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  • Writer's pictureTERRY ANN MARSH


If you followed along on my 10-part blog series – From Premise to Published – thank you! This is a quick summary of each blog, which can still be found on my website.

WHY ARE YOU WRITING? Are you educating, explaining, defending, entertaining, promoting, attacking … Are you writing for money, for fame, for posterity? Are you writing because you have a talent and you want to find a useful way to use that skill, or, are you writing because you can’t help but write—it must be written and you don’t care how many read it, or even if it gets published. Do you write for one or a million and one?

WHO ARE YOU WRITING FOR? It may seem like an obvious question, hardly worth asking, but knowing your target audience is very important if you hope to be published.

FORMATTING … The simple definition of formatting is to put things in proper order. This means, as a writer, you will have to format or prepare your manuscript so it is ready to be looked at by an agent for representation or an editor for publication.

ART AND WORDS …The best advice I will give concerning the relationship between artist and writer is to let the artist do their thing. My illustrator, Lintang Pandu Pratiwi from Indonesia, did an awesome job!

QUERY LETTER … Along with your manuscript submission, you will need to send a query letter. This is the who, what, and why of your submission. A lot of attention should be paid to your query letter, as it is the first thing an editor/agent will read.

HELP IS ON THE WAY … One of the nicest things about the writing community is its generosity. For the most part, people are very kind and helpful. Because we are all huddled away in our own writing space putting ink to paper, we need the larger writing community at times for encouragement, advice, and camaraderie. No matter how much my family loves me, my triumph over finding just the right word does not excite them the way it does me. I can honestly say I have not yet run into anyone that was rude or disagreeable.

SOCIAL MEDIA … Every publishing house will tell you that an author’s involvement in the promotion of their books is paramount to success. In other words, the more an author does, in tandem with the publishing house, the more they will sell. To be successful in selling books, authors must figure out their ‘brand’ and then give it a big push out the door into cyberspace, and constantly stoke it to keep it alive.

CRITIQUE GROUPS … A critique group can be a very useful tool on your way to publication. Basically, it is a group of 4-6 people (usually), who gather regularly to read and comment on each other’s work. The general rule of thumb for a critique group is to point out the strengths of the manuscript first before pointing out what we feel needs improvement. And even when criticizing, it should be done in the kindest way possible. We are not there to humiliate or offend anyone.

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET … What comes after a book is written is almost as important as writing the book itself. There is still much to be done. Today’s author is as much a part of the process of promoting their book as the publisher is.

GO … So, my friend, if you want to write, then write! Keep writing even if someone tells you not to, or tells you are not good enough, or they don’t like what you have to say. Don’t give up. Try harder. Figure out where you went wrong and try again.

Thanks for following along -- I hope it helped!

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