The Best Kind of Advice: a post by Louise

Aspiring authors frequently approach me asking for tips and hints on how to break into the publishing world. I’ve answered these questions many different times in many different ways, and at many different conferences. Now, I can give advice about the industry, but I felt some of my clients, people who’d been there and are now at varying stages in their writing journeys, could offer valuable advice from a writer’s perspective.
“Don’t take the FIRST offer you get, wait for the RIGHT offer. Keep honing your skills, keep writing, and the right offer WILL come! Have faith in that!” –NYT Bestselling Author Jen McLaughlin
“Here’s a piece of advice given to me by a published author when I was starting out:Don’t send out your first manuscript until you’ve written a second one. You’ll see how much your writing has improved in hindsight!” –Marina Myles
“The whole world won’t be handed to you overnight. It’s good to be ambitious, but you have to take it one step at a time, and that’s okay. Take a deep breath and focus on your work.” –Francesca Zappia
“My advice to a newbie? Well, tell ‘me this: “Set the goal. Steer the course. And since we’re going to dream anyway…DREAM BIG!!” –Cindy Nord
“Get and stay informed regarding the (book) market; your genre(s) specifically. Check blogs, reviews, magazines and stay on top of what trends are hot. Get into a critique group asap. Like now. Immediately. Why are you still sitting there???!!!” –Katana Collins
“Don’t quit. One day can make all the difference in the world. Your acceptance letter, your contract, your edits can just be a day away. Always have another project in the wings so you can work on that to distract yourself and so that you always have a new project to pitch.” –Jamie K. Schmidt
“Don’t be afraid to write a crappy first draft. Let your creativity flow and don’t judge your words or ideas the first time around – you can always edit them later.” –Joy Daniels
“Be patient. Things will probably take longer than you think, and use that time to become a better writer.” –Elizabeth Harmon
“Don’t give up. Or as someone more eloquent once said: ‘If you are rejected, don’t get angry—instead, become more awesome. Write something better, and better, until we have to accept you, because we have been laid low by your tale.’ -Catherynne M. Valente, author and former editor.” –Naomi Hughes
“Surround yourself with people who will encourage and support you in your writing, because when things get difficult having those people is what will help and get you through to the awesome parts of your writing journey!” –Christina Ferko
“Write something that makes you want to force every person you pass to read the scene you just crafted. Write something that reminds you why you started down this whole crazy path in the first place. Then tomorrow morning get up and do it again.” –Heather Clark
“Novels are like frogs. No matter how much you want them to grow up, the first few you write will remain stubborn tadpoles. And they’ll break your heart, because they won’t leave the pond. So you’ll have to try again. So my advice: keep shooting for frogs, but love the tadpoles on the way.” –John Lucas Hargis
“Believe in yourself. Believe that you are a great writer. Believe that your book will sell, and that thousands of readers will gobble it up. Don’t just dream it. Truly believe it. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should an agent or publisher believe in you? But if you can visualize success, success will come.” –Diana Urban

About Louise Fury

Louise Fury represents adult and young adult fiction, including suspense/thrillers, romance, and select nonfiction, as well as novels with a graphic element or illustrations. A native South African, I now live in New York City and travel to Cape Town every year, where I spend time educating South African writers, meeting with international publishers and distributing books. Before agenting, I worked in marketing and advertising for both the consumer markets and publishing. Prior to joining The Bent Agency, I worked as a literary agent at the L. Perkins Agency. I represent numerous New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors and encourage my authors to have one foot in traditional print publishing and the other in the digital arena. I am a huge advocate of utilizing secondary rights—I have sold film/TV, audio and foreign rights for my clients. I believe in staying ahead of the pack by embracing change, not just adapting to it. I'm looking for writers with a unique voice and an unforgettable story. In young adult, I look for manuscripts that are written with an unforgettable voice—this can be deep, dark and gritty or literary, lyrical and emotional. My wish list includes novels with a unique structure or format and books with multiplatform possibilities. I’m also looking for smart romantic comedy. For nonfiction I’m particularly interested in pop culture, cookbooks, true crime, humor, pop science and sports.
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2 Responses to The Best Kind of Advice: a post by Louise

  1. Dustin Burns says:

    I love how they echo each other with their advice to preserver. It took me three years and four tadpoles before I wrote my first frog. And what a great feeling it was! Thanks for this encouraging post 🙂

  2. Love all these pieces of advice! Thanks for sharing them.