Year ender: What I learned about book publishing in 2016

As the year 2016 comes to a close, I’m looking back at how much I’ve learned in the relatively short five months I’ve spent querying my first novel. Here’s what I now know:

  1. The online writing community is fantastic. Fellow writers and literary agents on Twitter are hugely supportive and positive people to engage with. I like to check out #amwriting #amquerying #askagent #10queries #querytip
  2. Know your genre. For more on this see Literary identity crisis: genres, tropes and ménages? Oh my! and part two Literary identity crisis: Part II
  3. Know your target word count. Make sure your manuscript word count meets industry standards for your genre. For more on this see When it comes to word count, size matters…
  4. #MSWL This hashtag deserves a standalone mention. #MSWL is a great way to find out what agents are looking for. There’s also a fabulous website You can search for literary agents by genre and keyword!
  5. Use Twitter pitch parties to get a shot at literary agents, even ones who are closed to queries visit pitch parties. Examples include: #PitMad #AdPit #PitchMAS
  6. Take advice from lit agents. When a literary agent takes the time to provide you with feedback take it! If you can’t handle the honesty, put the feedback in an folder and come back to it when you’re ready.
  7. Be prepared for rejection… after rejection… after rejection. Not to sound too negative, but it’s a reality of the publishing business so I’m told!
  8. Don’t give up.

Best of luck to all of those #amwriting #amquery in 2017! I hope 2017 is the year you land that publishing deal!