When you’re a debut author trying to break in to traditional publishing, one of the most important things to remember is this:
You already know it’s not going to be easy to break in, so you want to avoid making it even more difficult on yourself. This is why agents give so much advice on their blogs. Not every piece of advice applies across the board to every author, but we’re trying to help you have the best chance of attracting an agent and publisher.
Assuming you’ve written a terrific book…
In any of these situations, it’s not that you can’t attract an agent and traditional publisher. It’s just that it could make it more difficult.
The reason I’m pointing this out is because for every piece of advice I give, writers come back to me and say, “But what about So-and-So Author? They did that and they’re published.” All I can say is, yes, there are plenty of exceptions to every rule. But ask yourself: Do you really NEED to keep this obstacle in place, or can you eliminate it somehow, making your path a little easier?
When you read all kinds of rules and guidelines on getting published, don’t take it as “You MUST do this to get published,” but rather reframe it in your mind as “If you can, eliminate this potential obstacle to getting traditionally published.”
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