Every aspiring author has the same question, "How do I make the leap from unpublished to published?"
Here is mine.
Exactly what not to do. A waste of everyone's time.
After several no thank you letters, I bought a book on how to write novels and learned. Then I bought another, and another. I studied the craft and wrote another novel. This one was much better, but still received no thank you letters. Why?
Finally an agent took the time to speak with me on the phone, and imparted the secret to success. He told me 'you cannot write in a vacuum'.
That was when I reached out to the writing community. I joined a critique group, I learned from others with more experience. I critiqued their work and in that process learned how to sharpen my own skills.
I wrote another book. It went under the knife, My critique partners were ruthless. And what came out the other end is my first published novel.
So, the lifecycle of an unpublished novel:
The lifecycle of a published novel:
-Hopefully someone asks to see more
-Sent in (Wait forever)
-Contract offered (faint, celebrate)
-Editor has you gut it and rewrite again
-Book comes in a box you open it and hold it for a picture.