If you are a writer who wants to go the traditional publisher route, you may need an agent. However, if a literary agent does not accept your book, you may still be able to find a publisher. In their competition with self-publishers, some publishers have taken a more proactive approach by inviting submissions without agent representation.
Publishers Accepting Un-agented Submissions
If you want to take a chance on submitting your work without an agent, please keep in mind that such submissions are invited during specified periods. The notifications on the publishers’ websites will explain what categories are being solicited and what is needed in the submission—such as a synopsis, parts of the drafted manuscript, a short note about the author, and/or something else.
Notable publishers such as Little, Brown, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan, Jonathan Cape, and Tinder Press now accept un-agented submissions. The Bookshed is keeping a list of publishers accepting un-agented submissions on its website. The Bookshed’s current list includes more than 35 publishers as of December 8, 2015.
Talented Novice Writers Welcomed by Young Editors and Small Publishers
As Ken Follett points out on his website, small publishers and young editors want to find a talented unknown with bestseller potential. He explained that even if a first book is not superb, these small publishers may still take a chance on a novice writer with promise. He said that his first accepted book was flawed, but it was still accepted and published because the publisher believed he had promise.
Normally, the complete manuscript is required. In some cases, an outline and some chapters are sufficient. An outline is useful as it reveals what the story is about and how it progresses from start to finish. But, the actual work is needed to see the ability of the writer. Nataly Kelly informed readers in Huffington Post that after failing to get an agent she contacted an editor through LinkedIn. So, social media provides another way to contact publishers.
Agents are Valuable
Agents are valuable for publishers because they filter what they receive. Agents help writers by offering their books to the appropriate editors and/or publishers. They also help writers navigate the complexities of the process. Nataly Kelly told her Huffington Post readers that even though she found a publisher without an agent, she got an agent afterward to help her through the contractual process. She said the agent’s assistance was invaluable.
There are many ways to find an agent. Even the phonebook is a useful resource. Other sources include AAR-online.org—the website of The Association of Authors’ Representatives in the US, and Writers.net. Be aware that agents are usually specialists.
Try traditional publishers because they will help market and sell your work. You can always try another publishing method if you fail to get your work accepted by a traditional publisher.
Are you wondering about writing a book? Or, do you think writing a book is not worth the effort? Consider that a book engages readers more than blogs. It is easier than ever to publish a book. Today you can self-publish and bypass publishers who once offered the only way book authors were published.
Books are Change Agents
If you have a deeply felt creative idea or solution, you may want to write a book. Although fewer people will read a book than online content, a book captures interest and attention the way a blog, or even a collections of blogs, is unable to do. This is why Seth Godin, a highly successful online entrepreneur and marketer, chose to write a book.
Even when there have never been as many ways to share and consume information, books still have a place. Books allow readers to absorb the material at their own pace. Books give substance to creative thoughts and allow them to be absorbed thoughtfully as readers read the content from beginning to end.
Provide Protection from Unauthorized Use
Plagiarism is easier when the material is more accessible, widely shared, and less protected by copyright than a book. If a publisher publishes the book, it will also be protective of the published content and its revenue-earning capacity.
Books Boost Reputations and Revenue Streams
If you blog, you should consider writing a book. Readers respect book-writing bloggers more than bloggers who have not written books. Even celebrities have gone the book writing route to broaden the way they share themselves with others. Ethan Hawke, Tiny Fey, Jesse Eisenberg and a host of other celebrities have become book authors. Some, like Suzanne Somers, have used their persona to sell their work, while others use their work to boost their reputations and/or revenue streams.
Books Serve Different Purposes
Books are broadly accepted calling cards for gatekeepers of content venues from digital sites to other media sources, lecture halls, conference venues, boardrooms, and anywhere material can be presented and absorbed. They can be conceptual representatives, manifestos, discussion-starters, marketing tools, icebreakers, and a way to pass time enjoyably in solitude.
The work required in writing, publishing, and publicizing books earns respect. Books require rigorous thought, effort, and substantial content material. Authors become more authoritative with a vehicle that opens other paths to gain attention, such as videos, presentations, and merchandise. A book can remain unchanged or be updated and expanded through other means.
If you are willing to make the commitment—write a book. Create leverage for your ideas and reputation. Discover why celebrities use books to share their life stories or some other aspect of themselves. Use the vehicle more permanent than digital content to connect with others.
If you are an avid fiction writer, then you have probably run into the problem of writer’s block once or twice. Lack of inspiration is the most potent enemy to a writer of any kind, but especially to one who relies on original tales and stories of fiction. Still, there are a number of ways you can get your creative juices flowing again, no matter how tapped out you feel.
