure you find at lea…

An Author's Journey- learn from my mistakes instead of making your own

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I was a fool.
    I blame eighties movies.
    A few months ago, I finished writing a novel called 'As The World Falls Down.' I edited it as best I could and then began to query literary agents. I assumed that the moment an agent read my synopsis, they'd request the entire manuscript and I'd be a published author by the time I was 39 (3 months to go).
    Yes, it was na├»ve. But, I blame all those eighties movies where the down-and-out writer pours their heart out over a typewriter, wraps the manuscript in brown paper and string, and then posts it off to a top publisher with immediate success. The publisher then gushes over their work and the author buys a mansion in Beverly Hills in the next scene.
    Of course, I didn't think it would be that easy. But, I didn't think it would be this hard either.
Truth is, like many aspiring authors, I was completely unaware of how the publishing industry works and what it takes to catch the eye of a literary agent.
    So, …