How To Write A Book and Get Published
How to write a book
Click here for a complete library of advice on all aspects of writing a book. Or review individual highlights below.
• How to plot • Watch our plotting video • More on how to plot • Show don't tell • Prose style checklist • How to create characters • Giving your characters an inner life • How to give your novel a sense of place • Points of view • Dialogue • Themes - the soul of a book • First sentences • The one-third plotting problem • Taking your time • Breaking the rules • Dealing with writers' block • The Elevator Pitch • Stop tinkering • Copyright
All about literary agents
Getting an agent is easy - it's writing a good book that's hard. All the same, it pays to be professional and disciplined when approaching agents and the more you know about how literary agents work, the better. Click here for a full guide to approaching literary agents, or scan the highlights below.
• How to find an agent • What agents do and who needs an agent • More on finding an agent • Agenthunter (our Searchable List of UK literary agents) • Write a great query letter • Sample query letter • Writing a synopsis • Writing a book proposal • More on book proposals • Manuscript presentation • Literary agent fees • Should you ever pay a reading fee? • Meeting agents • Agents for crime & thrillers • Agents for non-fiction
Bear in mind that by far the most important aspect of your approach to agents is the quality of the manuscript you're bringing them. 99% of writers are rejected by agents because they're books aren't yet good enough. So make them good enough. And if you want to pitch your work to agents face-to-face, then come to our Festival. It's a truly amazing event.
Genre by genre
We've got a comprehensive index of different genres here, with advice pages aimed at writing books of every different type.
Buit if you truly can't wait to hop in, you can sample some of our wares by clicking through on the links below.
Young adult fiction • Historical fiction • Crime & thriller • Women's fiction • Fantasy fiction • Poetry • Travel • Inspirational True Life story ("Inspiration Memoir") • Non-fiction book proposals • Writing your memoir • Short fiction
Writing for the Screen
Nothing's more exciting than writing a screenplay - and nothing is harder to sell. But that doesn't mean you should give up before even starting, it simply means you have to aim high and be relentless in the pursuit of excellence.
The Getting Published Day, 2014Saturday 1st March, 2014. Regent's College, London
We’ll have workshops, talks, and editorial feedback sessions to help you get your book into shape – and we’ll have agent and publishing experts on hand to answer all your industry queries.
You'll be hearing direct from:
Publishing and self-publishing
The world of publishing is changing faster now than it has done in 500 years. Yet it's still easier for new authors to spend money than to make money - and the median sales of a self-published book remain stuck at a few dozen.
So don't get caught out. Use our handy guides to the world of publishing to navigate your way. Or talk to us about your project. We're here to help.
• Quick Guide on How to Get Published • What's the difference between commercial publishing and self-publishing? • Ghostwriting • Self-publishing advice. • Or buy our comprehensive guide to Getting Published
Where to get help
Writing a book is amazingly rewarding - but it's also blooming difficult.
So get help! By all means read the articles on this page - they're there to assist. But you need to go further than that. Here are three extra steps you can take to boost your chances.
2) Make some friends. We've got a community of writers who are supportive, friendly and care about the same things that you do. So join them - it's free.
3) Take a course. You will learn so much more than you think you will. We have courses for complete beginners, those wanting a more in-depth treatment, and for those who have already written their novel and are embarking on self-editing. We've got still other options here.
4) Attend a writing event: See here for all the details on our upcoming Getting Published Day in London.
How to Write a Book: top 5 tips
1) No half-measures. Your work has to stand out from a huge pool of talent. So, please, no thrillers that don't thrill, no rom-coms that aren't funny, no literary novels that aren't actually literary ...
2) Story matters. We don't care if you're writing for six-year-olds or want the next Booker Prize. Either way, story matters. If a chapter doesn't contribute, it needs to go.
3) Prose matters. Sentences are what you write with. You cannot construct clumsy sentences and hope to progress. That means taking acute care over what you say and how you say it. With every sentence.
4) Be obsessive. Successful authors take care over every aspect of their craft - or, to put it another way, they're out-and-out obsessives. Be the same!
5) Be willing to learn. If you wanted to be a pro dancer or filmmaker, you'd take classes. So apply the same rigour to learning how to write a book. We offer every sort of help you could want. Accept it!