So you’ve finished a novel, Now What?

This workshop is separated in three tiers that will play out over the course of a month. For each tier we’ll tackle the next steps in the publishing journey. The goal is to lay out the information for each participant in a clear, concise manner to keep the publishing trenches from feeling so alone and terrifying.

Tier One (the first week and a half): Polishing and Formatting

Lesson One: Formatting

The Industry has a standard in which they expect all work to come in. It not only makes life easier when they start formatting (if they sign your novel), but it also keeps everything uniform and less distracting. Want a surefire way to make an editor’s assistant stop and give you a closer look? Have your manuscript tightly formatted and ready to go.

Lesson Two: Editing Fundamentals

Everyone knows to run a spell check. But in this lesson, we’ll run searches on trigger words (overused words that don’t need to be there) and other basic editing steps your critique partner didn’t tell you about.

Lesson Three:  Last Pass

Let’s take one last look at everything, collect the loose strings, and make sure your manuscript is ready to go. We’ll also discuss Beta reads, critiques, and contest entries at this point. And what to look for in all of them.

Tier Two (second week and a half): Synopsis and Queries or more commonly called “Why do I torture myself this way?”

Lesson One: The Synopsis

I told my editor once “I’m just going to send you a synopsis that says ‘blah blah stuff happens blah blah’” and while she was amused at my little joke (no really, I was being completely serious), I was quickly informed that the synopsis was a needed tool. Here I’ll show you a quick and as painless as possible way to make sure you have a complete and thorough synopsis. Hey Scrivener writers, there’s a trick here for you as well!

Lesson Two: The Query

 You will get so much advice over the years on how to write a query. I still get advice on it, but I’ve done my best to condense all that into what I think is a no-nonsense attention grabbing template to help you keep your manuscript from the slush pile.

Lesson Three: The Pitch

The one-line pitch, the three-line pitch, and high concept are all necessary evils to achieving your publication goals. What about pitching in person? In this lesson we’ll hopefully answer all your questions and have several pitches ready to go.

Tier Four (the wrap up): Ready, Set, Submit!

Lesson One: Traditional Publishers, Small Press, Hybrids, Indies, and Agents Oh My!

Don’t know which direction (or combination of directions) you want to take your baby (manuscript)? Let’s hash it out here and decide which avenue (or combination of the two) works best for you.

Lesson Two:  Research

The idea of just shooting your manuscript off to any available avenue seems the most exciting. Afterall, we’ve done all this work and we want the world to see it! But first, let’s make sure we send to the right places, the right way. Nothing turns an editor or agent off the most—then when you don’t research. Think about it, could you imagine sitting down to pitch your super steamy romance to an inspirational children’s editor? It’s been done, I promise you. Let’s talk about how we avoid those catastrophes.

Lesson Three: Click Send!

This is it people, the final lesson. Wrapping it all up into one sendable query. The last stop on the submission train for all your unanswered questions.