How will I get published?


“I have a story,” the conversation usually begins, “but I don’t know how I’ll get it published.”

“Publishing can be challenging,” I’ll respond.

“I want one of the big publishing houses to pick it up,” they say with great enthusiasm.

“Well,” I’ll respond with a hopeful smile, “that is the hope of all writers. It’s no different than an actor wanting to find the perfect script, land the perfect part, and win the Oscar.” They smile and nod in agreement. “But talk to the thousands of hopeful actors still waiting tables, that doesn’t just happen. Neither does getting picked up by a big named publisher.” The smiles turn to frustrated expressions and the nods slow.

“So tell me,” I’ll continue, “What’s your story about?” They begin to describe in great detail their beloved story line, passionately describing the characters, locations, and relationships.

“How far along are you into your writing?” I’ll ask. This is when I hear the self-conscious giggle.

“I haven’t started yet.” The response to which I stop nodding and look questionably at them.

“I suggest you focus in on writing that story before you focus on getting it published.”

Publishing a book is easy compared to writing a book. But neither should ever be thought of as easy! It’s the writing, re-writing, and refining ones skills that requires time, energy, and focus. Writing is a process that, when given the chance, will organically develop into something bigger and far better then the original idea which birthed it.

The writing process is just that, a process. An idea turns into a story, characters are created out of nothing. Locations emerge from the writers imagination. Conversations that have never been spoken appear on the page. And if allowed to, sometimes the ending comes from some unforeseen place, leaving the writer as surprised as the reader will be.

As a writer, we must learn to trust the process. The same power that turned a silly idea into story and eventually into a manuscript, is the the same power that will lead an author to getting their work published.

How do I get it published? By trusting the process – which can only begin by writing the first line.

Don’t miss the early years

Few writers begin writing as children. Stephen King did, but he’s in a league of his own. Many begin to take writing serious later in life. One would think that a late start offers advantages such as life experiences, achieved successes, maturity and confidence.

Few writers create their finest work on the first piece they write. It takes time to develop this skill, time to establish a style, time to understand the process. It’s unrealistic to think that the first time you put words on a page it will be perfect – but we do.

There is a story in our head, we see it, we watch it play over and over, and we love our story. We know it will be a book and millions will love it as we do! Then we sit down and begin to write. When the first draft is finished we believe we have done our best work. In truth we have, but like a child who takes his first step, it isn’t the stable, balanced, and confident walking required to carry them through life.

Remember the early years? Remember when you were just starting out? Remember when we thought $1.50 was too much to pay for gas? Remember when we were young and…? Those early years of unbalanced walking, of innocents, of attempting to make a permeant mark on the world are essential in establishing a foundation for our life.

As authors we have to have those early years to build a foundation for our work. The problem is we want our writing to be as mature and developed as we are in the years we have lived, but that’s not how it works. We have to take the first steps, fall over a lot, become more confident, build our muscles, develop our coordination and finally learn to run. If we don’t allow ourselves to experience the first steps, we will never run.

Don’t miss the early years! Write a lot, about anything. Write, read, listen, watch, learn. Write, print, and save samples of your work so you can measure your foot steps. Some day you will be able to say, “Remember when I wrote like that?”!

Book Fairs & Author Events

Publish through A Silver Thread


Book Fairs, Author & Writers Events are great ways to show off your book and connect with other authors.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind as you are selecting your events:


What does it cost?

There is no guarantee that you will sell cases of books. Sometimes, these events are more about meeting people than selling. So don’t spend a lot of money on registration. How do you decide? Figure out how many books you need to sell to cover the expense; is it attainable? If so, go for it. If not, you have to ask yourself if your presence at such an event is worth the cost. If you have to sell 100 copies of your book just to cover the cost of the table, proceed carefully. There are likely better ways to spend your money.


What is the audience?

Will those attending be potential buyer’s of your book?


What are the other costs?

Will there be travel, hotel, food costs during the time? You have to figure that in as well.

Once you’ve decided that this is the right event for you, here are some tricks of the trade:

Bring your own table clothe. Most events offer a white table clothe. Find one that makes your book cover pop. In a world of white tables, your’s will stand out.

Estimate the number of books you plan to sell and pack them carefully. Books damage easily in route and worn edges and spines don’t sell very well. If you have assistance, don’t bring all the books to the table. Leave some in the car and retrieve them as you need them. This not only helps in keeping them new looking, but also in the set up and tear down of your table.

Have a simple “order form” available just in case you sell more than you have on hand. Make sure you take payment at the table.


Have Media.

Business cards or book marks are great handouts. They are inexpensive and a way to give your guests something to take with them. It’s helpful to keep the backs of your business cards and book marks blank (and not glossy) so you can write a personalized note on them.

A few photos can add to the display. The original photo of the cover, photos of you through the writing process, arrival of your first shipment. This makes the reader feel part of the process.

Avoid handwritten signs. Make simple signs on the computer and print them out. Less is more when it comes to signage. You don’t need a lot of words, leave the words for the book. Make signs that are easy to read. Place them in acrylic holders. The more professional your table the more appealing it will be.

Keep the table clean! Make your table inviting. There’s no need for a ton of marketing material. Keep it simple so that your book is the center of attention.

If you can afford it, have a few books set aside to give away to people who can help get your book out. You never know who is wandering around such events. Be ready! Have a few already signed books to put in the hands of people who are in influential positions.

The pen! Authors need a special autograph pen that makes a statement. Have it ready and keep in with you. It says you are serious about writing!

Draw them in with candy! A bowl of treats on the table always draws people over. Once they have their hand in your candy jar, you can smother them with kindness and excitement of your book.

Have a few books already signed just in case you get busy.

Offer a bundle deal. This works well for those who have more than one title, or for books that would make a great gift for others.

Take the time to get set up with Paypal, Square or any other credit card company. Make it easy to buy your book! Have cash on hand to make change.

Always collect money at the table. “Out of sight, out of mind” is never more true than at such events. Get the money while they are standing in front of you, even if you’re taking orders.

Stand up as often as you can. Stand in front of your table if allowed. There’s an energy level that happens when you are standing and free to walk around, even if it is just behind the table. People feel freer to walk up to you. It’s an energy that draws them in. It also puts you eye to eye in stead of them looking down at you. Don’t be afraid to offer your hand and introduce yourself.

Don’t wait for them to speak. Ask questions and offer information. Greet them as if they just walked into your kitchen. Have your “fun” elevator speech ready.

“This is my first book”

“These are my books!”

“Are you a writer?”

“I’ve been working on this for 20 years!” (this is truer than most would like to admit)

“I write children’s books”

“I’ve a great business book for…”

“This is a great woman’s book for any age.”


Be excited about your book.
Be proud of the final product.
Be someone they want to talk to!



Pack a cooler with drinks and snacks – you’ll need energy throughout the day!