It occurred to me that the Gracious Woman blog needs more posts about writing, so here I am with a report on my speaking engagement last night. The leader of the Fond du Lac Writers Club, John Silah, invited me to speak to the group after seeing a magazine article about me and my debut novel being published.
Wow, was I ever honored by all the preparation Mr. Silas had done. Approximately fifteen people showed up. I had forty minutes to talk. My talk included an explanation of my genre, Regency romance, historical background on the Regency era, the tale of my journey to publication, and I also gave a few semi-random tips on getting published.
- One of the VERY best ways to secure a literary agent’s representation is to meet with an agent at a writing conference. When you are ready, seek out a conference that includes the opportunity to sign up for pitch appointments. You will have fifteen minutes to pitch your book (and yourself) to an agent. Chances are, if all is as it should be, you will be invited to submit a sample of your work (usually, the first three chapters or first fifty pages of your completed manuscript). You will then go home, read that agent’s submission guidelines, and prepare the required materials, referencing the meeting in your cover letter. Another aspect is that most people who are invited to do this never follow through, thus winnowing the field to make more room for YOU.
- Get in a critique group or find a critique partner. Your work must pass the eyes of someone, or several someones, before it is anywhere near ready for publication. ACFW, of which I am a member offers this opportunity as one of the many benefits of membership.
- Research the accepted length of books in your genre. You don’t want to have your book automatically rejected because it is too short (happened to me), or perhaps way too long.
Susan’s book is available on Amazon.