Another Way to get an Agent or get Published

Finding an agent or editor to look at your novel and getting it published is a long and tedious job. It took years for me to find my publisher, and I endured quite a few rejections. While the rejections make us stronger, they always hurt and you never really get used to them. But alas, as with most things in life, there are many roads that can lead to getting an agent or publisher.

I think that the traditional tried and true method of sending out query letters is fine, but it is frustrating and no fun at all (for me at least). I like query contests much better. With the contests, usually you get more feedback and it seems that the chances of getting your manuscript reviewed are much greater. I found my publisher, MuseItUp Publishing, via such a contest on a website called Unicorn Bell.

Back in the fall of 2012, Unicorn Bell had a query school/competition in which I submitted my query letter. They critiqued and helped me refine it. Then the queries were judged by editors from different publishers. Three of the publishers asked to see my work and voila, I had a publisher. Thank you Unicorn Bell, I am forever indebted to you guys.

So … if you’re getting frustrated with the traditional querying process, give these types of contests a try. I think you will have a lot more fun with them.




About nwharrisbooks

Born and raised in a small town in north Georgia, my imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding my family's log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee hours I read books. My face was rarely seen, always hidden behind a binding. I was nurtured on fiction. Now it is my turn to create some of my own. I live in sunny southern California with my beautiful wife and two perfect children (I may be biased). I write like I read, constantly. I studied anthropology at UCSB and medicine at SUNY Buffallo.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Another Way to get an Agent or get Published

  1. maw25 says:

    Actually, my story is no different than ours with Muse It Up. I entered a pitch contest and Lea loved it, bought it a week later and it published on December 26, 2012. I pitched another story to another publisher and they too, loved it and bought it. 🙂

    Honestly, I’ve never sent a query letter, just pitched them to publishers and they were bought on the spot.


  2. NIce! It’s good to be published, validates all our hard work. Thanks for your comment and the follow. NW Harris

  3. rastelly says:

    It’s not the rejections that bother me – it is having to wait as long as a year just
    to have someone tell me I’m rejected – I don’t have time for this!.~.There are indie
    publishers cropping up in some areas that will not only help you improve – but
    help you publish if they think your book is good enough!

    I’ve recently published a fantasy story called Enthralled, with a company called
    Mind Wings Audio – (MiWishorts)

    There is a button on my site that will show the book and let you have a listen to
    its audio file.

    Just thought I’d put it out – A website called Mind Wings audio Wants authors –
    I mean – really – wants.
    10 to 11 thousand word shorts for audio and e-book publication only – they are
    great for people who are trying to make a name for themselves on the internet.
    If they like you they will publish you free of charge – and make your e-book
    available on amazon as well as other sellers. For kindle – nook – I pad etc.
    You will be paid in royalties based on how many sell.

    Excerpts from your query letter will be used to sell the book – so keep that in
    mind when you submit!

  4. meglatorre says:

    This was also very helpful! I’m curious, though, how do you know a credible query contest from a fraud?

    • That could be tricky. What I do is look at who us holding the contest and who the judges are. They should both be reputable, and I don’t enter contest that charge a fee. A little research will usually expose the scams.

  5. Paul J. Stam says:

    Interesting idea. incidentally, Glad you liked “The Mouse and the Elephant” and “River Congo” on Paper, Mud and Me. Also, thanks for following. I find the post I’ve read here informative and interesting and will be following. – Aloha – pjs.

Leave a Reply to maw25 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s