Most of us agreed that the standards keep getting tougher for new writers. How can we possibly keep up with the ever increasing expectations?
If you're standing in the LONG line, waiting to get into the traditional publishing door, what are some ways to move ahead in the line? Are there any ways new writers can get an advantage?
Yesterday many of you may have read agent Steve Laube's interview over at Seekerville. He was asked: How many new authors do you take on each year? Are you interested in submissions from new authors? His answer: I won't say no unless I've seen it. But I say "No" about 99.99% of the time.
His answer depressed me! Now maybe not all agents are quite that limited in taking new authors, but the query-over-the-transom-into-the-slush-pile is definitely not an easy way to get into the traditional world of publishing.
One of my manuscripts has been sitting in the slush pile of an agent for months. I feel fortunate my query and sample chapter perked her attention and that she asked to see my full. But honestly, I've almost give up hope that she'll ever look at it.
What are ways new writers can get an advantage and move out of the slush pile? Of course it goes without saying that we have to master the craft of writing and be able to tell an incredible story.
But nowadays that's not enough. There are a lot of great writers who are telling great stories. So what else can we do to perk the attention of an agent/editor? Here are a few ideas I had:
- Win a writing contest.
- Find an incredible, fresh, never-been-touched story idea.
- Look for an untapped niche in the genre market.
- Meet an editor or agent at a writing conference and spark their interest.
- Make regular comments on agent blogs (do you think this will really help?). Hire the help of a professional editor.
Do you have any other ideas? Can new writers really find ways to get an advantage and cut ahead of all the others in line? Or should we patiently wait for our turn?
Thanks for sharing your ideas!