I may sound naive asking this question, but when does a person know if what they are writing is really content that is good enough to be published?


As I state in my bio, I have been writing and selling outdoor articles for over 40 years. When I chose to write one, I have no trouble selling it.


I know that novel writing is not only a different ball game, but it is controlled by a few people that make all of the selections. Now this would be okay if these people would tell you what they either like or dislike about what a new writier has written, but most choose to never answer your query. So how in the hell does a new writer know if they are wasting thier time?


I know some are wanting to answer that agents don't have time to answer all of the queries they get, but that is an unacceptable answer as far as I am concerned. They are in a service business and they should act like it.


How does one get someone to read their novel read to know if they should continue writing or just quit writing and go fishing?



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Hi Garry,

This might sound too black and white, but the only way you'll know if you got the chops is if you get a publishing deal. That's the only way you can know. A person might be a wonderful writer but they still might not write a book that is publishable. It's a lot that goes into getting a deal and it's very hard to pinpoint but the only way you'd really know is if you ever get a deal.

That's why you have to LOVE writing. You have to love it so much that you'd do it whether you were going to be published or not. The truth is there is no guarantee a writer will ever be published but if you love writing enough then you'll at least be happy no matter how the journey turns out.

Best Wishes!

A sadistic admirer has been stalking Detective Brianna Morris for months and now her friend Cheyenne Wilson has been beaten and left for dead:
Giving Up The Ghost Coming 2011

You have an interesting point in your message... if they'd ever tell you what they like / don't like.

I host a blog talk radio show and in the process I screen and reject lots of books (not manuscripts). I get a fair amount of hate mail for rejecting books. I can only imagine how much hate mail agents receive during the manuscript screening process.

If you want an opinion, find other writers to read for you. This is difficult because good writers are busy - and you want a good writer reading your work, not someone else who's trying to figure out how to get published. I don't know that there's an easy answer to this one short of paying a really good editor to work with you.

Good luck on your journey.

It is dangerous to pay someone to edit one's book. There's a whole industry out there trying to take your money while delivering fullsome praise. And quite right, many writers are too busy to read for others. The answer is to find others in the same situation and trade critiques. That way everyone get something out of it. On the whole, I would still recommend a writers group. It need not be for mystery writers only, but it does have to consist of some capable and educated readers who are not afraid to say what they feel. Then you take their best comments to heart, and accept the rest as reactions from potential future readers.
(I have a vague notion that we've already discussed this somewhere.)
The sad truth is, no one "knows." Not really. Every (truthful) editor and agent has tales of books they thought wouldn't make it, but did. Now, a lot of people can tell right away if something is flat out unpublishable, but there's an enormous gray area, which is where I think your question lives.
I truly value everyone's input and have received a reply form one person, that I hold in high regards, that is willing to read through some of my WIP. My self confidence has taken a beating with all of the rejections I have been getting on my first book. The main reason I am flinching at the rejections is that a College Professor of American litature read the the first book and ranted about how good she thought it is. So my confidence went sky high and the ageants now how brought me back to earth and made me doubt myself.

If anyone is interested in reading the first 15 chapters of my WIP (a mystery) please send me a PM on here and I will send you a URL where I have it stashed.

The reason I want an experienced writer to read as CJ suggested is they know what they have gone through as far as turning in a story and what has to happen to that story before it becomes publishable.

Thank you all for your support. We have a great cast of characters on here.

Wow, sounds ...almost uncomfortably realistic. It sounds to me like you are being reasonable. Perhaps you need one of the things that I have been needing.

This may seem like nothing but a trick but: maybe you need to change your marketing approach towards publishers. See if you can get a bite - to use a fishing metaphor...from someone who might not just need or want to reject your manuscript. That may not be the answer but is worth considering.

Also, please evaluate the first judge. The woman who loved it. 5 readers are typically recommended before sending it to a publisher. It is not that the woman who loves it is wrong, but look at her personality and interests and ask yourself: what editor at which publishing company is most likely to react to your work the same way? Then submit to such a place.
I don't want to sound overly cynical, and I wish you all the luck in the world, but, ultimately, how good anyone thinks the book is doesn't matter when trying to get published. All that matters is if they think it will sell.
In reality, they actually assume that the book does need to be good in order to sell. No offense.
Good in what respect?
No argument on that, but even if they think it's good and don't have a market in mind, they won't buy it. You're far more likely to get a contract for a book that meets a minimum threshold of quality and looks like it might sell than you are for a well-written book of questionable sales potential.
One way to get feedback is to enter the manuscript in a writing contest and see what the judges tell you. I recommend two contests in the state of Colorado (you don't have to live in the state to enter):
the Pikes Peak Writers Fiction Contest, with a fall entry date,
and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Contest, with a spring entry date,
(http://www.rmfwcontest.com/). I've been a second-round judge for both contests, and I can tell you that they vet and train their judges well. There are many other writing contests out there, and I think the ones run by writing organizations are the best. And, if you win or final in a contest, that's something you can put in your agent/editor query letters!
That sounds like excellent advice!


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