So you want to write. Actually if you already dabble in writing articles, stories and now are on to a manuscript for a book then you, my friend, are a writer. But, writing your book is only your first step.
The first thing that needs to be done, of course, is to write your romance novel. Maybe you have a favorite romance subgenre you like and want to try your hand at it. Writing the actual manuscript can take from several months to several years. It all depends on your motivation to write romance! Of course the faster you write your books, the better. You’ll be able to earn money faster and the more books you write and publish, the more you’ll make. Think Nora Roberts on this one – she writes and publishes several books a year. She has a system that works.
We are not just talking about the first draft but the final revised copy of your manuscript that is ready to be seen by other eyes. You can ask a few trusted friends and writing colleagues to proofread your manuscript to see if you have dotted all of your i’s and crossed all of your t’s.
In an ideal world we would pick an editor from a major romance publishing house to read our manuscript. They would love it and immediately want to sign us up as the next big thing. The riches are just around the corner.
But, we don’t live in an ideal world. We have to make our dreams come true and that takes a bit of preparation.
Research what books are popular these days and also who is publishing them. Note that many major publishing houses won’t look at your manuscript unless it is placed in their hands by an agent. However, as the publishing industry continues to grow and change there are more and more opportunities for talented new writers without an agent.
The major houses are not the only publishers in town. There are plenty willing to give a first-time writer a shot. You can check out publishing houses by consulting a guide like The Writer’s Market. Inside are details for literary agents and publishing houses. Keep track of new publishers by subscribing to this website and other industry blogs.
Sending a manuscript to an editor requires the use of a query letter. It is your “foot in the door” so to speak. This is where you hook your editor on your book. If they like what they read, you may make the pile.
Realize that publishing is a business. In order for any publishing house to take on your book, it needs to be well-written, engaging and a money-maker.
It is not uncommon for first-time writers to be published without an agent however once you receive a publishing contract, you may want an agent to look it over. Believe me, if you have a publishing contract in hand, finding a qualified agent will be easy. Try to choose someone who has dealt with literary contracts before, who knows the romance industry, and who you like personally and professionally. It really helps to like your agent!
If you’d prefer to forge ahead without an agent, you can do it! Don’t be intimidated by contracts. The Write for Love & Money course covers understanding contracts and it provides an excellent step by step how to for writing your first or your fiftieth romance novel and getting it published.
When you get the thumbs up from the editor, you can cheer a bit. They want your manuscript but it will be a while before you see your name in print. This is only the beginning but a wonderful beginning it is!
The dream of any writer is to see their name in print. If you are looking to write or have written a book, it is not an easy task to get published. That, in itself, makes it all the more gratifying when you do.