Okay, so is going to sound ridiculously clichéd. I mean, just about every author out there who is asked for advice for aspiring writers, basically tells them, “don’t give up”. But it’s true and surprisingly, this might just be one of the hardest parts about writing.
I mean, you finish your novel, you love it to pieces, you’re proud of it, you’re confident and you send it off to a billion publishers and literary agents…and you get a billion rejection letters back. It sucks. After about a year of querying for my book “Mechanical” I was about ready to give up. I was at my all time low, thinking I’d never get published and I might as well completely forget it. But just about a month later, I got three offers to sign “Mechanical”. So I’m glad I hadn’t decided to give up.
Persistence is key.
Just keep querying. There are soooo so many publishers and literary agents out there. There are obviously the big six publishers, but there also smaller presses that accept queries directly from authors – there’s always more people you can query. And don’t be afraid to query someone again with a different book, or a modified query letter.
Learn from your mistakes.
It can take awhile to get used to the whole publishing industry and how it works. I most definitely don’t have a complete handle on everything. But when I started querying, I was about 12 years old and my query letters were bad. Really bad. But I learned pretty soon what worked and what didn’t. I did some research and figured out what agents liked my genre of writing, how to write good query letters, and query letter etiquette. Once you know a little bit more about what you’re doing, it will get easier and your chances of getting published will go up.
Why did you start?
Whenever you feel like giving up, ask yourself why you started. For instant fame? I doubt it. You started because you love writing and ultimately, no matter what happens, you’ll always love to write, so do it anyway. I know that if even if I never got published, I would always keep writing. And persistence is one thing most successful people have in common, so keep going!
If you’re a teen writer, you’re young!
This is for all the teen writers out there, because I’m one and I’ve been one for four years and I know how it is. You want to be published so badly and you want to be published now. I get it. Really. But you have to remember, you’re young. After my first book I ever wrote (which I ended up self publishing) got rejected by just about every literary agent and publisher out there, my parents took me aside and congratulated me for trying, but basically reminded me that I was young and had years to learn and grow and hone my writing.
So don’t give up, no matter what! And good luck with your books!