The Perfect Path to Publication



Seeking stardom? Admittedly, there are flashier stations than that of the author. Rather less lonesome ones, too, but, hey. We get it, for fame is the means to an end . . . an end whereby you’re paid to bathe in timeless streams of eloquence . . . an end whereby you make a living making others live more gaily, doing what you’re meant to do—indeed, weave stories—on the daily. Sure, it does sound swell enough, but where does one begin? That’s tough. Our author services play a role, but you’re the gifted lead.

Step One:  Prepare Your Entire Pitch 

(And, yes, you read that correctly.)

Before you pull up to your PC, typewriter, or marbled notebook—before you get pecking, penning, or otherwise mashing morphemes—you’d better have an excellent outline put together, and if you can’t sell your story to the nearest lamp, you haven’t yet seen the light.

Also, bear in mind that the lamp doesn’t want to hear about “experimental fiction” or “fun for all ages.” What it wants is a clear-cut market, niche or not . . . and a hook.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” 

—Benjamin Franklin

Trouble with the preparations? Coaching could be mean everything. You want to know if you’re on the right track? Developmental editing will surely set you straight.

Step Two: Compose Like No One’s Watching

 (Good news: no one’s watching.)

At this stage, you shouldn’t be hung up on poetics. In fact, the more you labor over each sentence, the harder it’ll prove to shuffle (and discard) them down the line. Priority number one is a solid frame. You can flesh it out later.

“The first draft reveals the art; revision reveals the artist.”

—Michael Lee

So, in reality, this step is more of a boundless sequence. When it comes to rewrites, there isn’t a magic number—no. But draft one . . . well, that’s always the daft one. Every stage of distillation makes for a purer product.

Step Three: Arrange for Editing

 (In other words: bite the bullet.)

 No matter how many passes you make, you’re bound to pass over untold defects. Agents, in turn, will pass on the book, which makes for a miserable impasse.

Think of your manuscript as a spaceship. First things first, that baby needs to be put through its paces. It needs to undergo rigorous testing, meticulous tuning, and maddening scrutinization before takeoff. The vessel may be a work of genius, but one mistake could spell disaster.

“No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published.”

—J. Russel Lynes

 Man’s propensity for rationalization can’t be denied, and editing offers many outs. It’s expensive, exhausting, and likely to take us beyond our comfort zone. Kind of sounds like the crosstown gym. We tell ourselves we’ll work out at home, but the odds of that “working out” are slim. Suffice it to say that major gains are paralleled by major pains. Allay the ouch by getting the ultimate bang for your buck right here.

 Step Four: Arrange for Proofreading Too

 (In other words: bite the bullet again.)

 Once you’re absolutely certain that everything is just right . . . it’s time to prove yourself wrong.

Even we can’t promise flawless work—no one in the industry can—so, if you’ve already paid for a Specter Services edit, we’ll cut your proofreading bill in half, allowing another staffer to review the file afresh.

“Picking up your first copy of a book you wrote, if there’s one typo, it will be on the page that your new book falls open to the first time you pick it up.”

—Neil Gaiman

Come this far? Don’t “give up the ghost” mere feet before the finish line. A final sweep is pivotal. Of that, there’s no denying.

 Step Five: Create a Sweet Synopsis & Captivating Query

 (Or . . . allow us to do so for you.)

One thing that many aspiring writers fail to account for is the fact that agents/publishers/etc. don’t read the whole book before making a decision. Instead, they’ll read your query letter (a brief introduction/pitch), your synopsis (an overview of the story’s full plot), and—if you’re lucky—the book’s beginning (never “standout samples” showing “where it really gets good”).

Luckily, you’ll have gotten off on the right foot (step one), and your story will practically sell itself. But be your bag fiction or “non,” to sell requires a rather different skill set—so, do consider a helping hand. Our expertise comes frightfully cheap.

“Outselling isn’t selling out. It’s knowing what you’re all about.”

—Specter Services LLC

A book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, the opening chapter, or discrete documentation. Time, however, is moolah, so you’ve gotta prove your story is worthy. The query and synopsis are your chance to do just that.               

 Step Six: Obtain an Agent

 (Warning: monkish patience required.)

 To be fair, this is kind of like advising an athlete to simply get into the Olympics . . . but dreaming big precedes the dreamlife.

Steps one through five are like a trek through bumpy terrain. This is where we come upon a rock face—sheer it would appear. And sadly, few survive the climb. A tip from the experts? Take your time. Yes, absolute attention to detail is what you need—not speed.

“Hell hath no fury like a hustler with a literary agent.”

—Frank Sinatra

Rejections are frustrating, but even the biggest-name authors experienced their (un)fair share before hitting it big. Another Sinatra gem applies: “The best revenge is massive success.” So, do your homework carefully. Review each agent’s submission guidelines, and follow them to a T.

 Step VII: Get Back to Honing Your Craft 

 (Wait not with bated breath.)

Once you’ve sent out the last of your query packages, the best bet is to assume that things aren’t going to work out . . . this time. Positivity’s great and all, but realism will serve you better. A long slog lies ahead.

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”

—Steven King

We all must take a private path, and no results are guaranteed, but soul, a clear-cut goal, and friends should prove sufficient to succeed. Our awesome author services ensure you never go astray, and by your side, we plan to glide until enthronement day.



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