The Proposed Steps to Publication

One of the things we’ve been talking about on this blog is where the path to publication sometimes goes wrong.

2013-10-28-f1a0d7c

But what is that publication process? One of the first things you’ll be told is that it’s different for every writer. It is. But the LA Times compiled a rather amusing game here that compiled answers from a whopping 200 writers to chart the ‘average’ publication path. (I got Shakespeare, BTW.)

Anyhow, I’m going to put down here a couple I’m familiar with:

Spec-fic Author, trad-pub
1) Write Short Stories
2) Accumulate Rejections
3) Sell a story
4) Sell a few more stories
5) Get nominated for an award (winning that award is optional)
6) Write your 7th novel (on average, isn’t it supposed to be the 7th that sells?)
7) Query agents while writing 8th novel
8) Accumulate Rejections
9) Get an agent
10) Agent subs novel
11) Accumulate rejections
12) Agent sells novel
13) Do lots of edits
14) Novel comes out, YOU’RE FAMOUS!

Various steps can be skipped in this structure, but that’s the basic one I was taught. Also, the mileage varies on the ‘You’re Famous’ statement.

Romance Novel
1) Write novels
2) Enter novels in various contests
3) Accumulate contest wins for that novel
4) Query agents while writing next novel
8) Accumulate Rejections
9) Get an agent
10) Agent subs novel
11) Accumulate rejections
12) Agent sells novel
13) Do lots of edits
14) Novel comes out, YOU’RE FAMOUS!

Again, mileage may vary, but it’s interesting to see how the first steps are different between the two.

What do you think the actual steps are? (Please write them out in step format for uniformity’s sake.)

#SFWAPro

7 thoughts on “The Proposed Steps to Publication

    • Honestly, that’s all you can do. In my opinion, getting through that first rough draft to the end is THE hardest part. So many people start, but never reach The End.

  1. My steps went like this:
    1: want to be a poet
    2: write lots of poems
    3: submit but don’t sell any
    4: take a screenwriting class
    5: write the next blockbuster
    6: no rejections, just ignored
    7: try novel writing (in my case 4)
    8: join writers critique group
    9: gain agent
    10: plenty of rejections
    11: published
    12: waiting on the fame

    • Yeah….that Fame part really does seem elusive. (Not that the ‘published’ part isn’t, but the Fame seems more random.)

  2. I’d have to add (and yes, I’m being lazy–sorry!) a step between ‘get an agent’ and ‘agent subs novel’ which is ‘do intensive revisions for agent’ since that’s my experience and I think the more common one. Even with a clean, pretty book, it seems like there are always some revisions to do!

    Good thing we love the journey, eh? ;)

    • True!

      Although I didn’t include it, I also made changes that my agent suggested. I’m all about making changes…

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