Is it hard to get published?
by David W. Huffstetler
I’m not sure “hard” is the right word, maybe “darn near impossible”, but that’s a phrase, isn’t
it? Seriously, it can be very difficult and often frustrating, but I’ve found a number of things
that seem to be common among agents and publishers, and I’ll start with the process. We will
assume that you have written a terrific story, but that isn’t enough.
The dilemma we face with major publishing houses is that they only accept submissions
from an agent, and agents seldom want to represent someone who has not already been
published. It may sound unfair, but you just have to accept that as the world we live in. So,
for an unpublished author, you can approach agents and/or you can submit your work to
independent publishers. I found the website Preditors and Editors to be very helpful. It lists
and rates publishers and agents, as well as offering links to help with things like query letters.
Remember, you can always get an agent, but you may wish you hadn’t. There are those who
will represent you if you pay them a fee, and there are subsidy presses that will print your
book, if you pay them. Take care or you can find yourself with a closet full of books, trying to
sell them to your friends and family. If you’re considering self publishing, I suggest looking at
Amazon (Kindle) and Createspace.com (paperback). Their services are free, and they list your
book on Amazon.com; however, they don’t promote it.
If you choose traditional publishing, then the first communication is the query letter, and it
must be perfect, no typos and no errors in grammar. The one-page synopsis of your story
needs to be just as perfect. If they spark the interest of the agent or publisher, then they
will ask for a partial manuscript, probably the first 50 pages. Did I mention that needs to be
perfect? If it isn’t, you’ll never get past the gate keepers.
Now, you have thrilled them with your partial, and they ask for the full manuscript. Of course,
you want it to be error free too, but the first half is particularly important. By the time an
editor has read that far, he or she has probably decided if this is a story they want. There is
much more to say about the content of your manuscript and the craft the editors look for, but
I am running out of words. I am writing another blog to address that, and you can find the
schedule for this blog tour at bloodonthepen.blogspot.com. I hope to see you there.
Jack Harden is a modern-day Texas Ranger haunted by his wife's death a year ago.
But when a murderer strikes, he is called into duty. Now he must battle the urge to kill the drunk driver responsible for her death and the hunger to kill himself as he hunts for a serial killer who wants him dead.
Elsie Rodriguez is assigned to report on the murders for her newspaper and ordered to stay with Jack Harden. He's old school, tough, and doesn't want her there, but, despite his gruff manner, the big Ranger triggers something inside her. Something more than just her Latin temper.
Can she pull him back from the edge of sanity? Or will death win again?
David Huffstetler's Bio:
Educated in Dallas, North Carolina, David Huffstetler holds degrees in Engineering and Business Administration. He has worked in the area of human relations and spent fourteen years weaving through the maze of politics, including participating in a Federal Law suit as Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, with a sitting governor over issues of separation of powers. David has served on Boards of Directors for numerous professional organizations including Crime Stoppers, SC Workers’ Compensation Educational Association, SC Safety Council, the SC Fire Academy, and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Workers’ Compensation. He has advised governors and legislators on matters of public policy and legislation. His wealth of experience is broad and brings deep insight to his writing.
David’s work as a senior manager with a major industrial concern took him to international venues and exposures that helped feed his urge to write Disposable People, a dramatic expose of the working conditions and politics that engulf undocumented workers. Disposable People is a top-ten “Suggested Book” at Tufts University in Boston, MA.
He turned the frustrations and rejection that plagues thousands of yet-to-be-published authors into the heralded mystery/thriller Blood on the Pen, with a serial killer disposing of literary agents. David, an avid history buff, led him to write Dead in Utah, the story of Joe Hill, the controversial musician and union organizer accused of a double murder in 1914.
His books receive praise from mystery readers across the globe.
As an editor, David edited a treatise on the South Carolina workers’ compensation laws, as well as, Shannon Faulkner’s novel Fire and Ice. Shannon was the first female cadet at the Citadel. She received national publicity for her federal lawsuit and was a guest on Good Morning America.
As an editor, public speaker, and seasoned professional, David has appeared on television and radio, and has lectured on the East Coast, California, Canada and Mexico.
David currently lives in Lexington, South Carolina with his wife, Trudy.
Amazon ASIN: B0041G6JC2
BN ID: 2940012599278
Release: August 2010
Amazon buy link ($5.95)
Barnes&Noble.com buy link ($5.95)
Wild Child Publishing buy link ($5.95)