Getting published is a big challenge but you may find some helpful advice on finding an agent, avoiding fiction mistakes, writing the dreaded synopsis, overcoming writer's block, and more, by clicking on the links below.
Finding an Agent
I don't have a magic formula for this subject.
However, I did find an agent and she did sell my book to a publisher. None of it came easily or quickly. I studied
Elizabeth Lyon's The Sell Your Novel Toolkit and Jeff Herman's Writer's Guide to Book Editors, Publishers, and Literary Agents. I contacted agents who had interests like mine (mystery, sports, psychology), or who had some feature in their personal background that made me think we might connect. I hired an independent editor to give me fairly inexpensive but useful feedback on my manuscript-she directed me to several agents. I attended mystery conventions and talked with people there about the process. I attended the International Women's Writers Guild "Meet the Agents" forum in New York City. I groveled in front of everyone I even remotely knew connected with the publishing business. And I suffered through multiple rejections and shouldered gamely forward, my skin toughening by the hour.
The following websites have helpful information on this topic:
Mystery author Susan Hubbard's site has an excellent article on writing a great query letter.
www.literaryagents.org - lists of agents, news about who's good, who's looking, who's hot, tips for cover letters and more
Making Light--a blog entry on getting an agent
Preditors and Editors
Todd Pierce's nine tips for finding an agent
Todd Pierce's advice on finding an agent in the Internet age
For more on writing and finding agents, click here.
www.litmatch.net - a free source where writers
can find and connect with literary agents.
Books on Writing
When I've felt discouraged about my writing, the following books were helpful:
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird
Noah Lukeman, The First Five Pages
G. Miki Hayden, Writing the Mystery
Gillian Roberts, You Can Write a Mystery
Larry Bernhart, How to Write a Mystery
Stephen King, On Writing
Ursula Le Guin, Steering the Craft
John Gardner, The Art of Fiction
Other books on writing mysteries and general fiction:
How to Write Killer Fiction By Carolyn Wheat
How to Write a Damn Good Mystery By James Frey
Forensics For Dummies By Dr. DP Lyle
The Elements of Mystery Fiction By William Tapply
Writing Mysteries (2nd Edition) By Mystery Writers of American
Writing Mysteries (MWA) Sue Grafton, Editor
Writing Mysteries By Margaret Lucke
Writing the Modern Mystery By Barbara Norville
Intent to Sell: Marketing the Genre Mystery By Jeffrey Marks
Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel: How to Knock 'Em Dead with Style By Hallie Ephron
Letters to a Fiction Writer Edited by Frederick Busch
How to Write a Novel By John Braine