You Have Finished Your Novel — So Now What?
Finally, you've finished your novel, so now what? You've spent sleepless nights, agonizing over just the right phrase, not to mention the multiple rewrites on your opening line. The rewrites because you found your story needed a new character that had to be inserted right from the beginning. Technically you're finished but you wonder if you made this change or that would it make it better. I doubt there has ever been an author who was totally happy with the finished manuscript.
The hard part is over, or so you thought. You submit your script only to have it returned unopened. Publishing companies do not usually accept unsolicited manuscripts. There are so many hoops to jump through that most new authors give up.
Each publishing house has different guidelines. They want a synopsis of what your book is about and it has to be in a format that they specify. If they like what you say in your brief they will give you permission to submit your manuscript.
Your novel along with those of hundreds of other first time authors is held until one of the very busy editors gets a chance to read it. If the editor likes it and sees potential in your book they will give you hundreds of suggestions that have to be complete before they read it again. If they think they can use it they will want to speak to your literary agent. What, you do not have an agent?
Most agents will not even consider a first time author and the catch 22 is that most publishing houses will not consider you unless you have a literary agent. Perhaps if a publishing house shows some interest an agent may be persuaded to take you on.
There is a way that you can improve your chances of finding a publisher, though it does cost a bit of money and time. If you can find an editor that works freelance, have them do an edit on your draft. Explain that they have a free hand and that you are willing to do whatever they suggest to make your novel a bestseller.
You do run the chance that the editor may tell you that you have no talent and there is nothing they can suggest to make your novel publishable. Perhaps, maybe, just maybe they see something they can work with. If you make the suggested changes and rewrites, you will at least have a script that an editor likes, and who knows he may like it enough to take it to a publisher they work with.
When you have finished your novel, you have only begun. Hang in there; go to any book store to see that new authors are being published all the time.
The internet if filled with websites that can help you along the way, I wish you good luck and I am looking forward to reading your new novel.