Writing for the sake of writing is a reward unto itself, but writers want more. They want to get published in some way. Knowing how to get your story published means going beyond free blogging platforms so that your work can really get noticed and appreciated. Here are the steps that you’re going to want to follow.
#1. Become the best salesperson for your story.
You’ve got three questions that should be answered in 20 seconds or less (or 150 words or less) when there is an opportunity to pitch your story.
- What is your story really about?
- Who do you think will read your story?
- What should a reader get out of your story?
Be as specific as possible about what you cover in your story. Know what audience demographic will be attracted to the story. And be honest about what you expect your story to accomplish.
#2. Stop lusting after success.
There is a difference between lust and passion when evaluating a story.
Many authors feel lustful about their work. They want to see their story succeed, but because of an ulterior motive. Maybe its money. Maybe its influence or reputation opportunities.
Getting a story published requires passion, not lust. When a defined success doesn’t happen, authors give up because of lust. With passion, you want to see your characters succeed. You want the story to succeed because it can help the reader in some way.
#3. Suck it up, Buttercup.
You’ve got to have a tough skin as a writer. Rejections are almost always going to happen. Sometimes it will be hundreds of rejections. Thousands of them. All of them telling you that your work as a writer isn’t “good enough.”
So you got knocked down with a rejection. Stand up, dust yourself off, and keep fighting. All you need is one “yes.” Be patient and it will come.
Once you stop trying, you will fail. So keep trying. Brush aside meaningless feedback that is intended to make you feel bad. Listen to real feedback that is offered to help you find success.
#4. Do what the publisher asks.
This is a lesson many authors have learned the hard way. They’ve become so passionate about their stories that they refuse to make changes when a publisher requests them.
Here’s a hint: if a publisher requests a change, there’s a pretty darn good chance that they’re planning on publishing that story of yours. Make the changes.
You could stay committed to your story and reach out to the self-publishing industry to keep your story intact. Sure. Hundreds of authors have done this, sometimes with great success. The odds are against you if you take that course of action, however, and you’ll be doing much more post-book work.
So unless the request is completely unreasonable, like donating your first-born child to a charity of their choice, do what the publisher asks. It might hurt a little to make changes, but it will be worthwhile at the end of the day.
#5. Find an agent. Then listen to your agent.
An agent who invests their time into your story is like convincing a leprechaun to give you the pot full of gold that they’ve hidden at the end of the rainbow. You’re not sure how much value you’ll receive, but you know there’s a lot of value about to come your way.
Agents provide you feedback because they know what they’re publishers want. They’re trying to make you better. They are going to be presenting work to the editors they know with their reputation on the line.
So find an agent. They’ll be your best-ever cheerleader and will be invaluable to you if they love your book. Then listen to your agent. They want to make money and make you money.
#6. Rub your lucky shamrock more than once.
You need a little luck to get your story published outside of the self-publishing industry. You need the right story, advocate, and timing to make it happen. A great story might not be wanted today, but it might be wanted a year from now.
But you can also make some of your own good luck. Edit your story like there is no tomorrow. Make it as perfect as possible. Errors can make you look unprofessional at best and stop a story from being published at worst.
Knowing how to get your story published is a tale of courage of perseverance. Keep working. Keep striving. Keep listening. When you do, you’ll improve your chances a little bit more every day.