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Getting Your Book Published Part One #writingtips

Writing Mag

I regularly get emails from new authors asking for advice about getting published. I’m not an expert on the subject but am happy to share my thoughts and experience, so here are a few (I hope helpful) suggestions to assist you.

When I first started out, it was much more difficult to find a publisher. The optimistic wannabe author had to purchase a copy of the latest edition of The Writers Handbook, track down agents or publishers willing to accept unsolicited scripts, then print off hundreds and hundreds of pages, charge down to the local post office, weighed down by the precious manuscripts, and then part with life savings to send them on their way.

Fortunately today it doesn’t cost you a small fortune in printer ink and postage.

So, your script is ready and you don’t want to go the route of self-publishing. You want to find a publisher. Where do you start? This is going to sound odd, but begin by raising your author profile. You can be checking out publishers while you do this. Follow the advice I laid down in my last post and ensure you are actively building an author platform. The connections you make online will prove invaluable and if you join writing groups on Facebook, you will get a great deal of advice.

It’s also a good time to put together your biography. Chances are a publisher will want know something about you, so write down salient points and if you have not yet had anything published, send articles, stories, poems to magazines or websites who might publish them. You might also want to enter a couple of writing competitions. Publishers like to know you are in for the duration and intend making a career out of writing. If you are working on a second script, make sure you have a synopsis for it too and you mention it.

Okay, now you can get your teeth into it and seek out a publisher.

Sign up to and go to author events and get known, not just by potential readers, but other authors in your genre. There are huge crime and romance writing events all over the country. I met my first publisher at the Festival of Romance in Bedford, which I attended with a group of romance writers. My books didn’t technically fit into the romance category and the event was stuffed with Mills & Boon fans, but I made contacts and friends, and as luck would have it, was on a table next to a small publisher called Safkhet. During the long gaps when no visitors came to buy our books, I got chatting to the publisher herself, who at the time published the fabulous Sheryl Browne (who now writes for Bookouture too). As we were about to pack up for the day, the publisher said, ‘You’re the only person who hasn’t tried to pitch a book to me. Do you have anything else you’re working on?’ As it happened, I had a non-fiction I was considering self-pubbing. She asked me to send it to her which I did on my return home. The same afternoon she offered me a book deal. It was the start of my journey.

Author events are great places to pitch your ideas as well as making new contacts. I know of several successful authors who have secured deals thanks to pitching events.

There are also online pitching events such as the one Canleo Publishing (my other publisher) offered on Twitter recently. In this age of digital publishing it is wise to consider these opportunities and keep an eye out for them. Again, if you are building a brand, you ought to follow some publishers, agents and other authors in your genre. Tweets and retweets can be the source of valuable information.

If you would prefer to approach a publisher directly, you MUST (yes, I’ve used the shouty capital letters) read their guidelines before submitting. Be sure they are a) accepting unsolicited scripts (that is from authors not agents) and b) they are looking for books in your genre.

Search engines will provide all the information you need to find a publisher. Be sure you choose a publishing house you feel comfortable with. Don’t be tempted to go to a small publishing house because you think you’ll stand more chance with them. They are often the ones who close their doors. Check out the authors they already represent and maybe even contact one or two of them on Twitter or FB to ask what their experience has been like.

Once you’ve chosen a publisher, go to the submissions page on their website. Some sites ask for a synopsis and three chapters, others for a five word summary and 10,000 words, or even the full manuscript. Whatever they request, send it in. You might find yourself having to submit the information onto an online form on their website, in which case, plan your words carefully beforehand on a Word document or equivalent, so you don’t send in something full of errors.

Writing Mag coverAs soon as you’ve submitted to a publisher you should get an automated email from them, letting you know how long you can expect to wait for a response. It can take months! It is a frustrating and angst-ridden time but please wait it out and once again, work on social media, your website or your blog, or write something else. In fact, it’s a very good time to submit short stories to competitions in magazines so you can get some writing kudos.

