This is it. Your work has now been beautifully edited, and it gleams on the desk in front of you, fresh-faced and eager. You’ve investigated what publishers are looking for and selected a list of those which you believe will value what you’ve done. You’ve thought about how you might frame a submission letter to emphasise the best attributes of your work. You can visualise the feeling of jubilation you’ll experience when one or more of those on your list agree to accept your manuscript.
But if there’s something at the back of your mind holding you back from making those submissions, it’s probably fear.
This is the part of writing about which you’ve doubtless heard horror stories of rejection letters and frustration and despair. And that can happen. But there are strategies you can implement to minimise the effort and anguish which can sometimes accompany the quest for getting your work out to the world. There is no guarantee that your work will be accepted, but you can only do what you can do. If you can’t find a publisher for your work, you still have options— it’s not the end of the world.
And of course, for those whose work is rewarded with acceptance, this is the beginning of a new world for you. Those long nights and lonely days spent staring at a screen or scribbling in a notebook are all of a sudden worth it: your idea is vindicated, your urge to write assuaged…for now, anyway.
Of course, getting your work into print is by no means the end of the process. Books rarely sell themselves, however unique and thoughtful and beautifully crafted they might be. Even if you’re intending to self-publish, if you want to engage the reading world, you will still need to know how to make profitable use of your time and resources. Remarkably, there seem to be few writers who are natural marketers, but despite that, the roles need to go together if your work is to flourish.
This section will look at some of the things you might want to consider to optimise your time and energy in this final leap into the unknown:
- There are a few different options available when making a submission to a publisher.
- You might find useful some tips on handling rejection from those who’ve been there.
- You might find useful some tips on handling acceptance from those who’ve been there.
- You will find the publishing process less bewildering if you first become familiar with the basics of how it works.
- Developing your marketing and publicity strategies begins well before your work is ready for distribution, so it will be useful to understand what the broad alternatives might be, and what part you will need to play in the process.
Don’t let the fear stop you moving forward. You’ve done all the hard work – you just need to acknowledge to yourself that you’re taking this leap of faith with no guarantee of success, and that you can live with what happens. Once you’re in that place, sending off your submission letters becomes easy. Good luck.
Finally, we’ve also collected a number of other helpful links which you might find useful to access.