Writers have a tendency to become stagnant in their work. They feel that the assignment at hand must be done as soon as possible, as many face impending deadlines for their work, but the fact remains that sitting behind your desk in your office is actually counter-productive to the creative process. To get the creative juices flowing, it is always a good place to start to get your actual, physical juices flowing: your blood. Try taking a short brake and going for a half an hour walk. We do some of our best thinking when we are walking, because we are getting more oxygen to our brains than by sitting behind a desk writing or typing.
Keep in mind that being sedentary is the enemy of creativity. Another thing you could do to combat mental and physical lethargy is to change your setting. Your desk and office may be the most congenial place for you to write logistically, but it may be stifling your imagination and creative capacities. If at all possible, set up shop in your backyard, on your deck, or at a nearby park. Try writing outdoors or simply change your work scenery to gain a different perspective.
This next pointer may be the most powerful yet: tap into your dreams. Even if, in your waking life, you are finding it hard to think creatively or come up with something new, chances are your subconscious mind is not having the same problem. It can be difficult, with your schedule, to record your dreams when you wake up in the morning, but give it a try. You can start by keeping a small notebook and a pen near your bed, perhaps on your nightstand every night. Wake up 15 minutes early every morning to give yourself time to simply lie in bed and think about your dreams. Close your eyes and try to recall every detail as best you can, no matter how seemingly inconsequential. Write everything down in the notebook—everything! This is the time where you should be a free-form recounting your dreams, and you can sift through the details and what is incomprehensible later.
You may get an idea for a new story form your dreams or maybe some valuable insight into a story you are already writing, as our dreams are often cryptic messages to us about things that are going on in our waking lives.
No matter what grade you are in or what year of college you are currently taking on, essays will be part of your normal schedule and, as such, you should know how to construct a strong outline that will make the writing process easier. Naturally, your essay will be in the introduction, body, and conclusion format. So, let’s begin with the introduction.
Your introduction should be captivating and interesting from the jump, but it also must be general. Don’t get too specific with your introduction, because this is the portion of your paper where you are simply letting the reader know what you will be writing about. Your thesis statement will be contained in your introduction, of course, but again, try not to get into too much detail at this point. Introduce your topic, perhaps provide a scenario, anecdote, or a quote that is relevant to your topic, and finish it off with your thesis. Remember that your thesis will shape your entire paper, so think of it as the cornerstone or foundation of everything you write, including your introduction.
When outlining your body paragraphs, it is important to gather all the research you have done and look over it carefully. Your research should act as a general guide to how you structure your outline and, ultimately, your actual paper. Consider your research and identify which pieces present the strongest argument for your thesis. Each section of the body should be centered on a specific portion of your research. In other words, structure your outline so that each body section is arguing one topic that relates to your thesis. Your first body section should be reserved for your weakest argument and it should get stronger from there, until you come to your final body section, which should be your best and most well thought out point.
Once you have the topics of your body paragraphs outlined, the hardest part is over. Your conclusion should be a recap of all the information you provided in your essay and some final thoughts from you, the writer. Structure your conclusion section like this: a recap of your research and points you discussed in the body, a tie-in to your thesis statement (your conclusion should always tie into your thesis and possibly into any other valid points you made in your introduction, no matter how broad) and final thoughts or opinions from you.
Congratulations! You have made it into college. Go ahead and celebrate! But now that you are in, the hard part is about to begin. Writing college papers will take up much of your time as a student and can be very frustrating, but if you take to heart the following tips you will put yourself in a position to succeed and you may cut down some of your working time as well..
One of the most important things you can do when you are facing a big paper is to set a schedule right out of the gate. Try using this helpful strategy: however long your paper is supposed to be, add three days to the number of pages. For instance, if you have a 10 page paper due, give yourself 13 days to complete it. In these 13 days you should be devoting at least three hours each day to working on your paper.
Don’t worry about writing anything at all for the first two days. This initial time should be devoted to research and nothing but research. The next 10 days will be the time you use to actually write the paper, and the final day should be allotted purely to editing your work into a final piece.
When you know you have a big paper coming up you should always be mindful of note-taking. Your notes may turn out to be your most valuable source when writing your paper because they will be your firsthand reference to your topic and how to relate your notes to what you write. Take notes religiously during lectures, and organize them as best as you can.
As far as sources go, your course textbook is always a good starting point. Beyond that you can always ask your professor during office hours if he or she could recommend any scholarly writings on the subject of the paper.
Now for the single most important piece of advice for writing any college paper: stick to your thesis. Professors don’t care about big ornate words nearly as much as your coherent argument of your thesis. It can be very easy to lose sight of your thesis and veer off topic. Don’t let that happen to you. Try writing your thesis statement word-for-word on a Post-it and stick it somewhere visible near your work space. Write it anywhere you will see it frequently to remind yourself to stay on point.