Some may disagree, but I don’t hold with applying to a whole bunch of publishing houses at the same time. Try one or two at most. Editors in one company do actually talk to other editors in another, so they will probably soon find out you’ve submitted to every publishing house possible and that won’t work in your favour.

If you are sending a covering letter or email, you must give a publisher clear reason to consider your work. Tell them why you would like them to publish it? Have you heard about them from a fellow author? (Good – recommendations help.) Are they the best digital publishing house for your genre? Don’t go overboard though.

If you haven’t heard back within the period of time they stated on the website or email, then don’t be afraid to ask if they’ve got to your submission yet. However, don’t leap in a couple of weeks after you sent it. You will have to exercise patience.


  1. Make sure you have a brief but interesting letter about yourself and your publications so far. If you haven’t yet got any works published, write articles for blogs/magazine/papers – anything to show you can write and be able to mention them in your covering letter. Also send work off to one or two writing competitions such as those in the Writing Magazine.
  2. Choose one or two publishers you feel would be willing to publish your work.
  3. Apply and adhere to their guidelines. Ensure your forms are correctly filled in and your covering letter  (if they request one) is not too long.
  4. Be patient. I don’t know how many times I say this to writers but it really is a game of patience. The most successful writers are those who have a long game plan and keep building up their portfolio of work.
  5. Put together a biography, a photo of you, a list of works you’ve written, awards you’ve received, anything else relevant that a publisher might require.

I’ll expand on all of this at a later date but for now – good luck.

How to Become a Best-Selling Author #writingtips


When I first began writing, I typed the title of this blog post How to Become a Best-Selling Author into a search engine and spent ages scrolling through sites, looking for a magic formula that would help me become a recognised, reputable author. There was a lot of advise, a lot of encouragement from those who had sold millions and lot of adverts from people hoping to take money from hopefuls in exchange for offering a step up the ladder to success.

The truth is, there isn’t any such formula. If you want to be a best-selling author you need four things: tenacity, self-belief, hope and luck. Maybe five things – a darn good book.

The journey to publication is not an easy one. Yes, you may read of those first-time writers who hit the jackpot, but for the majority of us, it is hard work that produces results.

This is the first of several posts that I hope will help you along your way. I don’t claim to have all the answers but I do have experience – lots of it, from writing and editing to networking, marketing and publicity and oh, yes, I have tenacity.

I began writing for the adult market in 2009 and my first novel, Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines was aimed at women over forty who wanted to read something humorous that would resonate with them. Chick Lit was full of young women and sexy men and hot romance but I wanted to target a more mature market who had experienced the flush of first love and who had lived the maybe not-so-happy ever after ending, and were now scratching about for the next stage in their lives. My audience still felt they had a life to lead even though age, life and families were pulling at them from all angles. It was a brave move. After writing my novel, I proudly submitted it to several agents and publishers, only to be told there was no market for this type of comedy. It fell between the cracks of chick lit, romantic comedy and humour!

Deterred? Yes. Disillusioned? Yes. Determined? More so. I won’t go into lengthy detail of the next phase of how I finally became published yet, but it involved taking criticism on the chin. I submitted my first chapters to website, You Write On, that encouraged writers to read others’ submissions and in exchange for offering positive criticism, would receive equal and fair criticism of their own work.

Ouch! The comments came back thick and fast: Reader A hated this about my book. Reader B hated that. Reader C hated something else. Everyone hated everything. I was clearly the worst writer in the universe – or at least that’s how it felt. However, as my skin grew thicker, so I learned to consider the positive criticisms hidden within the scathing ones and because of those, I rewrote many of the chapters of the book and resubmitted it.

Once again, I was faced with rejection. I believed in the book. In spite of what I was being told. I felt my audience would love it. I decided the only course left to me was to self-publish.

Self-publishing is another topic I’ll cover at a later date, but all I’ll say here is be warned. There are many vanity publishers out there. It’s a minefield but I was fortunate enough to have my work taken up by the website I had submitted the first few chapters to for critical analysis. They became FeedARead who for a small fee and I mean, small, published my work in paperback.

Ha! I’d done it at last. Or so I thought. I was wrong. This was only the beginning.

