Over the next few months, we’ll be giving you short snippets of publishing and writing advice from industry professionals. This is Part 2. Part 1 was Top 5 Tips for Writing. This Top 5 series is curated by our intern, Sophie Lovell.
- “Myth number one: You can get your first book deal on sample chapters and an outline. No, you can’t… the economics of publishing are just as currently stinky as the rest of the world, and therefore far less likely to take chances on writers who might not deliver…If there’s one serious tip that I can sear onto your brain it’s the one that says simply: You need to finish your book…” –Patrick Ness on booktrust
- “Your pitch letter is like your covering letter: whether you are sending to agents or publishers, the pitch letter is often the first thing the agent or editor sees, so it’s important you make it as snappy and relevant as possible. If you can, try to sum up your novel in a one sentence pitch, and always keep your personal biography brief. And always, always proofread your letter.” –Louise Buckley, Tor Assistant Editor
- “Learn as much as you can about the agent-writer relationship and industry before you query: what an agent is and isn’t, the difference between a good, bad, and scam agent, how to approach agents correctly, what happens after you get an agent, what’s expected of you as the writer, etc. Knowledge of the industry lends itself to preparedness and professionalism.” –Casey McCormick, on darcypattison.com
- “If you’re a nonfiction writer, let me know if you have identified a gap in the market, and explain why you’re the best person to write on the topic. Establishing writing credentials is always a good idea. For fiction writers this means having short stories published, entering lots of writing competitions, or trying your hand at journalism.” –Annette Barlow, Allen & Unwin Publisher
- “Almost no agent or editor accepts full manuscripts on first contact. This is what “No unsolicited materials” means when you read submission guidelines.” –Jane Friedman