The last stage of writing is only the last stage if you plan to publish your work. Of course, I’m talking about publishing. Once you have the work polished to your satisfaction, you will have to try selling it. If you have an agent already, you can send the piece to him/her. It’s your agent’s job to sell your work. Agents deal with the publishers and act as a go-between between the publisher and the author. Don’t think you won’t have any input in this process – you will, but you will have help unless you chose to self-publish your work. .
If you don’t have an agent and you want to use traditional publishing, you will need to get an agent. You learn what you can about a particular agent and then query them. you will have to make your query grab attention. It has to stand out before the agent will even read it. if you can’t grab the agent’s attention in the first couple of lines, you won’t stand a chance. At this stage, you aren’t so much selling your novel as you are selling your skill as a writer. You demonstrate that in your query letter. If you can grab the agent’s attention in your query letter, you stand a better chance of getting the agent to look at your work. Word has a number of templates for business letters that you can adapt. The form is important, but you also have to craft the letter as carefully as you did your novel. Typos, grammar, and spelling mistakes will not impress an agent. While you are writing your query letter, you should also be looking at agents. Research them. Know what they are looking for. It will do you no good to send your children’s book to an agent who is looking for erotica. Do your homework before you send the letter out.
There are a number of good websites where you can self publish your work. I use Smashwords for my eBooks and CreateSpace for my print books. Book Baby and Lulu are also out there.
Again, do your homework and research these sites. Find the one that suits your budget and goals. There are a number of places where you can self-publish your work, but remember, you shouldn’t pay to publish your novel.
After you publish, you need to market, but that’s not what I consider a stage of writing – it’s one of the steps of publication, since the point of publication is to sell books. If you are self publishing, you need to write ads and post them where people will see them.
Those are the seven broad stages of writing fiction. I haven’t gone into much detail on them. I have only touched on each of them. Writing is individual. We all have our own way of doing it. We all have our own reasons for doing it. We all have our own expectations and dreams. Whatever stage you are in, keep writing.
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