Start With a Bang
I have come to learn that the best way to get a publisher’s attention is to start your story off with a bang.
It doesn’t have to be a full-on action or intimate scene (although that is what has worked for me) but something that really hooks their attention. It can be anything from the character being stuck in a hilarious situation to a dream they are having, the sky is the limit.
The main thing is to grab the reader’s attention and keep it by being original. They don’t want to read something that is like so many they have seen before. You have to remember that the person evaluating your story has a lot on their plate in the form of hundreds of submitted manuscripts. There has to be something special about yours that hooks them from the beginning.
Often the title of your submission catches their attention. Make your title bold and original. Something that makes them laugh or say, “What on Earth?”. Either way, they need to be intrigued. This brings me to the dreaded query letter. Keep it short and simple. This is me, this is what I have accomplished in the writing world thus far and this is the story I am proposing to you. As I said before, these editors don’t have time to fool around.
And finally, don’t get down when the inevitable but dreaded rejection letter comes. There is not an author on the planet who has not been rejected by one company or another. It happens. Despite our belief that our book is awesome, it may not fit the needs of the publishing house in which you have submitted. But as I always say, keep writing, keep trying and most of all don’t give up!
Stephen King and Nora Roberts did not get where they are today by giving up.