Would I follow that same path today? No.  I would not. There are better ways of becoming an author. I wish I’d had more patience. I made many mistakes and although I learned from them and my story is now one of success, I could have got where I am today sooner if I’d done it differently.

My advice to any budding author is the following:

  1. While you are writing your novel, build an author platform. Make sure you have a blog, a Facebook page, other social media accounts and most importantly, interact with other writers and readers. Engage with them. FB groups are the best for this so join a few online writing, reading or reviewing groups and chat!
  2. Once you finish your script, put it aside. Don’t look at it for at least a month. Concentrate on building your community. Wrote a few blog posts. Anything to make people aware of you.
  3. After 4-6 weeks read through your work and edit it. Repeat the procedure. I know you’ll be desperate to get your book baby out there and concerned somebody else will pip you to the post with your ideas, but don’t worry. Your book needs this time. Edit it once more and then send it to a professional editor for their thoughts. At the same time, send it to some of the people you’ve met online. By now, you should have made contacts who will be willing to be your beta readers. They’ll offer suggestions and might even spot errors for you too. They’ll do this for free or maybe in exchange for you offering the same service for their books.
  4. When the professional editor sends back changes, go through your script yet again and make them, and at the same time take up any of the suggestions offered by your beta readers.

It’ll need another read-through for errors before you submit it, so make sure you do even though by now, you’ll be sick of it. If you truly can’t wait any longer at this point, ensure the first three chapters, or 10,000 words, are error-free and submit them.

If you are submitting to an agent or publisher, make sure you follow their guidelines.

And now, cross your fingers and work on your second book. Good luck.

Posts to come:

Getting Your Book Published – Building an Author Platform and Brand – DIY Publicity for your Book – Getting to Grips with Marketing – Networking – The Next Step



Carol Wyer - FenceCarol Wyer is an award-winning author and stand up comedian. In 2017 she stepped from comedy to the “dark side” and embarked on a series of crime novels. The first, gripping Little Girl Lost, shot to the #2 best-selling spot on Kindle #9 best-selling audiobook on Audible, and was also a USA Today top 150 best-seller.

To date, the DI Robyn Carter series and DI Natalie Ward series have sold over half a million copies and been translated into several languages.

Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’ featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.

You can find out more about Carol and her best-selling books at

Or follow her on:



Carol blogs at which featured in The Mail on Sunday

Canelo acquires two novels from bestseller Carol Wyer

Carol Wyer smaller versionCanelo Digital Publishing Limited is delighted to announce the acquisition of two heart-warming women’s fiction novels by bestselling author Carol Wyer. The first new book – What Happens in France – is to be released on 4th February 2019, with an as yet untitled second book provisionally scheduled for April 2019.

In What Happens in France, Bryony Masters isn’t one to shy from a challenge, so when her father falls sick she makes it her mission to find her long-lost sister and reunite their family. With the help of handsome friend Lewis, she snags a coveted spot on a primetime game show set in beautiful France – the perfect, public platform to launch her search!

With a social media star dog, a high maintenance quiz host and a cast of truly unique characters, Bryony and Lewis have their work cut out for them to stay on the show and in the public eye. Yet as the audience grows and the grand prize beckons they find that the search that brought them together may just fulfil more than one heart’s wish…

What Happens in France will delight fans of Fiona Gibson, Daisy James and Jo Watson.

Carol Wyer said ‘To say I am thrilled to be joining Canelo is an understatement. I’m so looking forward to working with the wonderful Hannah Todd and the rest of the team on two new comedies and can’t wait to share them with you.’

Hannah Todd, Assistant Editor at Canelo, said ‘I am absolutely delighted to be working with Carol on her hilarious women’s fiction. Carol’s novels are like a conversation with a friend; you sit down for a good giggle and leave feeling better for it! I can’t wait to share them with her fans.’

As a child, Carol Wyer was always moving and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. She won the 2015 People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction, and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published alongside journalism in many magazines.

Canelo are a digital publisher based in London, specialising in commercial fiction.

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