Well now, isn’t this every author’s dream? To get their books for sale online or in the bookstore is a dream come true for them and it’s perfectly understandable why. A writer takes on average about a year to complete a book, and then there is no telling how good it’s going to be!
So what do the publishers want?
Let it be said now, before there is any confusion at all, book publishers already know what they want and they don’ t need you to show them or tell them. This is the reason they can get through so many manuscripts per day; it has nothing to do with how fast they read it’s the fact that they don’t read them.
The majority of agents and publishers won’t get past the title of many books, simply because it’s not what they’re looking for, or it doesn’t seem to be what they’re after; if there is any doubt in their mind then the book is cast out and it’s as simple as that.
So you needn’t get disheartened if your crime thriller hasn’t had any success on the market this time round for the bookstore. It has probably got much more to do with the fact that the popular American crime writer Harlan Coben has published yet another novel in his prolific career, or perhaps there is another Ruth Rendell on the shelves.
The point is that the publishers know what’s coming out and you don’t. They know precisely the right time for a book to go on the shelves in the bookstore and have more than likely got it worked out for next several years.
If you don’t fit into their grand scheme then you shouldn’t be disheartened, it’s just not your time, and unless you’ve had some extremely troubling feedback from an agent who has actually read your manuscript, then you just need to keep sending it away.
Edit, edit, edit and then edit some more.
Never stop editing your book. If you think it’s finished then that’s all well and good, but you should remember that if there are any errors in the manuscript then a literary agent is bound to find them (it’s just sod’s law isn’t it?) and you don’t want that to happen if you want o be taken seriously.
Another good reason to keep editing is that whilst your original finished manuscript is away at several different publishers and agents you can sometimes (although not often) improve the book, and perhaps more important than that, it will keep you writing and concentrating. If an agent or publisher decides to take you on then you will need to be prepared to make changes anyway; it isn’t often that they take it as it is.
Don’t give up.
Overall you should never give up your quest for publication or representation (whichever you’re opting for), simply because there is always room for another book on the shelves in the bookstore. Books are wonderful, and if you’ve written something you consider to be of interest to other people, and perhaps you have already had a few positive reviews, then you can always consider self publishing. Don’t give up!