In the extremely competitive market which is fiction publishing the main way to get ahead of the game is to understand how to get published. This means understanding the unwritten rules that cover fiction submission and how to ensure that you don’t make any basic mistakes which would reduce the chance of your manuscript being accepted.
It is not for the faint hearted but it can be manipulated and as long as you stay within the guidelines you are closer to acceptance than failure. Like any endeavour in life what you get out is directly related to what you put in.
First consideration is the manuscript itself. It has to be complete, free of errors, spelling and typographical and presented by an agent. An unknown writer has no chance of acceptance by a publisher. it cannoy be emphasid enough how important error free manuscripts are. they will not ensure acceptance if perfect, they will ensure rejection if full of mistakes.
They do not have the staff to read all manuscripts submitted. They each have a different set of requirements for story lines, genres and styles. None of this would you be party to but your agent will know from past experience which publisher is best for which type of novel.
It’s obvious that there will be a fee but their professional knowledge is worth using and if it gets you published their costs will be more than covered and could ensure you are asked for more.
They will also be in the best position to know what your work is worth and how to get it. This is particularly true if your story is in real time and therefore has to be not only up to date but also reflect what has happened in the real world.
They are not hard to find, either search online or find a published work showing who and where. Just research your market niche and find those whose agency names appear most often.
Once you have picked out the agent you want to represent you, contact him by post with a covering letter containing relevant details of yourself and a short, not more than two pages , synopsis of your novel.
Remember this is a sales pitch to get him to read it so make it easy to read and mistake free. There are several guides and how to’s available, but make sure it is as polished as possible and totally error free.
Please do not send unsolicited manuscripts. They will be returned unread at best and you may not even get a reply and never see your manuscript again.
Respect their time and ask if they want to see it, and above all make sure that the synopsis is a fair representation of the work. It always helps to get another opinion to make sure that you are correctly describing your story.
Enthusiasm is infectious so if you can convince the agent and publisher that you have produced a really first class novel which is well written and extremely readable your enthusiasm may be just the thing that makes them want to read your story.