Sometimes it’s easy to feel like a broken record, especially when it comes to general ins & outs of the publishing world. Yet, there always seems to be multiple folks who are still learning the steps of getting published; hence the repetition is to be expected. In my opinion, I know anyone aspiring to be published will benefit from asking those questions & doing that figurative “homework.”
Here’s my kind nudge that one should take the initiative and do the necessary research before, during, and after writing a book. The 3 types of research any author should do will include:
1. Thoroughly researching your book idea. Doesn’t matter if the book is fiction or nonfiction, the facts need to be dead-on. Not only are the editors smart and able to catch these errors (since most specialize in book categories), the readers will notice inaccuracies as well.
2. Researching your competition. Beyond the basics of ANY published book being competition for any newly published book, investigate books that share the same book category as yours. Besides these books already being published, it’s essential that you are able to successfully communicate that your book is as equally viable to editors and agents – despite the competition.
3. Researching the agents and editors. With so many websites and printed directories, let alone writing conferences where one is able to meet them one-on-one, there’s no excuse in bypassing this step. It’s to your advantage to work with an agent/editor who knows your category vs. one who doesn’t.
By investing your time into good, thorough research in advance, time will be saved and there will be less frustration. Plus, you’ll have the appreciation of the readers, book editors, and literary agents. 🙂
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Fabulous post with some great advice! Preparing materials takes a considerable amount of time — and I can’t imagine NOT doing your research! Afterall, as a writer, you invest so much of yourself in your work, your progress, and your outcome. This post is a terrific reminder to keep in check!