This post by Michael Hyatt originally appeared on his blog on July 12, 2012. His good advice is timeless, especially don’t lose heart. I see so many people who believe if they write it, people will flock to read it. Writing well is hard work.
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As the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson, I receive a lot of email from would-be authors who are trying to get published. Because I make my email address public, it’s pretty easy to get to me.
However, by the time I hear from people, they are usually frustrated. They can’t get anyone in the book publishing world to respond, and they are convinced that they have a killer-idea. “If only someone would just read my manuscript,” they plead.The problem is that most publishers will not review unsolicited proposals or manuscripts. When I worked at Thomas Nelson, I personally received hundreds of proposals each year; my staff received thousands. Publishers simply don’t have the resources to review these. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.
So as an author, what do you do? Here’s what I recommend:
- Educate yourself. If you want to publish with a general market publisher, read 2012 Writer’s Market by Robert Lee Brewer. If you want to write for the Christian Market, read The Christian Writers’ Market Guide 2012 by Jerry Jenkins. Both books include writer’s guidelines and submission procedures for publishing houses. These books will give you a good overview of the literary marketplace.