Serious wanna-be-published-more-than-anything writers must look at the quest for publication like they are unemployed looking for a job. This article taken from US News & World Report is modified only slightly to meet your current publishing needs.
7 Unknown Reasons You’re not Getting
1. You have unreasonable expectations. Everybody wants the perfect
job agent, publisher, editor, spouse, car, home, vacation condo, body shape, whatever. But if your criteria are too high, if you're being too demanding, you may well remain unemployed unpublished. Nobody wants to be told to compromise, but the fact is that much of life involves just that, at least temporarily. Analyze your wants and needs. Which are must haves? Which are negotiable? Which can be put on hold?
2. You're relying too much on one search technique. Maybe you are
only applying online sending out the same query to everyone, or only networking polishing without submitting or only using employment agencies submitting to the top six, or only approaching companies agents that you know are hiring accepting submissions. Don't limit yourself to just one job agent/editor search method. Try them all. Cast a wide net, continue to build your connections, get creative.
3. You use the word "I" too often in your cover letter. The most effective way to endear yourself to potential
employers publishers is to put the focus more on them than on you. Show you've done your homework and understand what your target companies kind of books they are publishing. Then tell them how you can fill those needs.
4. You are not demonstrating long-term potential. We get caught up in the moment. We need
a job to be offered a contract now. But employers agents and publishers, the good ones at least, tend to think long term. They want to know not only how you will contribute what you have written now but what you’ll be writing in the future, too. That " Where do you see yourself in five years?" "What's your genre and what else have you got?" question is not just for drill. They really want to know.
5. You are unknowingly repeating mistakes. After
interviews rejections, are you taking the time to review and analyze them? Many times the reason you don't get a job a contract is beyond your control, and, in fact, has nothing to do with you, but not always. Trying to understand why the answer was "No" may help you to fine tune your approach.
6. You have
not rehearsed no pitch or promotion plan. You may hesitate to rehearse answers to the most common questions. You don't want to sound canned. You want to be yourself. But consider the benefits of creating great answers to those questions you hear the most (what’s your book about? What makes it different from all the rest? Who's your demographic? How will you promote?)--short, vivid, three-sentence answers brimming with examples and facts--and practicing them until you can speak with conviction and confidence.
7. You put your
job search writing on hold while waiting to hear back. Don't we all fall into this trap at one time or another? You've had a super couple of interviews emails with your dream employer agent. You just know you're going to get "the call" any day now. You think, I'm going to hold off until I hear back; after all, I deserve a little break. Well, no doubt you do deserve a little break--but don't. Keep on networking writing, applying submitting, interviewing attending writer conferences and researching agents & publishers until you have a firm job contract offer in hand.
work a publisher is an enormous project. In many ways it's more difficult, and takes more energy, than even the most demanding job writing the damn novel. So, in the midst of it all, find a way to nurture yourself. Keep on fine tuning and strengthening your approach manuscript. And hang in there.
With thanks and apologies (please don’t sue me) to:Karen Burns is the author of the illustrated career advice book The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, recently released by Running Press. She blogs at www.karenburnsworkinggirl.com