First Readers, Revising, & Publication

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who not only won NaNoWriMo but who made ANY progress this month. I finished with 32,000 new words, and I’m really proud of that progress! New words are always better than no words at all. 😉

To wrap up NaNoWriMo and to help all of you forge onward with your new manuscripts, I wanted to share all the posts I’ve ever written about revising a novel, finding a literary agent, and getting traditionally published.



Revising Your Novel


First Readers



How to Get Published


Finding Literary Agents

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Resources for after NaNoWriMo (or any first draft!)

You’re ALMOST to the end!! One day left to reach your NaNo goals–to hit that 50K word count mark or to revise your manuscript or whatever it is you set out to do this November.

You got this. I know it…and heck, maybe you’ve already typed “The End” or maybe you said, “Screw this” on day 1. Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you DID something, and that’s always better than doing nothing.

And now, to help you on your journey after NaNoWriMo, I’ve compiled a list of resources both on my blog and across the web.

Also, before I share those resources, I want to offer you all an ENORMOUS THANK YOU! Thank you so, so, so, SO much for making the NaNaNoWriMo Bootcamp so awesome! For interacting with me for the entirely too brief 2 weeks that I was doing NaNo. For joining in the #BAMFWordBattles and cheering each other on. And for making this hands-down THE BEST NANOWRIMO YET! I cannot possibly express how much love I have for you all or how amazing this November 2013 was for me. ♥

Now enough of my yapping. Onto the helpful list!!


Helpful Revision Resources


Helpful Resources for Getting a Literary Agent


Helpful Publishing/Industry Resources


Other Generally Helpful and Awesome Resources

So there you have it. It’s not the longest of lists, but hopefully you can find something helpful on there. And of COURSE, share your own favorite online resources in the comments!

Happy last days of NaNo, my friends!! (And P.S., I get back next week and should return to blogging later in the week. ♥)

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How to Get Traditionally Published, Part 2

Read Part 1 in this series.

Read Part 3 in this series.

So, in case you missed Part 1, I am trying to lay out the very SIMPLE BASICS to getting published…

I emphasize “simple” and “basics” here because every author’s journey is different and because, although things seem clear-cut on the surface, they are actually kinda complicated underneath.

Overall, though, the moral of last Friday’s post was that getting an agent requires four main things:

a polished manuscript + a stellar query letter + tons of industry research + perfect timing

And sadly, today’s moral ain’t gonna be that different. That “perfect timing” component is such a bi***–and pretty much makes or breaks absolutely every author out there. (Read more…)

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How to Get Traditionally Published, Part 1

Read Part 2 in this series.

Read Part 3 in this series.

Recently, an email landed in my inbox that asked the basic question of, “How do I get published?”

I get asked this a lot, and every time, I write out an answer. Inefficient much, Sooz? I’d say it’s about time to lay down the basic (and I mean VERY basic) framework for getting published traditionally–so not self-publishing, but with a traditional publishing house.

Now, for those of you who didn’t already know all the steps involved, PLEASE don’t freak out. Getting published isn’t easy; it isn’t simple; and it isn’t quick. But if I can do it, then so can you.

Also, please remember there is no “magic” way to get a book deal or some “perfect premise” that will let you skip all the steps. Most people spend years trying to get published (heck, I spent years writing before I even got the guts to try!), and that’s just the way it is. If you want it badly enough, then a few years shouldn’t bother you. 🙂 (Read more…)

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LTWF: Writing a Saleable Book

Recently, someone asked me:

What is required to make a book saleable?

That is a rather large-in-scope question, and as such, I’m afraid my answer will be kinda vague.  All the same, I thought it was worth taking the time to answer for everyone.


My super broad response is the:

The most important thing in writing a saleable book is writing a good book. (Read more…)

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Trying Something New…


What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?

This next year, 2011, I really want to try speaking more German.

Honestly: it’s embarrassing how bad my German is after living here 1.5 years.  I never leave the house because I am an Stereotypical Introverted Writer.  Sure, I can get by in simple situations…  And I can understand a lot of what goes on around me.

But I can’t watch a movie (unless it’s a movie I already know).  I can’t watch German news.  I can’t converse about my writing even!

So yeah, this is kinda like a resolution.  It’s something I’m always too shy to do, but that I don’t want to be to shy to do!

In 2011, I will try to speak German more often.

What did I try in 2010?

I bet you can guess… (Read more…)

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How I Got My Agent (Part 4: The Calls)

I realize that I’m not the norm — that I was incredibly blessed to have 4 agents want to represent me.*

BUT, I also feel most of my luck can be attributed to the fact that I

  1. Worked my butt off to have a Perfect Product.
  2. Did my homework before querying.
  3. DREAMED REALLY BIG AND BELIEVED IN MY DREAMS! (I can’t overemphasize the importance of this!!)

Ever since I first started this novel last year, I’ve been dreaming HUGE.  I want the stars, you know?  And so I dreamed about the stars, worked hard to reach them, and then one day I did.** (Read more…)

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How I Got My Agent (Part 3: Query Submissions)

You’re ready to start sending queries…  YAAAAAY!  It’s pretty straightforward from here.  Email the query you’ve worked so hard on to the agents you’ve researched so diligently.

For me, querying was a roller coaster — no joke!  Like the fastest, craziest ride ever.

Oddly enough, the hardest part about my query submissions was being in Provence that whole week.  I had almost no internet, so I couldn’t obsessively check my email!  That week will forever be the most surreal, amazing vacation in my memory…  Wandering vineyards and eating French cheese while having agents request materials — Dreams Really Can Come True. (Read more…)

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How I Got My Agent (Part 2: The Prep)

Research, research research the agents you want to contact.  Make sure these agents represent your genre, and make sure you follow the agents’ submission guidelines — every agent has a different set of submission requirements.

The fastest way to get a rejection is to query an agent who doesn’t represent your genre or to not follow submission guidelines.  And those are such easy mistakes to avoid! (Read more…)

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LTWF: When multiple agents make an offer

Goofy and I are back to wrap up our last post: When an agent requests your manuscript.  So please, put on your imagination caps (or Disney caps — whatever), and imagine the snide voice-over yet again!

Now onwards! (Read more…)

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