At the end of November, if you've won the NaNoWriMo challenge, you'll be left with a first draft of a full-blown novel. And at that point, any writer can't help but ask: now what?
The first thing a writer needs to do after finishing up a first draft is to celebrate, then consider publishing options. It should be noted that the first thing you'll have to do before submitting it to anyone, anywhere, is edit the crap out of it. It was written in month, after all. And then, then you'll have to write up the daunting query letter.
Query letters are the necessary key to getting an agent or editor to take a look at your manuscript. The letter usually consists of your book synopsis, a professional bio, contact info, any previous publications, and a sample of your book. Every agent and editor requires different things, which is why it's so important to do your homework on the person whom you're querying. But before that even begins, you'll want to perfect your query letter. If you've never done it before, don't worry. There are plenty of resources ready to help, and here are nine wonderful sites that do exactly that:
1. Writers Digest
Writer's Digest is the best hub for everything you'll need to know about writing, submitting manuscripts, and staying up-to-date on publishing news. There's frequent updates about new agents seeking manuscripts and interviews with debut authors on their publishing experiences. Check out this helpful Writer's Digest article on queries to get started.
2. New York Book Editors
NY Book Editors is made of up of a team or professional book editors who help independent authors take their manuscripts to new heights. They have a wonderful article on How To Write a Darn Good Query Letter that is a must-read for every new novelist. Their blog is also full of great writing tips, branding guides, and much more that you'll want to get to know as you enter the world of publishing.
3. Publishers Marketplace
While you'll need to register to access Publishers Marketplace, it's a must-have for any serious writers looking to get published. It'll offer the latest news on which editors are publishing which books, what deals were made with different agents and publishing houses, and also provide a go-to guide for how to query every agent out there.
Jane Friedman has over 20 years of experience within the publishing industry, and specializes in digital media strategy and how the digital age is changing the writing industry. Her complete guide to query letters is basically the bible for any new writer wanting to know what query letters contain, and how to make your stand out.
5. Agent Query
Ageny Query is the largest free database of literary agents, which will come in handy once you've created your best query letter. Their article on query letters will answer any and every question you have on the topic, and provide helpful tips on what you'll need to do in order to make your query letter successful.
6. Writer's Relief
Writer's Relief will relieve you in this big, scary, and important process of submitting your novel. Their massive database of helpful articles and tips on the subject will not only improve your query letter skills, but help you out with your editing process along the way as well.
7. The Write Practice
The Write Practice offers books, articles, programs, guides for teachers, and so much more. Their guidance and experience will give you more confidence in your writing career, and their tips from literary agents on queries will definitely help you out in your time of query needs.
8. Publishing Crawl
Pub Crawl is made up of authors and publishing professionals who blog about reading, writing, books, and sometimes booze. They offer a ton of resources on writing, from how to structure a plot and create complex, interesting characters, to detailed tips on querying from both writers and editors.
9. The NaNoWriMo Blog, Of Course
NaNoWriMo is committed to not only pushing writers to create their novels, but to also help out with what happens after November. From interviews with authors to guides on how to contact a literary agent with a query letter, NaNoWriMo is your go-to for just about everything.
Images: Pixabay; Writers Digest; New York Book Editors; Publishers Marketplace; JaneFriedman.com; Agent Query; Writer's Relief; The Write Practice; NaNoWriMo; Publishing Crawl