Dear Writer Revisited: Letter Seventeen
Moving along at a cracking pace, this letter deals with the steps writer should take now that she has finished her manuscript.
Getting published was described by writer Enid Bagnold as being like a "dream of pleasure". It certainly seems as if it would be. I often dream of being published. It stands to reason that being published would feel like a dream. However, it can take a very very very VERY long time for the dream to come true.
Virginia encourages Writer (and you) to have faith in your work. Your book will be turned down by publishers. Probably by a lot of them. You can take solace in the fact that a number of great novels were initially rejected. Or you can choose to be down on yourself about it (If no one wanted Harry Potter at first, why would they want my book???) Learn from rejection: learn to trust your own judgement.
Here are some suggestions Virginia makes to Writer for how to get her work into print.
1) Submit to literary magazines, and subscribe to some if you can, as these publications don't exist without subscribers
2) Enter competitions
3) Give public readings if you can
4) Read your work on the radio if you can
5) Consider putting together a short story collection
6) Submit your work to places that have published work in a similar niche as yours. I.e. don't send your Jack Reacher-esque Thriller to Mills and Boon.
Getting an agent can also be useful, as they make it easier to get your work in front of publishers. You avoid the slush pile if your work goes through an agent.
Remember There are no shortcuts. It takes as long as it takes, and sometimes you will submit to places and nothing will happen. The best weapons in your arsenal are time, patience, courage and confidence.