Ten Tips for Aspiring Authors
1. Keep Writing
If God has given you a book to write, or if you feel He has placed a story on your heart that needs to be told...write, write, write. Get it finished, and make sure it is written to the best of your ability.
2. Join a Writer's Group
There are many Christian writers groups for aspiring authors. In order to make your manuscript the best book it can be, you should join one of these groups and learn from others. A couple to try are Christian Writers Guild and Faithwriters.com
3. Join a Critique Group
Once you're connected with a writers group, you should be able to form a critique group. This may be an online club, wherein you and a few other aspiring authors take turns reading each others' work. Feedback is then given, allowing you to take your manuscript to another level.
4. Read Other Books Similar to Yours
If you want to write a mystery, read mysteries. If you want to write a Christian romance, read Christian romances. If you want to write a Christian general fiction, such as Karen Kingsbury's works—read Karen Kingsbury's books. You get the idea. You must be well versed in the type of genre you wish to write. Editors and agents will expect this.
5. Get a Copy of Writer's Market
This is an informational book that releases new every year and has a list of editors and agents who are acquiring new material.
6. Write a Brief Synopsis for Your Book
Once you've finished your book, and you're happy with it, write a very brief one-sentence or two-sentence synopsis. This will go a long way in helping you convey the story to an editor or agent. Example: Gideon's Gift is about a sick little girl, an angry homeless man, and the gift that changes both of their lives forever. You need something like this for your book.
7. Write Back Cover Copy
Next make your synopsis long enough to work as back cover copy. This will give you a way to place on one single sheet of paper, the summation of your story. Read the copy on back covers to get an idea of how long and how detailed this information should be. It should fit on one page, double-spaced. If you are writing a non-fiction book, you will also include a chapter outline at this point.
8. Write a 2-3 Page Synopsis
This will be the synopsis an agent or editor will read if he or she is interested in your previous synopses. You must include all information in this synopsis. Whereas the others might have intrigue and missing information, this one must give it all away. It will give adequate information about characters, plot points, conflict, and resolution, to be a concise version of the novel.
It's time! Submit all forms of your synopses to an agent. Karen Kingsbury is represented by Alive Communications in Colorado Springs. You may look online for other agencies, or check out the listings in the Writer's Market or Agent's Market book. Every agent may want something slightly different, but it's always wise to include these items in your proposal:
- Cover letter introducing yourself and your idea.
- Brief bio on yourself.
- All forms of your synopses.
- First three chapters of your book.
Nothing written or done for God will happen without your diligent prayer. Pray and seek God's will. Sometimes He is telling you to write; other times He is telling you to take a season of education toward your writing. Other times He wants you to volunteer at your child's school and put writing on hold. Try to be discerning.