Will you read my manuscript and/or introduce me to your agent and/or meet with me so I can get publishing advice?

I would love to help…but I can’t. I used to say yes to these types of requests on occasion, but that opened up a floodgate of requests that I couldn’t manage. Due to legal reasons and time constraints (my full-time job, writing schedule and family/other obligations), I can’t keep up with these requests any more, as much as I wish for your success. And if it makes you feel better, those times I have reviewed someone’s manuscript and/or introduced someone to a rep and/or met up to chat about publishing was not at all like me handing over a key — in fact, quite the opposite was true, as there was a LOT more work to do.

So if you’d like feedback on your manuscript, I suggest either forming a critique group or reaching out to a freelance editor who will review your work for a fee (if you’re writing kidlit, joining the SCBWI will lead you in the right direction). As for meeting agents, joining the SCBWI and attending writing conferences are a great way to network with professionals in the publishing industry. You’ll also learn the proper way to query agents, which is what 99% of authors have had to do — effectively pitching your own work is a great skill to have in your toolbox! And one of the reasons I maintain this website is to answer questions about writing and publishing for those who’d like to know (you will find exactly what I would say to you in person or on the phone right here on this site — in my posts and articles/interviews).

The road to getting traditionally published is a tough one, often filled with rejection letters and years of hard work, so you’re not alone (I can’t speak to self-publishing because I’ve never tried it). The best advice I can give is to build a community of creatives and to keep going even when you feel like giving up. On days when it seems like everything you’re doing is worthless, pick up one of your favorite books to get re-inspired. I like to go for a walk and get away from my project(s) for a while to get some perspective. Persistence (and some talent/ability) is truly the key. Wishing you much success!

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)