Anonymous asked: Dear Sir/Madam, I'm currently in the process of writing a fantasy novel, the first fifty or so pages are complete. I have outlined the structure of this book along with another two books to follow and I am really enjoying writing it now the storyline is building. I know that you probably hear this question on a daily basis but it would be great if you could give me a few tips on getting this book published or in line for publishing when it is completed? Many thanks, Paul.
In the future we hope to do a series of interviews with our authors and editors to give more in-depth advice on this kind of thing for aspiring authors such as yourself, so keep an eye out for that.
For now, a few basic tips:
- First, this is rather obvious, but given some of the submissions we receive it needs to be restated: always follow the submission guidelines. Read and re-read them carefully, whether for publishing houses or literary agents. Make sure that you have formatted your work correctly, and that the content of your story is in line with whatever the publisher or agent is looking for.
- The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook is always a great source of helpful information on getting books in any genre published, so if you haven’t got a copy yet, you should probably get one.
- The most important thing, of course, is the quality of your writing - which means that you should edit and re-edit (and re-edit again) as much as possible once you are finished.
Give it to friends who love reading critically and try to consider their advice objectively (naturally, this will be extremely difficult to do).
- But since you are still in the process of writing the first draft, have fun with it! Difficult as it may be, try not to think too much about getting published, but rather, focus on making the book as great a book as you could wish to read.
- Furthermore, as a fantasy author, it would be a good idea to cut back on reading fantasy works for the period while you are writing, and focus on expanding your reading in a whole range of other genres. Assuming you have already read lots of fantasy and are comfortable with and clear on the genre, taking a step back for a short while could be a good move. This could help you to ensure that your writing doesn’t automatically emerge steeped in the tropes of the genre and instead is fresh/original/different.