Getting published in five easy steps! Yeah, it’s not that easy, and everyone’s journey is different, but here are five things that helped me along the way.
1. Conferences: I went to every conference and writer’s retreat NESCBWI offered and it was well worth the cost. Reading books about how to get published isn’t the same as listening to editors, agents and published authors speak. I even went so far as to plan several mini-conferences in my hometown so I could hand pick the agents and editors I wanted to meet.
2. Networking: I joined a critique group and started hanging out with other writers—published and wanna-be’s. I volunteered to help at conferences, rubbed elbows and soaked everything in.
3. It’ll happen! Like Robin, I always told myself it was going to happen, so rejections weren’t a problem because I knew I simply hadn’t found the right editor yet. My husband scoffed when I wrote “writer” on our tax form one year. He said until I was getting paid writing was just a “hobby” but I wouldn’t back down and the next year I was getting paid!
4. Live Journal and Verla Kay’s Message Board: I joined Live Journal and hooked-up with an amazing group of writers in all stages of their careers and again—learned so much about the publishing biz. Verla Kay’s board offers non-stop publishing updates, news and camaraderie that was priceless.
5. Sheer luck! I signed up for an on-line young adult writing class hoping the author teaching it would like my writing and recommend me to her agent. She did, and the agent sold my first book in three weeks. The planets must have been aligned in my favor because the editor wanted to close the deal quickly as she was leaving the country for a two-week honeymoon.