Thoughts on Getting Published

Many aspiring writers think the only way to get published is to get lucky. They have been told to make connections with publishing professionals, get to know editors and be bold about pushing their story ideas. They are told to start a blog, make business cards and start promoting themselves on Facebook before they even have a publishing contract. When do these poor hopeful writers have time to actually write their books? If you want to get published, no amount of luck, connections or blogging will matter if you haven’t put enough time into your writing.

Going way back, have you heard the story about Mary Shelley and how Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus was first published anonymously in 1818 by the author’s father, William Godwin? Certainly, Shelley was exposed early on to writing by her writer parents and eventually even married a writer. Maybe she was lucky to be from a writing family, but connections aside, she first and foremost wrote a great book. Frankenstein became a classic piece of literature because the story was unparalleled at the time, not just because Mary Shelley was lucky enough to have a famous family.

If you want to get published, write a good book. Then edit, polish, scrub, and revise. Sure, it’s a good idea to go to writing conferences where you can meet editors and connect with other writers, but remember there is no quick road to publication.

It’s like losing weight. No matter how many people want to profit off telling you there’s a magic diet pill, there is no shortcut to health. There is only the next step on the treadmill or the next bite of healthy food. With writing, there is only the next word. Eventually those words form a novel. It’s an organic process, not magical.

If you want to get published, don’t give up. There is no magic pill, but you can write the best book possible and submit it to publishers. The wait might be long and there are no guarantees, but you will have done it. You will have written a book you can be proud of.


(These thoughts are taken in part from an article I first published in the Rocky Mountain Writer)

7 thoughts on “Thoughts on Getting Published

  1. Thanks, Sarah. I tried to email you, but it didn’t seem to go through. I’ll check the other post out over at Chip’s. Glad you are blogging for him. 🙂


  2. Thanks for your response on Chip’s blog! I have an earlier post published on February 5th if you are interested.

    I like your site, and Frankenstein is one of my favorite books! I love reading the classics. 😉


  3. Alice: It has happened to all of us at some point. The deep need to be published can so easily overshadow our purpose. You obviously did a great job of stepping back and getting to work on the writing. You have wonderful books to show for it!

    Joanne: Such great adivce from a debut novelist friend. You are doing a great job at juggling it all, Joanne. Love watching your journey, and I can’t wait for Cowboy Trouble March 2.


  4. My fault was that I just wanted so badly to have a novel
    published that I forgot that writing is THE key, just like
    you’ve stated in this article. So many aspiring authors
    think that just because they want to have a novel out
    there it will somehow get its place on the bookstore shelf by a magical twist of luck. Blood, sweat and tears is how most of us got published as we edited, edited, rewrote, stuck to it, edited, struggled, and finally succeeded. The road can be long, but how sweet when the doors open! I always say, “If I did it, anyone can.”

    Thanks for this post, Tina!


  5. Well said, Tina! Nothing is more important than writing a good book. I think the other factor is tying to learn to be a better writer every day. Read books on writing. Go to conferences – not for the connections, but for the workshops. Study your craft, and practice, practice, practice! Keep it up, Tammy! You definitely have the right attitude!


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