Have you finally put the last touches on your novel? Now, you think you’re ready to start on the next step of your journey? Don’t put that book in the mail just yet!
The search begins
Most budding novelists don’t have the necessary connections to one of the big publishing houses to get their novel on an editor’s desks. Many first-time novelists work hard to secure a literary agent, the go-between for a novelist. Your first step is to research literary agents, as you’ll probably need one–but you want to make sure you’re getting the right one for your book.
Read it again
Speaking of your book, read it again. As you’re thinking about who to put on your list of literary agents to contact, read your book from front to back. The purpose of this read is to make sure every word of it is necessary, every scene is essential, and every character helps move the plot forward. You should be confident that your book contains only what it needs, because each person that reads it will ask you about this character or that paragraph. Be ready to explain why you need each part of your novel to shape your story. In order to do that you must know your story by heart!
You are the first editor
You must be the first editor of your story before you can try to sell your story to anyone else. Imagine it as the bunk of a soldier in boot camp. Did you know that the sheets must be folded under their bunks just so, and pulled so tight that you can bounce a quarter off the bed? No loose slack or wrinkles or else! Edit your novel until it is tight enough to bounce a quarter.
For more tips on how to select a literary agent, be sure to check back for next month’s blog, and to find out more about The Right Guard visit the website.