One of the most important steps in getting your manuscript seriously considered by an agent or an editor at a publishing house is editing. We often recommend that our clients find an editor to work with them before we send the manuscript proposals to the editors. Many times we love the story or the non-fiction book, but it simply needs work before it goes out. There are many good editors doing free lance work because of the layoffs at publishers. We have a list that we give to our clients and they can choose the editor they would like to work with. Fees vary and sometimes the editors that charge the most are not necessarily better than those who work for less money. You would need to talk to them and see who would be the best fit for you.
Another thing we suggest to our clients is that they join a critique group. Critique groups are important for several reasons. One, other writers look at your work and give you ideas. Make sure that some of the group is published. Their friendship and experience is invaluable. The second reason for joining a critique group is that writing can be lonely and your online friends can cheer you up when you feel discouraged. Maybe you just can’t write that day or maybe you got a rejection letter or even worse, more than one. Your friends are there to give you encouragement.
The third step is one that we’ve covered recently. Attend writer’s conferences. Sally Stuart’s Christian Writer’s Market Guide lists conferences or you can go online and let Google help you find them. Or, if you’re in that critique group, your friends can give you information about conferences they have attended. If you have an agent, ask them for suggestions. Again, conference fees vary and it will take an investment on your part.
Think of your writing as a business. You will have to invest time and money to make sure your manuscript is in the best possible shape, and attend a writer’s conference. All of these things are tax deductable and that’s a good thing.
On a personal note, I am at home, working in my office every day, going to therapy 2 times a week and exercising at home, recovering from back surgery. I’m working on transitioning to a cane. My goal for walking unaided is the fact that we’re going on a cruise to the Caribbean in December and I want to be able to shop at my favorite jewelry store on St. Maartens.
Blessings to all,