Why Traditional Publishing is a lot Like Dating

This is a post where I compare traditional publishing to dating… never thought of that before, right? haha…
(I will be sure to do a post on self-publishing and Indie Publishing – because they are hard too. I think any form of good publishing is hard.) I am in the process of writing a Dating/Writing Series… haha… It is exciting! Check out here if “you are in a complicated relationship with your characters”

Photo Credit : Brooke Shaden
Photo Credit : Brooke Shaden

Do you remember the days when you first started dating?

What are the things that you felt?

Did excitement and adventure circle into your blood stream? I know it did for me. And honestly, I still feel this way with my boyfriend. (I mean for goodness sakes, we are in a long distance relationship… what an adventure.)

But I remember when I was just finding myself as a teenager and how I couldn’t wait to start dating. Every time I saw a cute guy, I started daydreaming. Could that be him? haha… I know… but that is what I’d think. I feel like this is also similar to the publishing life.

We write.

We finish a book.

We write up pitches and query letters all to send them out into the world.

We put ourselves out there.

You want them to love you.

You don’t want to be rejected.

I’ve always been an old school girl. I wouldn’t go up to talk to guys, unless I had something very particular to ask, but if I didn’t I wouldn’t go up to speak to them, at all. I would look at him though (more like stare… without looking like I’m staring. I think…) and now that I think of it… that probably made many boys think of me as a creeper. haha… :P But yeah, I have a funny story about how I fell in love with Johan. Come back to my next post to read that story.

I was afraid to go up and speak to boys because I didn’t want to get rejected. 

And yet, we do learn from rejection.

Rejection taught me, I didn’t want to be stuck in a mentally abusive relationship for my whole life. The year after I graduated from High School, I started dating a bad boy. And let me tell you, he was BAD. And not a good bad, like Aladdin. But one like Jafar, yes… NOT GOOD.

But yes, before I get off topic.

Dating can be hard. Harder for some than for others.

Same rings true with Publishing.

Publishing is hard.

In any good relationship you have to work to make it great. It is also the same for getting your book published.

You have to do your side of the work. Don’t wait for them to choose you.

Choose yourself first and write your book. (Click To Tweet)

A Few Things To Do After:

  1. Finish your book.
  2. This one is important – get it edited. One of the things that turn publishers and agents off the most are simple misspellings, lack of editing and research, and too many details.
    • Get a beta reader. Have some people read over it and give you criticism.
    • Get a freelance editor. The shinier you can make your story – all the better.
  3. Edit it again after you get info back from your beta readers.
  4. Make sure you research and fact check. Research is absolutely important. This shows how well you know your story and the world it is set in. If it is set in this world on this earth make sure you know where that city is.
  5. Edit again.
  6. Write a pitch and a query letter. (I will be entering this process in a few weeks! Sooo excited! I will post what I learn.)
  7. Send it in to an agent or publisher. BUT… Let me put EMPHASIS on this one.Don’t just send your manuscript to anyone. RESEARCH. Go to google, publisher’s marketplace, and writer’s marketplace. Research your possible agents and publishers. Another way to find out who some are, are by looking at the books you love to read and feel are similar to your own style. Authors usually mention their agents in their thank you pages. Otherwise, check online.Gone are the days of sending in printed out manuscripts. Most agents and publishers have email and want you to submit via email. Only send the printed manuscript if their submission’s guidelines say so. Otherwise, send it via email.
  8. Make sure you put your best foot forward. Don’t send the pitch until your query letter sparkles. (Click to Tweet) Don’t send out a first draft. (for self published authors… don’t publish your book or short story as soon as you finish it.) I think people forget that when they press send or click publish – they are releasing their name into the world. You want to have a good professional name. Remember the saying, “His name is mud?”Well, Mudd was actually a name. His name was Samuel Mudd. And he was John Wilkes Booth’s Doctor. And for having taken care of and for mingling with Booth, his name became a bad connotation. haha… we all use it now…But, that isn’t good… because you don’t want your name to be MUD. You want your words to SHINE and RADIATE. (Click to Tweet) So don’t rush on (self publishing your book, especially if you haven’t edited it and reworked it to make it professional) or on sending your query.How’s that for life experience professor? Did I dazzle you? Did I jump off the page? -Ben Campbell from 21
  9. Press Send. (Make a spreadsheet or list of the agents and publishers you’ve sent to.)
  10. Don’t just sit and wait. Get to work on another project.
  11. Wait until you hear something.

Sooner or later you will find someone who won’t reject you. (Yes, this works for a special someone and also for an agent and publisher.)

In the end, it is worth it. In dating, You find someone who loves YOU, to the moon and back. And in traditional publishing, you will have a book on the shelf and hopefully a GREAT AGENT! (I can’t wait!)

What about you? What kind have you learned about publishing?

About Devin Berglund

Writer. Dreamer. Wanderer. Enjoyer of Life. She loves crafting stories that change lives. Her first book "The Mason of Hearts" was recently finished. It's the first in a Fantasy Adventure trilogy. She is also working toward agent representation.

3 thoughts on “
Why Traditional Publishing is a lot Like Dating

  1. Haha, I love it. Dating, and agents, and publishing. Great tie together. For what it’s worth, I also stared at guys and started to daydream, or write a story in my head about how we were going to have our first kiss. I think it’s every little girls perogative ;)

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