Spring is here, and we should all take a deep breath of fresh air. And for aspiring writers on their path to publication, it’s a great time to freshen up on the important points of their journey. Think S.P.R.I.N.G.
S – Story. Make sure yours is original. Something that pulls the reader in and makes them beg for more. And make sure it’s something awesome an agent or editor has never seen before.
P – Proofread. Dot those i’s and cross those t’s. Make sure your grammar is correct—not only in your story, but in your query letters too. Use an active voice and strong words that make an impact. Get another set of eyes to look at your work. And do your research on what you’re writing. Believe me, someone will check!
R – Read. Make sure you know what’s out there, what’s selling, and what keeps you turning pages. Know your genre! Read, read, read.
I – Industry. Get to know the publishing industry and how it works. Find out what agents do and which ones are the right ones to query. Find out which publishing houses would be best suited for your story. Read submission guidelines and follow directions. Stalk the blogs and Twitter feeds of agents, editors, and publishers, and find out what they’re looking for and how to approach them.
N – No quitting. Everybody gets rejected. Even best sellers got rejected at some point in their careers. Don’t give up. Writers are required to have a thick skin. So don’t let first, second, or twelfth failed attempts get you down. It’ll happen. It happens to the best of us. Pick up that chin and try again.
G – Get out there! Involve yourself with writers clubs, author forums, critique groups, and like-minded people on social networks. Go to writer conferences and book fairs. Surround yourself with creativity, discover contests and pitch fests, and make friends with people trekking along with you on the same path. Just remember to get offline at some point and get back to writing!